Parking lots seem to be a place that you’d think you would be safe from being involved in an auto accident. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as these types of accidents typically occur as other drivers are entering or exiting the parking space(s) next to your car.
Accidents can include minor damage, i.e. from car doors as drivers enter and exit their vehicle or runaway shopping carts, or major damage, i.e. a driver miscalculating the distance they have as they are pulling into a parking spot. What do you do if you return to your vehicle to find damage? This depends on whether the other party is present.
Party Is Present
Be sure to get their full contact information including name, address, phone numbers, and any other information you feel will be necessary as well as their insurance information. You will want to verify that their insurance information is current. Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the surroundings. If there are witnesses, you will want to get their statements and contact information as well. Document everything and get copies of the police report.
Party Is Not Present
In the event that the other party is not present, there is a high likelihood that no contact information will be left. Some people may not see these types of accidents as serious, and if the damage is minor they will assume you can, “buff that right out.” So, unless someone else witnessed the accident, they may simply drive off as if nothing happened.
Just because no one is around the immediate area, does not mean that no one witnessed the accident. Take a look around to see if anyone is in the area that might have witnessed the accident. If so, get their statement and contact information. You should also check to see if there are any video cameras in the area that may have recorded the incident. Call the police to report the accident and give them as much information as you can. You will still want to document everything with pictures of the damage; as well as the surrounding areas just as you would if the other party was present. Call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible.
If you have enough insurance coverage, your car will be repaired even if the other party is never identified. Call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop to schedule an appointment to have your car repaired. We can get you back on the road again quickly and safely!