My car was hit while parked on the street, what can I do? If your car gets hit when parked on the street, it is normal to feel unsure about the next steps. You may also be uncertain about the avenues at your disposal to hold the driver accountable for the damage they caused or to have your insurance cover the repair or replacement costs. Well, we have all that solved in this auto insurance guide.
Who is at Fault for a Street Accident?
While it is seldom given much thought, streets are notorious hotspots for accidents. These bustling zones teem with individuals on the go, some of whom may be reckless, rushing, or simply not focused on the road. Moreover, a study by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reveals that approximately 1 in 3 drivers use their cell phones for outgoing or incoming calls while behind the wheel.
Accidents in parking lots can rapidly escalate, particularly in situations where it is plausible that every party involved bears a degree of responsibility. Here are some potential incidents that can get your car hit while parked on the street.
- A vehicle reversing into the flow of traffic in the parking lot
- A driver crisscrossing lanes in the lot without watching out for other vehicles
- A vehicle carelessly speeding through the parking lot, ignoring “stop” or “yield” signs
- The faulty driver fails to notice a stopped car before rear-ending it
In instances such as the ones listed above, the parties involved may be deemed liable for a street accident. In some instances, the parking lot owner could be held accountable if a pre-existing condition on the property, like poor lighting or an avoidable blind spot, played a role in someone’s vehicle hitting your parked car.
My Car Was Hit While Parked on the Street: Here’s What to Do
If your car was hit while parked on a street, you want to handle the situation as you would any other accident. Follow these simple steps to remedy this situation:
|1. Find a witness||Look for potential witnesses nearby who could offer crucial details or assist in capturing images.|
|2. Don’t move your vehicle||Refrain from moving your car or leaving the scene until you’ve had a chance to file a report and gather photo or video evidence that shows the parking position of your car and the possible cause of the accident. If the person responsible for hitting your car is still around, it’s important to exchange information with them.|
|3. Document the incident||Gather as much information as possible about the incident and the resultant damage, including details about the location, approximate time, and weather conditions. If it’s safe, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, location identifiers like landmarks or signages, and any other accident evidence like debris or tire marks.|
|4. Contact the police||Even for minor accidents that don’t result in serious injuries, reaching out to the police to file a report could still be necessary. The presence of a police officer will make an official accident report available, which is typically necessary when submitting a claim to your insurance provider. Also, take down the name and badge number of the officer who helped you.|
|5. Notify your insurance company||In case you eventually find out that your car has sustained significant damage, contact your insurance provider and lodge a claim as soon as you can post the accident since the incident details will still be fresh in your memory. However, you want to weigh the potential benefits of making a claim against the required deductible and the possible effect it could have on your car insurance premiums.|
Someone Hit My Parked Car on the Street and Left
As if getting hit on the street was not distressing enough, the offender left the scene without leaving any contact information! Typically, this situation leaves you with the responsibility of handling the repair costs for your parked car. The police may categorize such an incident as a hit-and-run, which is legally a crime.
When someone hits your parked car on the street, they are supposed to remain at the scene to exchange contact and insurance information or leave a note. Otherwise, police may be able to determine the offender and liaise with your insurance provider regarding any coverage that may apply to hit-and-run incidents.
You may need collision or other specific coverage for the damage reimbursement. If the person left a note, get in touch with their insurance company for more information. Although the person who hits a parked car is typically held accountable, collecting as much information as possible can help your case.
Certain insurance companies might even provide apps that let you file a claim and upload pictures of the damage. Consult your insurance agent to see what options are available in your area. Bear in mind, if the incident involved a company car, you would need to contact your business's insurance provider.
Will My Insurance Go Up if My Parked Car Was Hit?
You need to review your car insurance policy’s specific coverage to determine if your insurance will go up. If you lodge a claim with your car insurance provider after your parked car gets hit, your rates might increase. However, if you file a claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver, your rate generally won’t be affected, as you weren’t responsible for the damage. Nevertheless, depending on your state and the specific insurance company, your rate might increase whenever a claim is filed, regardless of who is at fault.
Two types of coverage typically compensate when your parked car is hit, regardless of whether the offender stays at the scene and provides contact details. The first one is uninsured motorist property damage coverage, which covers repair costs if your car is damaged by an unidentified driver or an uninsured one. However, this is optional and not available in every state, so reviewing your policy’s specifics is important.
Collision coverage generally helps repair or replace your vehicle if it is hit by another vehicle, regardless of who is at fault. Even if the other driver is not found, you might be able to file a claim under your car insurance policy’s collision coverage. You will also need to consider the deductible costs under your uninsured motorist property damage coverage or collision coverage. Any coverage for your parked car being hit is subject to policy limits, which represent the maximum payout your insurance company will offer for any claim.
What if You Face Difficulties with Your Claim?
Getting the expected coverage and support from your insurance company may not always be simple. Therefore, consulting an experienced insurance attorney to help you prepare a legal claim might be necessary. If you’re struggling to understand why your insurance company is not providing a fair payout or adhering to your policy limits after an accident, you might need legal intervention. This situation, known as bad faith insurance practices, is especially egregious if the insurance company is circumventing ethical guidelines or the law.
As a customer, you should expect reasonable service when filing a claim after someone hit your parked car on the street. Dealing with your insurance company after your parked car gets hit should never be a struggle. If you have submitted evidence repeatedly and maintained communication with the company, only to find it challenging to get the necessary details to protect your rights, hire an attorney to help you receive maximum compensation and place you in a stronger position to resolve the claim promptly.
Read also: Someone Reversed into My Car When Parked!