So you walk out of the grocery store or restaurant to find out someone hit your parked car. What should you do?
How you handle the situation depends on a few factors. For instance, did the other driver leave a note? How extensive was the damage? If people were inside the parked car, were there any injuries sustained?
Read on as we discuss what you should do when your parked car gets hit.
What to do if someone hits your parked car and leaves a note
Someone hit your parked car and left a note. While it’s not a great situation to be in, at least you have some sort of lead to get the situation rectified.
Below are steps you should take if a note was left after your parked car was hit.
1. Contact driver
The note should have the other driver’s contact details and ideally their insurance information. If their insurance information is missing, contact the driver to get their insurance company name and policy number.
2. Contact police
While the accident may seem insignificant, it’s a good idea to contact the police for various reasons. The police will file a police report for the accident, which, depending on the severity of the accident, may be required to file an insurance claim.
Certain states also mandate you to file a police report when damage, personal injury, or death occurs due to the accident.
3. Document the accident
Walk around the scene of the accident and take notes on everything you see. If your car was hit while parked on the street, speak with any nearby bystanders to see if they saw anything. Write down the contacts of any witnesses.
Use your cellphone to take photos. Include photos of any damage to the car, injuries sustained (if applicable), and any other relevant details. The more photos you take, the better positioned you are when dealing with the insurance company or police.
4. Contact insurance company
If you were not in the vehicle, you would not have a bodily injury claim, only a property damage claim. Thus, you can call the insurance company, rather than an attorney. If so, get the insurance claim process started by contacting your insurance company right after the accident. Recalling details of the accident is much easier if you contact your insurance company immediately rather than delaying the call.
Assuming it was the fault of the driver who hit your parked car, you can claim damages through the other driver’s insurance policy. If you have collision coverage as part of your plan, you have the option to claim through your insurance company as well.
What to do if someone hits your parked car and doesn’t leave a note
You just found out that someone hit your parked car but didn’t leave a note. What are the options?
Not leaving a note could potentially be a hit and run on a parked car. A hit and run is a serious offense and, if caught, could result in fines and even a jail sentence.
In general, the steps to take when someone hit your parked car and left without leaving a note is the same as if they had left a note. Obviously, you won’t be able to contact the driver, but calling the police, documenting the accident (including speaking with potential witnesses), and notifying your insurance company should be standard protocol.
If it was a hit and run and the driver cannot be found, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. In this case, there are typically two types of insurance coverage that could potentially compensate you for any damages:
- Collision coverage: This type of coverage compensates you in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage protects you when another driver without proper insurance coverage hits your car. A driver fleeing the scene could be considered ‘uninsured’ in this scenario. However, this only covers bodily injury. Thus, if you were not hurt in the accident because you weren’t in the parked car, then this coverage wouldn’t apply.
It’s important to note that collision coverage is often optional in most insurance policy plans. Similarly, uninsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in every state. You need to check with your insurance company to see what kind of coverage you have when it comes to a hit and run.
Your insurance rate after someone hits your parked car may go up or down, depending on the insurance company. If it was not your fault, your insurance rate should not go up at all. However, insurance companies have their own internal guidelines for increasing or decreasing rates. Multiple claims within a short period of time, for example, could prompt an increase in rate, even if you’re not at fault. Often, insurance companies will find other reasons to raise your rates if you were not at fault since they have no basis to increase your rates when you weren’t at fault.
What to do if you were injured
In the scenario you were inside the car when someone hits your parked car and you sustained an injury, it’s best to contact a car accident attorney.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will advocate on your behalf. They know the ins-and-outs of how to maximize your settlement value. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing a capable professional is representing your best interest while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Contact Valiente Mott
Having a basic understanding of what to do when someone hit your parked car will go a long way in recouping damages.
If you find yourself with damages, whether that be car or injury, the Las Vegas personal injury attorney team at Valiente Mott can help guide you through the legal process.
Contact Valiente Mott today for a free consultation!
Valiente Mott is a law firm dedicated to helping personal injury victims. We handle all personal injury matters, including, but not limited to, car crashes, defective products, and catastrophic injury. We are compassionate, yet aggressive when protecting personal injury victims and families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents. Learn more about who we are.
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