What to Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car
Walking out to your parked car and finding that another driver crashed into it is a predicament that nobody wants to be in. Cities that require parallel parking, like downtown Orlando, are especially susceptible to being bumped into as drivers overestimate the space between their vehicle and neighboring ones. If you’re lucky, the offender left their contact and insurance information for you to reach out to. Unfortunately, this is often not the case – leaving you stuck with all the damages to deal with.
If this happens to you, follow these steps to ensure your car gets the necessary repairs it needs.
What to Do if the Driver Who Hit Your Car is Still There
The best-case scenario is that the offending driver remains on the scene waiting for your return. In this situation, you’ll treat it the same as any other type of car accident. The steps you should take include:
- Taking photos of the damage and the scene
- Exchanging contact and insurance information
- Calling the police and file a report
- Notifying your insurance company as quickly as possible.
The best protection you can get for these costly situations is to have either collision coverage or coverage for uninsured motorist property damage. In this case, your insurance policy will cover the costs, whether or not the offending driver is there waiting.
What to Do if the Driver Who Hit Your Car Isn’t There, but Left a Note
Ideally, you’ll want to have both the driver’s and their insurer’s contact information. If you only have the driver’s contact information, call them to find out who they’re insured with. Also, scan the area and look for any possible witnesses that might be able to provide clues about what happened. You never know what valuable information you can find just by asking around.
If the damage seems minor, you can opt to request that the other driver will pay out-of-pocket for the repair costs. Doing this, you will avoid having to pay a deductible and watching your insurance premiums rise. The risk, however, is that once the repair costs are paid, you will then be responsible for paying any later damages that might come up down the road.
If the damage is severe and the cost to repair is high, or higher than your deductible, the best solution is to call the insurance companies. You have a couple of options on how to file that, include the following:
- File with the other driver’s insurance company
- File with your own insurance policy’s collision coverage
- File with your own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist property damage coverage – if the other driver isn’t covered
When the insurance companies are involved, you can rest assured knowing that every aspect of your car’s damage will be looked at and repaired.
What to Do When Dealing with a Hit-and-Run
Similar to when a note has been left, always look around for a passerby that might have witnessed your car being hit. Also, if there are local businesses nearby, explain your situation to management and ask if you could look at their security cameras for clues. If you’re lucky, you might be able to locate the license plate number of the other driver.
Be sure to document the damage by taking plenty of photos of both your car and the surrounding area. These photos will be useful when dealing with your insurance company. You can try to either:
- File a claim with your insurance policy under the uninsured motorist property damage coverage (if you have it), or
- File a claim with your insurance policy under collision.
The only caveat is if you can’t identify who hit your car, it’s possible that your insurance policy won’t cover the damages under collision. Every insurance company has different guidelines, so this might be something to investigate before a hit-and-run situation comes up.
Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer in Central Florida
If your car was hit while parked and you’re now stuck with paying for the damages because of a hit-and-run or the other driver won’t pay for repairs – know that you have options. Orlando auto accident attorneys with The Umansky Law Firm have more than 100 years of combined experience in helping those who have been involved in a car accident recover property damage, emotional damage, cost of lost wages, and more. Let us help you and give us a call today for your free case evaluation. Call anytime or go online to schedule your free consultation.