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Someone Hit My Parked Car and Left, What Do I Do?

Someone Hit My Parked Car and Left

You're spending a relaxing Friday evening at a shopping center with your friend. Things were going great until you find your car in a parking garage with a broken taillight and damaged bumper. It turns out someone hit your parked car and left. What do you do now? Here are some tips and information on how to handle a hit-and-run accident.

Hit and Run Accidents

hit-and-run accident occurs when someone leaves the accident scene without stopping to fulfill the duties imposed by law. When a driver hits a parked car, he or she is required to make a reasonable effort to identify the owner of the vehicle and leave a written notice. Every state has its own traffic laws covering hit-and-run accidents. If someone has hit your parked car, stay at the scene and gather as much information as you can.

Things To Do Immediately At the Scene

As soon as you find your vehicle damaged, follow the below steps to preserve evidence and protect your rights:

  1. Stay at the scene: It may be tempting to immediately drive off to catch the person who hit your car. However, you may lose important evidence by doing so. So, don't leave the scene until you have gathered all the necessary information. If possible, attempt to get the license plate number or any other identifying information of the perpetrating car as it drives away.
  2. Talk to any witnesses: Look around for any witnesses and get their names and contact information. See if there are any security cameras nearby that may have captured the incident. If you find any, ask the property owner for a copy of the footage or to preserve the video until your attorney can request it.
  3. Call the police: Some states require you to file a police report, even if there is a written note by the other driver. The official police report can be used to preserve any evidence found at the scene.
  4. Record the time and location: Make a note of the time and location of the accident.
  5. Take accident photos: You should take photos of the accident scene. Get multiple pictures from various angles, including general views and close-ups. If there's evidence of the other car's painting or marks, take a close-up photo of that as well.
  6. Contact your insurance company: You should notify your insurance company that you've been in an accident. By contacting them as soon as possible, you can help expedite your claims process.

File a Claim: Handling a Hit-and-Run Accident

If you're able to identify the driver who hit your car, get his or her insurance company information. You should then file a third-party claim with his or her insurance company. This way, you will be able to recover damages under the other driver's coverage.

If you're unable to find the person who hit your car, you'll have to file a claim with your own insurance company. Generally, uninsured motorist coverage compensates drivers for hit-and-run accidents. However, not all states require you to have uninsured motorist coverage. It's important that you check with your insurance company to find out which type of coverage will cover you for hit-and-run accidents.

Someone Hit Your Parked Car and Left? Consult with a Lawyer

Even if the driver took off after hitting your car, you can recover damages as long as you follow the proper procedures. Speak with an experienced car accident attorney who will be able to guide you through the claims process to maximize the number of damages you recover.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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Next Steps

Contact a qualified auto accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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