So, you walk out of a shopping mall, a restaurant, or a grocery store only to find out that somebody hit your parked car. The most appropriate steps to take will depend on a few factors. You’ll need to check whether the other driver left a note, that is, if it was a hit-and-run incident, and if you sustained any injuries.
Generally, you should treat these cases like any other accident. That’s why it’s vital to consult an experienced car accident lawyer to take care of the case on your behalf. At Pacific West Injury Law, our legal team has years of years helping clients with similar cases, so we know how to get the best out of your case.
What to Do If Somebody Hit Your Parked Car and Left
When you find your car with a dent or other damages but the other driver did not leave a note, below are the steps you should take.
Call the Police
Just like a hit-and-run incident, you need to notify the police immediately. The police will document the incident and record an official report. Make sure you request a copy of the report from the police officer and the officer’s name and badge number because you’ll need these details when filing your insurance claim, as per the Insurance Information Institute (III).
In cases where the police don’t show up at the scene, you will have to file the car accident report yourself. You can do this online via the local police department’s website.
Document the Scene
As you wait for the police, you can go ahead and start documenting every detail of the accident. Get as many details as possible about the accident scene and the damages to your car. Also, include:
- The location of the incident
- The weather conditions
- How you had parked the car
- The date and time of the day
- Anyone who is a witness to the accident
By documenting all the essential information and taking notes, you won’t forget any details days or weeks after the incident.
Check for Security Cameras
Nowadays, security cameras are in almost every public space, and they can play a vital role in such scenarios. Therefore, if your vehicle was inside a parking garage, a busy street, or a parking lot, there is a high probability a nearby security camera captured the incident. The video footage can show what happened and even help the police identify the other vehicle.
If you don’t see any security cameras or you are in a new area, you can still ask around. The nearby building or business owners can help you spot the strategically placed cameras.
Taking pictures is an excellent way of keeping records of all the accident details as recommended by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Therefore, if it’s safe to do so, use your smartphone’s camera, take pictures of:
- Your car’s damages
- Any signage or landmarks that show the location
- Your vehicle’s position in the parking space or on the street
- Other damages at the scene like tire marks, other damaged cars nearby, or debris.
You can also take photos from different distances and angles. When you have a variety of images, they help paint a clear picture of the scene and the damages to your car.
Notify Your Insurer
After any car accident, you need to contact your insurer, especially when it’s a hit-and-run case. Informing your insurer early enough makes it easier to remember all the details related to the accident, and they will tell you what you need to file your claim. Some insurance providers will even offer an application for you to file the claim and upload relevant documents.
What If the Other Driver Left a Note?
If the other driver left a note, you should get their contact details and their insurance information in it. However, even after getting this information, you’ll still need to contact the police, document the accident, and contact your insurer. Share the details from the note with the police to handle it extensively and with your insurance provider.
What If You Were Injured While in the Parked Car?
If you were inside the car when the other driver hit your parked vehicle, and you sustained an injury, call the police immediately to assess the scene. Depending on the severity of the injury, you can seek medical assistance. And like other incidents, try to take as many photos as possible, look for witnesses, and call your insurance provider.
Another important thing is to contact a personal injury attorney who will advocate on your behalf. An experienced car accident attorney will try to maximize your settlement value since they know the ins and outs of dealing with such cases.
Will the Insurance Company Pay If Someone Hits Your Parked Car?
Your insurer can help with the repair costs of the damages on your parked car, but it depends on your insurance policy coverage. If you have any of these two coverages, they can offer some protection:
- Collision coverage: This policy helps to pay for the repairs or replacements to your vehicle when hit by another car. Therefore, even if the other driver didn’t leave a note and you can’t identify them, you can still file a claim under your own insurance policy.
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage:If the driver who hit your vehicle flees the scene or your car gets damaged by an uninsured driver, this coverage can help pay for the repairs. However, this is optional insurance coverage, and it’s not available in all the states.
Let a Pacific West Injury Law Attorney Review Your Accident Claim
If someone hits your parked car, our lawyers at Pacific West Injury Law can fight on your behalf to get the best possible outcome for your case. We can conduct the necessary investigations, file your insurance claim, negotiate a settlement with the insurer, and represent you in court.
Our legal team has years of experience, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your case is being taken care of. Contact us today and let us fight for your parked car accident claim on your behalf today.