It happens. You parked your car in a perfectly legal manner, but another driver misjudged distance when they tried to park or open their door. Now your car has scratches, dents, or even more serious damage.
Ideally, the other driver will be responsible enough to stick around or leave a detailed note. Unfortunately not all people do the right thing. The proper steps to take when another driver hits your parked car really depend upon the nature of the accident and the other driver’s actions.
Below are some common parked car scenarios and the course of action you should take for each.
They Remained at the Scene
If the other driver remained at the scene to take responsibility, you are free to treat this accident the same as any other. You can file a police report, exchange insurance and contact information, and call your own insurer. You should also pull out your phone and take photos of the damage, how your car was parked, and any other potential evidence.
They Left a Note
The second-best outcome from this kind of accident includes the other driver leaving a note with their contact information and, perhaps even the name of their insurance company. You are still free to contact the police to file a report. In addition, you should photograph damages and the way you parked your car. You can also attempt to find witnesses and be sure to contact your own insurance company to assist you.
In the worst case, the driver left the scene without leaving any sort of communication. There are a few things you can do to help your case. Ask around to find witnesses or see if the business has a security camera focused on the lot. File a police report and when the police arrive they may also assist in trying to obtain evidence. Finally, be sure to take photos and contact your insurance company.
If you never find the responsible party, you might still get reimbursed through the collision coverage on your own policy. If you do have to rely upon your own collision insurance, you will have to pay the deductible.
You Were in Your Parked Car and Were Injured
You were sitting in your parked car when out of nowhere, your car is struck. If you are injured, the first thing you should focus on is seeking medical care. If you call for an ambulance, the paramedics will often arrive with police or can contact the police for you. Contact your insurance company for assistance as soon as you can. If the other driver remained at the scene to help you, you can handle it like any accident. You should be covered by the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage.
If the other driver drove off and the police cannot find him, you may still get reimbursed for treatment from your own insurer by either your own personal injury protection, medical payment coverage, or if you don’t have those, your health insurance. Your uninsured motorist or collision coverage should help pay for damages to your vehicle, but you may have to pay the deductible.