As a driver, one of the most frustrating things you may go through is leaving your house or going to the store and discovering that your car has been hit. It could be a ding in the bumper, a shattered side mirror, or a significant scratch on the vehicle's side. Damage to a car isn't inexpensive, and repairing a significant paint scratch might cost anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000. Fortunately, car insurance covers these instances. If you discover that someone has hit your parked automobile and left you to deal with the situation, you must take the appropriate procedures.
Scenario 1: Someone hit my parked car and left a note
Consider yourself fortunate if you find yourself in the circumstance of "my car was hit while parked on the street," and someone has left a note on your window. A person who destroys another vehicle and then flees without providing their details is ordinary. The following are the measures to take:
Review the note
Examine the note and make sure the information is correct. Hopefully, the person left their contact and insurance information with you. You might be able to contact them for the appropriate insurance information if only their name and phone number where provided.
Take photos of the damage and, if one were provided, the notice – your insurance company would need all the information they can get to figure out what to do next. Make a note of when you believe the injury occurred. Look around to see if there are any potential witnesses to what happened and if there are, jot down their account of events and contact information.
Contact the police to file a police report.
Contact the police to submit an accident report if the damage is more severe than a few scrapes. For injuries of $250 or more, several states, such as Alabama, require you to file a report. For damages exceeding $1,000 in many forms, a police report is required.
Notify your insurance company
Contact your insurance provider with your images, police report, and contact information for the person who left you a note. Your insurer will walk you through the process of filing a claim.
Scenario 2: Hit-and-run accident with a parked car
The methods are similar if your case is "someone hit my parked car and drove away," leaving you with a damaged vehicle and no idea who did it. Before moving the car, you'll need to gather as much information as possible to present evidence to your insurance provider.
If someone hit your car and fled, finding any witnesses who can assist law authorities in locating the perpetrator is very beneficial. Otherwise, your insurance provider will classify the incident as a hit-and-run with an uninsured driver. In that instance, collision or uninsured driver insurance would be required to repair the damage to your car.
Scenario 3: I hit a parked car and left no damage
Even if there is minimal damage, you should stop and leave a note with your contact information if you struck another unattended car. You may assume there is no damage, yet you may be blind to it. If you're convinced, there isn't any, you might take a photo of where you hit the vehicle and leave a note stating that you are not responsible for any damages.
Scenario 4: what if you're injured in your parked car?
If you were injured while in the parked vehicle at the time of the accident, call the cops right immediately so they can look into it. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may require medical assistance or an ambulance. As you would with any other occurrence, take photos, exchange information, look for witnesses, and notify your insurance company.
How to file a claim after someone hits your parked car
The more data you can collect at the time of the accident, the better. If possible, gather information regarding the other car and driver, such as their name, phone number, and license plate. Take images of the concerned party's license and photos or video of the damages and the location where it occurred with your smartphone camera.
Call your insurance company or file a claim online with all your supporting proof once you've gathered as much information as possible, including an accident report from the police.
How car insurance will cover you
If someone hits your automobile and accepts responsibility, their insurance will cover the cost of repairs. The way you were parked, on the other hand, has an impact on the outcome. The insurer may refuse to pay for your repairs if parked wrongly or illegally. If the police are involved, you could be held accountable for the accident if you were not properly parked, and you could be forced to pay for the damages caused by the other vehicle.
Your auto insurance company will treat the occurrence as an uninsured driver accident if you were engaged in a hit-and-run accident and don't know who caused it or how it happened. Even if you were not at fault, you would be held liable for the accident.
If you have collision or uninsured motorist coverage, your insurer will cover the repair costs after paying your deductible. You'll have to pay for damages out of pocket if you don't have either coverage.
After you pay your deductible, your insurance will cover the damages to the other automobile if you were the one who hit a parked vehicle. If your car needs repairs, you'll need collision insurance to cover them.
Will insurance rates go up after someone hits your parked car?
Even if a parked car is involved in an accident, your insurance provider will treat it as such. If you were to blame for hitting a parked vehicle or involved in a hit-and-run and don't know who caused the damage to your parked car, your insurance rates might rise by 34%.
If you're concerned that filing a claim with your insurance company may raise your auto insurance premiums because your car was damaged in a hit-and-run, think twice. To avoid a premium rise, you might be better off paying for the damages yourself.
- It's critical to document the damage and claim with your insurance carrier if your automobile is hit while parked.
- Each state has a monetary threshold for when you should file a police report. In most circumstances, damages over $1,000 necessitate filing a formal accident report.
- Even if the accident was not your fault, your auto insurance might increase if you are involved in a hit-and-run.
Parking in public spaces has the terrible side effect of causing dents, scrapes, and other damages. Unfortunately, even a minor scratch or pattern can be costly to fix. If you hit a parked car, you should leave a note with your contact information on the vehicle.
If someone hits your car, they should have given you a notice so you may claim with their insurance company to get it fixed. If someone hits and runs your parked car, you may have to pay for the damages if the offending motorist cannot be found.