Few things are as aggravating as coming back to your car, ready to slide in and turn on some music… and finding your car has been hit.
Seeing someone hit your parked car and drive away as you are walking back to it is equally frustrating.
You shouldn’t limit your responses to swearing and crying, though, understandable as those are. Hitting a parked car needs to be treated the same as with any other accident, with calmness and the gathering of information.
Gather Information and Notify Authorities
Drivers who hit a parked car shouldn’t leave the scene. It’s an accident that has damaged property. If they absolutely must leave, they should leave a note with information on how to get in touch with them, or find out the identity of the car’s owner with a view to contacting them later.
If they can’t do either of these things, they should contact the police, just as they would in an accident where cars were moving.
If no attempt to contact anyone is made, it’s a hit and run accident.
What You Should Do
So what’s next if you see no note or contact information?
First, contact the police. They will come and take down information on what happened. A police accident report ensures that your insurance company will have official notification of the accident and the circumstances.
Second, ask passers-by if they witnessed anyone hitting your vehicle. If possible, it’s a good idea to find the driver. If a witness can give you a description of the car, the driver, or even part of the license plate, it could help. Note, though, that passers-by were not necessarily around when your car was hit.
Third, snap multiple pictures of your car if you can. Many people carry smartphones: use that camera if available. Take pictures from every angle. It gives your insurance carrier an idea of how and from which angle the car was hit, and establishes the extent of the damage.
Pictures can be used in potential claims against the hit-and-run driver, if they can be found.
Fourth, write down the details about where your car was and when you found it. Specific addresses, times, and dates are helpful.
Fifth, after police have finished and you have gathered all information, call your insurance carrier. Call them as soon as possible, and before you leave the scene. Some adjusters will want to take their own pictures and file a report.
An Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Southern California
Finding your car damaged at a parking site is more than annoying. It’s a hit-and-run crime.
If you or a loved one found their car damaged as a result of being hit while it was parked, call the experienced Los Angeles auto accident lawyers at Salamati Law Firm today. Sean Salamati has been obtaining justice in LA car accidents for years. Let him put his experience to work for you.
- Hitting a parked car: essential next steps. Insurance.com. August 2, 2017. https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/parked-car-insurance.html
- Tips for Handling A Hit And Run Driver Claim. DMV.org. https://www.dmv.org/tips-for-handling-a-hit-and-run-driver-claim.php