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What Should You Do if You Hit a Parked Car?

April 26, 2022

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Represent Those Injured in Collisions.

Hitting a parked car is no different than any other car accident. It can ruin a person’s day, but doing the wrong thing can make matters worse. Too many motorists either choose to leave the scene or do not take the proper steps to minimize the possible repercussions. It is a simple choice of making sure of whether or not it remains a minor infraction or turns into a truly problematic one. That is why knowing the facts about hitting a parked car is important.

Leaving the scene of an accident, even when hitting a parked car, is considered a hit-and-run in most states, carrying with it serious consequences. Most public places have video surveillance recording the parking lot or area, so it is likely that if an eyewitness does not see the at-fault vehicle, the camera might.

If caught leaving the scene, you can have up to six points added to your license, be charged with a misdemeanor, pay a substantial fine, and even lose your license. Moreover, leaving the scene of an accident could not only subject you to the cost of any damage to the struck vehicle, but the other driver’s insurance company may come after you for investigative and legal fees due to the police having to look for you.

Should You Find the Owner of the Parked Car?

Finding the owner of the parked car is the first important step. If the owner is not found, leaving a note on the vehicle is critical. Make sure to include your name, contact information, auto insurance policy information, and an explanation of what happened. Also, place it under the windshield wiper to prevent it from blowing away.

If the owner is found, be sure to make it clear that you will take full responsibility for the accident. This is to alleviate any tensions, preventing an escalating scene. Make sure you exchange your contact and insurance information.

Should You Take Pictures?

Taking pictures is wise. It assures that the damage to both cars is on the record. It is especially important that the damage of the struck vehicle is what the owner says it is and not something from a previous accident. It is also a good idea to take a picture of the area in which the accident occurred. It might turn out that the accident was not as avoidable as previously thought.

Should You Call the Police?

Contacting the police is always the best policy. However, be aware that many states actually require you to call the police if there is significant damage to the struck vehicle. It is usually difficult for a person to estimate damage. Regardless, a police report will help with your insurance claim and provide vital information that might be needed later on.

Should You Call Your Insurance Company?

Based on the particular state’s statute of limitations, the owner of the struck vehicle could have two to three years or more to make a property damage claim, depending on the state. Contacting your insurance company will provide you with the help you need. Your insurance agent will help you through the process, including helping you check your liability and collision coverage, as well as go over your deductible and anything else about your policy that is of importance.

What Happens if a Car Hits Your Parked Car?

Hopefully, the person hitting your parked car will stop and find you. If not, tracking down any video footage available of the area and/or eyewitnesses will help find the suspect. Depending on your policy, coming up short could mean that you are responsible for any cost after the insurance deductible. There are different types of policies, so check with your agent. Also, the same as when you are at fault, call the police and take photos.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Represent Those Injured in Collisions

If you have been injured in a collision, speaking with a competent attorney is always best practice. For experienced legal help regarding a parked car accident, speak with one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Call us at 215-569-9100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.