Statistics reveal that hit-and-run accidents have increased by a whopping 60%. What’s more, it’s estimated that 43 hit-and-runs happen every second.
If your parked car was hit, there’s a high chance it could be a hit-and-run incident. If you’re lucky, it’s not, and the driver comes forward and co-operates.
Either way, if your parked car has been hit, it’s important to know what steps to take next. If your car’s been damaged while parked, here’s what you need to do. Both for hit-and-run situations and instances where the other driver identifies themselves.
Get the Details of the Other Driver
The first step you should take if another driver has hit your parked car is getting their details.
Under US law, any driver who has hit a parked car is obligated to contact or find the vehicle owner. If they can’t locate or identify the owner, they then need to leave a note containing their contact information and explaining what happened.
If the driver does not do this, the car accident is then classified as a hit-and-run.
If the other driver left a note, you should immediately try to contact them and get further details.
If they did not leave a note, continue with the following steps.
Gather Evidence of the Scene
The next step to take after someone has hit your parked car is to gather evidence. This is particularly important if it’s a hit-and-run situation.
Start by taking pictures of the location, how your car is parked, and the damage. You should also look around to see if there are any cameras nearby that may have captured the car accident. If there are, find out who you need to speak to access the footage.
Besides these steps, you may also want to speak to any bystanders and find out if they witnessed the accident or have any details on the other driver or vehicle.
Take down any information they may have, and get their contact details. Depending on the circumstance and level of damage, you might want to have access to witnesses.
File a Police Report
Once you have gathered as much evidence as you can of the accident, you should also file a police report. Were you not at fault? Even so, you might still be required to do this.
What’s more, if you cannot find the perpetrator and need to file a claim with your insurance company, you need the police report to start the process.
Speak With the Other Driver if You Can
Once you have filed a police report, if you have the other driver’s details, try to contact them. If you manage to get into contact with the other driver, ask for their insurance details.
If you can get these, you can then file a third-party claim with their insurance company. Their insurance provider will then pay you out for the damage to your vehicle.
If this happens, you won’t be responsible for your deductible. Your premiums also won’t rise as a result of a claim. Take note that some providers will raise your premiums, even if you claim for a not-at-fault car accident.
Therefore, even if your deductible is very low, it’s usually best to try and claim from the other driver’s insurance provider.
Also, be aware that no-fault insurance only covers bodily damage. Unfortunately, it does not cover property damage, so you won’t be able to use this to cover the damages to your parked car from another driver.
Contact Your Insurance Provider if You Will Be Filing a Claim
If you can’t locate the driver that hit your parked car, then you’re dealing with a hit-and-run. In this case, you can also consider filing with your insurance provider under the uninsured motorist provision if you have this type of coverage.
If you reside in the state of California, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory by state requirements.
However, if you aren’t in California (or another state that requires an uninsured motorist provision), there are some other coverage types you can claim under. Besides uninsured motorist coverage, you may also be able to make a claim with your insurance carrier if you have collision coverage or comprehensive coverage.
If you have the right coverage, your provider should pay you out for the damage after your deductible. However, every claim you make on your insurance can have consequences down the line as providers trim costs.
Therefore, before you throw your hands in the air and lodge a claim with your own provider—for damage that’s not your fault—it can be worthwhile to speak with a car accident attorney.
Hire a Lawyer if You’re Not Getting the Payment You Deserve
If your parked car got hit, it’s usually not your fault.
There are some instances where legally, the fault is yours, such as if you parked illegally. However, nine times out of ten, you’re probably rightfully due compensation from the other driver or their insurance provider.
Hit-and-run accidents can be tricky to handle on your own, which is why you might need to call in a car accident lawyer or a personal injury attorney. If you consult a car accident attorney, they may be able to secure the compensation you deserve without triggering the increased premiums your insurance company will most likely charge if you make a claim from them out of desperation.
Although you will need to pay for the lawyer’s time, often this can work out to be less than if you have to pay an increased premium every month going forward.
Did Someone Hit Your Parked Car? Call Us
Did someone hit your parked car? If they did, and you are struggling to get the compensation you deserve, we’re here to help.
Specializing in personal injury and car accidents, we will work tirelessly to ensure you’re not left with the short end of the stick for an accident you did not cause.
Call us today and get the best car accident attorney on your case.