You are a safe driver. You do everything you can when out on the road to ensure the well-being of yourself and your vehicle, as well as all other drivers sharing the roadways with you. But no matter how hard you try to be a safe driver when cruising down the highway, there is still the possibility of your car getting into an accident while it’s not even moving (in fact, you might not even be in the car when the accident occurs!).
Accidents involving parked cars are more common than you might imagine, and actually make up a majority of hit-and-run accidents! According to a study published by Allstate in 2010, 69% of hit-and-run incidents involve a vehicle making contact with a parked car.
So, through no fault of your own, your parked vehicle has been struck by another automobile, are you aware of the proper steps to take to help ensure your car gets fixed as effectively as possible and to see to it that you receive appropriate compensation from the guilty party? Continue reading to find out exactly what to do if you find yourself in the situation of dealing with a parked car accident.
Unfortunately, there is a very good chance that you will never see the car or the driver that struck your parked car; however, at the off chance that you do witness the accident take place and have the ability to approach the driver, absolutely make a point to communicate with them, and try to jot down the following information:
Regardless of whether the offending driver was available for questioning after the accident or not, it is important to attempt to locate and identify any potential eyewitnesses to the accident itself. If you happen to see any onlookers who may have witnessed the accident, it is very important to go up to them and ask for their recalling of events.
Communicate with them about what they saw, document any details they provide, and be sure to jot down their names and contact information.
After talking with any nearby witnesses, you should phone the authorities to report the accident next. Even if no one was hurt in the collision, most states still require a filed police report if a vehicle is involved in any sort of accident. Though, over and above requirement, cops can also be a useful resource in helping you figure out what happened to your car and accessing any security cameras in the area that potentially recorded the incident.
After communicating with any bystanders and the police, it’s time to pull out your cell phone and do a little detective work. Documenting the accident scene is not only important to help the insurance companies, but for use as evidence in any sort of court/legal environment that might arise.
Be sure to take snapshots of the damage to your car, anything else that might also have been damaged (other cars, property, etc), and definitely the vehicle that caused the collision, if it still happens to be at the scene of the accident. Take photos of any damage and the license plate.
After all of the above steps have been followed, it is now time to reach out to your insurance company. Despite the fact that the at-fault driver should be required to pay for the damages to your vehicle (if you or the police were able to catch them), calling your insurance provider is still critically important, as they can help you through the entire process and help you comprehend what to expect.
Fortunately, the costs associated with fixing your automobile will likely be covered by the insurance company providing coverage to the driver who damaged your car. In the event of a hit-and-run, where not even a note was left behind from the offending driver, you will still be able to file a claim with your own provider, in which case, two types of coverage might be needed:
Uninsured Motorist Coverage - UMC offers coverage when your car is hit in an accident through no fault of your own, and the negligent party does not have the necessary insurance to cover the damage. This type of insurance often comes into play to cover any property damage claim after a hit-and-run.
Collision Coverage - Collision coverage might also be used to cover damage to your car, no matter who is at fault. Unfortunately, not all policies include collision coverage, and you would be required to pay the deductible.
Dealing with a hit-and-run/parking lot accident is a major headache, and can be a literal headache if you were in the car at the time of the collision (if you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, be sure to seek the help of an auto accident doctor near you), but now that you know the steps to take immediately following this type of accident, you are much better prepared to deal with the situation.