You’re backing out of your parking space in a crowded lot when you hit a parked car, scraping bumpers and peeling paint on both cars. Great, now what? Who is at fault, and how do you handle the situation? Is hitting a parked car the same as a minor road accident? We offer tips to help you know exactly what to do when you hit a parked car.
Don’t Leave the Scene
Hitting a parked car and leaving the scene is one of the worst things you can do. If you leave the scene without waiting, you could be charged with a hit-and-run. Even if it looks like there isn’t a lot of damage to their car, stick around and speak to the car’s owner. Many parking lots are monitored by video cameras that will capture your license plate information, so the owner is likely to track you down if you abandon the parking lot accident.
Leave a Note
If you’ve waited around and no one appears, the next best thing you can do is leave a note. Your note should include your name, address, phone number and/or email address. Avoid leaving specific insurance information but be sure that the owner of the car has a way to contact you. Leave the note securely under a windshield wiper blade so your information won’t blow away.
Record the Scene
After you hit a parked car, take photos of both cars involved in the parking lot accident. If possible, take photos of any factors that might have led to the accident, such as a crowded parking lot with vehicles jutting too far into the aisle.
Alert the Authorities
Even if it’s a minor parking lot accident, it’s always a good idea to contact the local police. They will file a report and may help you get in contact with the owner of the car. The police report will be an important part of your insurance claim and will record crucial details you may need later.
Call Your Agent
When you are involved in any accident, your agent should be your next phone call. They will help you ensure you have shared the correct information, documented the scene of the accident and have covered your bases. The insurance company of the other motorist may file a claim, so it’s wise to give your agent a heads up. They can help you check your liability and collision coverage and remind you of your deductible.
What if Your Car Was Hit?
If someone hits your car in a parking lot, you may be able to track down the person who hit you if there are witnesses or video footage. If not, you may be stuck with the repair bill. The accident may not count against you, but you may have to pay your deductible to cover the damages to your vehicle. Contact the local police to file a report, and contact your agent to see if the accident would be covered.
Whether it’s a fender bender or something more serious, when you are in an accident the right coverage can make all the difference. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to review your auto insurance and to make sure you are driving prepared.