When it comes to events that can just completely ruin a person’s day, there are few things more frustrating than returning to your parked car only to find it’s been hit by a vehicle that is now nowhere in sight.
Unfortunately, the discovery itself might just be the beginning of your problems.
Seeking compensation for a parking lot hit-and-run accident can be difficult. You likely will need to make a claim through your own insurance. However, if your insurer refuses to offer the coverage you need, you may wish to seek the assistance of a car accident attorney.
Today, your determined Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, will demonstrate what you should do in case your parked car gets hit and the party at fault flees the scene.
What To Do If Someone Hits Your Parked Car
Unlike most car crashes, parking lot accidents don’t actually involve direct danger to the vehicle owner. While it may be harder to determine who was responsible for the damage, the lack of physical injuries to the victim is a thick silver lining.
Still, knowing what to do can be rather difficult. If you ever discover your vehicle has been hit while parked, it is best to take the following steps:
- Call the Police — Even though the other party isn’t present, you will still need a police report documenting the incident. You will need this report to file a claim with your insurer, so be sure to verify that the information is accurate and request a copy of the report for your own files.
- Gather Evidence — Just like after a normal car accident, you will need to gather as much evidence as possible to document the incident. This includes pictures, notes on landmarks and signage in the area, any other damage visible on the scene, and any other information which you think may be relevant. You may also wish to take notes on any information you can remember regarding the incident.
- Speak to a Car Accident Attorney — Before speaking to your insurance company, you may want to consider consulting with an experienced car accident attorney. While you may not need representation, an attorney can help you figure out the best language to use with your insurer in order to protect your rights to compensation.
- Notify Your Insurance Adjuster — You will need to notify your insurance company about the incident. The coverage available to you after a parked-car accident may vary; different insurance companies have different procedures for processing claims. However, if you feel the coverage you were offered is insufficient, it may be in your best interest to speak to an attorney.
Who Covers My Damages?
Often, parked-car accidents in which the at-fault party fled the scene are classified as hit-and-runs by both insurance companies and the legal system. With that, the claim is treated the same as if the at-fault driver was uninsured. Not all insurance policies provide compensation in these cases, but you may qualify if you have one of the following types of coverage:
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage — This coverage may ensure compensation for parked hit-and-runs, but it is an optional type of protection that isn’t given in every state.
- Collision Coverage — Collision coverage is the general coverage where you would make a claim for any other car accident. This coverage may still be available even if you don’t know who the at-fault driver was.
Car Accident Attorneys for All of Your Auto-Justice Needs
While lawyers often get a bad rap due to their Hollywood reputation, the truth is that most lawyers are in the business of helping their clients seek justice and protect their rights. Unfortunately, due to that notoriety, some car accident victims fail to seek the representation they need.
After a minor car accident, you may be able to seek the compensation you need on your own. However, if you’ve been involved in a complex, serious, or deadly car accident, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an honest and experienced car accident attorney at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC.