If someone hits your parked car, take the same steps you would after any other vehicle collision. Call the police, gather evidence, contact the insurance companies, and see a doctor if you suffered injuries. Do not assume your vehicle damage is minor. File a claim to have your car assessed and repaired.
Call the Police Right Away
You must notify the police if an accident results in a certain amount of property damage or injuries. Some people assume this does not apply when someone hits their parked car, but you should call the police anyway. Do not underestimate the extent of your vehicle damage. Additionally, if you were in the parked car during the crash, you may have suffered injuries.
The officer will create an official accident report and determine fault. This accident report will come in handy when filing a claim with your insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit.
You can obtain this police report from the state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) after the officer submits it.
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Get the Driver’s Information
If you saw the accident occur or if the driver waited for you to return to your parked car, get their contact information.
Record their name, address, and insurance information. Write down their license plate number, as well. Don’t get into the details of the crash or discuss fault. The police and insurance adjuster will investigate the accident and name the responsible party.
The person who hit your parked car may have left the scene but placed a note in your dash. If they left a phone number, call them right away and ask for the same information.
Speak with Witnesses and Gather Information
If you have a chance to speak with anyone who witnesses the accident, ask them to write down what they heard and saw.
Ask for their name and contact information in case the insurance company or police needs to talk with them. Their testimony may prove invaluable for your case.
Try gathering any other forms of evidence. For example, if you were at a store, you could see if the owner has video footage of the accident. You should also take pictures of the vehicle damage and the surrounding scene.
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Notify Your Insurance Company
After you have spoken to witnesses and the police, call your insurer right away. Don’t put it off for a few days.
You will also need to call the other driver’s insurance company to file a claim. An insurance agent will tell you what information you’ll need and explain what to expect during the claims process.
See a Doctor If You Were in the Parked Car at the Time of the Crash
If you were inside your parked car when someone hit it, do not rule out the possibility that you suffered injuries.
Even a minor accident can result in injuries, and symptoms may not appear right away. For example, Mayo Clinic notes that some whiplash victims only experience symptoms days or weeks after an accident.
See a doctor immediately. Medical assessment and treatment will help you recover and provide evidence for your case.
What Damages Could Occur When Someone Hits Your Parked Car?
Depending on how fast the person was driving when they hit your parked car, your vehicle damage could range from minor to severe.
You may only have a scratch on your bumper. In other cases, your windows or windshield could shatter. The impact could have also damaged your tires.
Keep detailed notes of what happened to your vehicle. This will help you when you need to call the insurance company.
What to Do If Someone Hits Your Parked Car and Leaves the Scene
You’d want to gather evidence if the driver who hit your vehicle left the scene. Take videos and photos from all angles of the damage. Make sure you take pictures of dents and paint scratches. Don’t leave out these details.
If you were near a store, you could also ask the police to follow up with the store manager to see if they captured the vehicle’s license plate on surveillance footage.
Ask any bystanders if they witnessed the crash. If they did, ask them to describe the vehicle and driver as best they can. Get their name and contact information so that you can use their testimony later on.
Whose Insurance Company Will Cover Your Damages?
You will start by making a claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. If they lack insurance or ample coverage, your own insurance coverage could help with your vehicle repair. How much or little they cover depends on your policy.
Collision coverage will help replace or repair a vehicle hit by another car, no matter who is at fault. If you can’t find the driver, file a claim with your own car insurance policy’s collision coverage.
You could file a claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage. You might have to pay a deductible at first, and your coverage will depend on your policy limits. Look into your policy and find out what types of coverage you have.
Premiums Can Increase
You might see your premium increase after the incident, even if it wasn’t your fault.
You might have to pay out of pocket if the cost to repair your vehicle surpasses your policy’s payout. If you feel like your rate went up too high, you can always shop around for a new plan.
An Injury Firm Can Help with Your Claim or Lawsuit
Even if you only suffered minor vehicle damage, making an insurance claim can get complicated. The other driver could claim you were parked illegally or try to blame a third-party driver for the accident.
You have the right to hire an attorney when making a claim or filing a lawsuit. They can help you:
- Investigate your accident
- Calculate your damages
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Represent you in a trial
You may have more legal options than you think. Your legal team can help you discover them and fight for fair compensation after someone hits your parked car.
Contact Us Today If Someone Hit Your Parked Car
After someone hits your parked car, you should follow the same steps you would with any other collision. Call the police, get the driver’s information, gather evidence, and contact your insurance company right away.
From there, a car accident lawyer with our firm can help. They can file your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for your losses. For a free consultation, call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers at (404) 888-8888.