My Car Got Hit While Parked
My Car Got Hit While Parked
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My Car Got Hit While Parked
Whether you were in the car when it happened or you came back to your vehicle to discover that it was hit, you need to consult with an experienced lawyer if your insurance is hard to work with.
Knowing your options if your car was hit while it was parked is important. While you might be able to resolve your case directly with your insurance carrier, this is not always a smooth and easy process. If someone runs into your parked car, you may have the right to file a suit to get damage recovery, especially if you're having challenges with your insurance company or if your vehicle was seriously damaged.
Some of the biggest challenges in a case in which someone ran into your parked car is determining who did it. If they left the scene of the accident and did not leave their name and contact details, this presents numerous problems for you. If someone runs into your parked car, you need to evaluate the full scope of your options and rights so that you have clarity on how to proceed and can avoid many of the common missteps and issues linked to this process.
For more information, read below or contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Action Steps to Take if Someone Runs Into Your Parked Vehicle
If someone strikes your vehicle while it is parked in a street or in a parking lot, you should treat this entire incident as if it's an accident. See if there are witnesses in the immediate area who might be able to provide details or help you take pictures. Do not move your car or leave the accident until you've had an opportunity to make a report and collect photos or videos that illustrate how your car was parked and how the accident may have happened. If the individual who hit your vehicle is still in the area, communicate with them to exchange information.
Even if the accident is minor and did not lead to any serious injuries, you may need to contact the police to file a report. If you ultimately discover that the damage done to your vehicle is severe, you need to contact your insurance company and file a claim. You'll want to balance the possible benefits of filing a claim with the deductible required and the potential impact on your car insurance rates.
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What if the Person Who Hit My Parked Car Leaves?
It can be devastating to have your car struck for any reason, but it can be even more frustrating to realize that the person left the scene of the incident and did not give you any contact information. This puts the responsibility of fixing the damage from your parked and struck car on you. This accident might be classified as a hit-and-run by the police and is technically a crime.
If someone hits your car and causes property damage, they should stay at the scene to share their contact information and insurance details. The police could also help you figure out who hit your car and speak with your insurance company about any coverage you may have that supports incidents from a hit-and-run. You may need to have collision or other coverage for this damage to get paid out. If the person hit your car and left a note, reach out to their insurance carrier for more info. Usually, the person who strikes a parked car is responsible for the accident, but gathering as many details as you can might help you strengthen your case.
Will My Car Insurance Pay if Someone Strikes My Parked Car?
You need to read through the specific coverage on your car insurance policy. Your insurance may be able to help you cover the costs of repairing damage to your parked car. There are two different types of coverages that typically pay out when someone hits your parked car, whether or not they stayed at the scene and provided their contact details. The first of these is uninsured motorist property damage coverage. This coverage helps pay for repairs if your car is damaged by a person who fled the scene of the accident or someone who is uninsured. This is optional coverage, however, that is not available in every state, so you need to read the specifics of your policy to determine if it applies to you.
Collision coverage typically helps replace or repair your vehicle if it is hit by another vehicle no matter who is at fault for the accident. Even if you're unable to find the other driver, you may be able to file a claim through your own car insurance policy's collision coverage. You may need to also factor in the cost of paying out at a deductible under your uninsured motorist property damage coverage or collision coverage. Any coverage on your policy for your parked car being struck is subject to policy limits, which means this is the maximum amount your car insurance company will pay out as a result of opening any type of claim.
Will My Car Insurance Rates Go Up if I Have a Parked Car Incident?
If you submit a claim with your car insurance company because someone struck your parked car, you might go through a rate hike. If you file a claim with the at-fault driver's car insurance company, however, you typically won't see your rate rise because you are not the person who initiated the damage. However, there are some insurance carriers depending on your state who are able to raise your rate anytime that any claim is filed no matter who is at fault.
What if I Run Into a Parked Car?
If you slam into a parked car, it is important to remain at the scene and to remain calm. It is a crime to commit a hit and run and you might face charges for this criminal activity for leaving the scene. Stay at the scene even if you are embarrassed or concerned about the possible consequences of striking a parked car. If you can, stay at the scene to find out if the driver returns.
If the person who is driving this vehicle is not at the vehicle, put a note with your contact information, name, insurance carrier, and a statement of what happened to their car. You'll also want to notify your own car insurance company as soon as possible.
Notify your own insurance company about the incident as well. When you cover your tracks and do everything possible to show that you attempted to address the issue at the moment that it happened, even if the person whose car you hit was not present at the scene, this can help to protect you later on and avoid claims against you that you left the scene or tried to avoid responsibility.
Am I Covered if My Car Was Bumped on the Road/Street?
There are many different instances when someone can strike your parked car. Parking lots are certainly not the only locations in which a person can hit your vehicle.
Plenty of cars are also parked while sitting on the street. If you can show who forced the damage, the insurance of the at-fault party should cover your claim. If you don't know who hit your car, or are unable to prove who struck your parked car but you have UMPD or collision coverage, this should help you cover the damage.
What if I'm Having Problems With My Insurance Company?
It is not always as easy as you might expect to receive the coverage and support that you are anticipating through your insurance company. This means you need to work with an experienced and qualified insurance lawyer to assist you with preparing a legal claim. If you find yourself dealing with the impact of an accident and are confused about why your insurance company is not giving you a fair payout or a payout under your policy limits, you might need a lawyer to engage. This is known as bad faith insurance practices, especially if the insurance company is skirting ethical rules or the law directly.
As a paying customer with your insurance company, you should be able to expect reasonable customer service when you need to file a claim. Your insurance company should not be difficult to work with after your car was hit when parked. If you have provided evidence multiple times and kept in communication with the company only to discover that it has been hard to get the details you need to protect your rights, you may need to engage the services of a lawyer. Hiring an attorney can tell the insurance company that you are serious about getting the maximum compensation owed to you, and it also puts you in a better position to resolve this claim in a timely manner.
In those circumstances, you need someone who is familiar with pursuing these kinds of lawsuits and who has extensive experience in fighting hard on behalf of victims.
Do not hesitate to contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.