My car was hit while parked on street -Do I need a car accident attorney?
According to car accident statistics in the USA, more than 7.3 million auto accidents occur yearly. Statistics also show that parked car accidents account for at least 20% of the crashes reported to the police. Doing simple maths reveals that there is nearly 1 parked car crash in every 5 reported car accidents.
Though parked car accidents may seem rare and uncommon to you, Data in the USA has shown that parked car accident causes more than 60,000 personal injuries and at least 500 deaths yearly.
We all know that, a person who suffers losses or personal injuries due to the negligence of another party, is supposed to be compensated with medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and many other damages.
Now the question remains, do you really need a car accident lawyer to help you negotiate a maximum settlement from the person that hit your car parked on the street? When should you hire a car accident lawyer and when shouldn’t you? What about if you chose to handle things your own way?
Anyway, If your car was struck while it was parked on the street, take pictures of the damage and ask the other driver for their contact information and insurance information. Inform your insurance provider about the occurrence.
Wanna really find out what to do if someone hit your car while parked on the street now, alright, let’s go now.
SOMEONE HIT YOUR PARKED CAR – NOW WHAT?
Getting into any car accident is a nerve-wracking situation even though you sustained no injuries. You may be worried about what to do thereafter because there seem many options, some legit but others unnecessary.
Car accidents are usually associated with property damages, personal injuries, emotional distress, rubbing shoulders with authorities like police, getting into conflicting negotiations with insurance companies, lawsuits, and juggling your routine.
If the person that hit your parked car left the accident scene without stopping to share his contact information, nor leaving behind any note, such a driver commits a hit and run.
Hit and runs are serious crimes and are heavily punished by law. Such a person, if caught will be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the gravity of the losses he/she caused.
On the other hand, the driver commits no hit and run offense if he/she left a note that bears his name, address location, car license plate number, insurance company, and insurance policy number.
What to do when someone hits your parked car?
Whether someone hits your parked car or you are involved in any car crash, there are specific important steps you should follow in order not to be on the err side of the law or to smoothen the process of getting compensated later from the at-fault party or insurance company.
Please, follow the following steps if someone hit your parked car. These steps are the same you should follow after getting involved in a car accident. These steps are:
1. Ensure you are safe. In any car accident, the priority remains your safety and the safety of the parties involved. If you are injured, arrange to go to the hospital right away. If any person is injured, the law requires you to help, or else you will be charged with a hit and run.
2. Call the police. I have seen people fight at the accident scene or heated arguments between the parties, each blaming the other for the accident. Invited police will complete a police car accident report, provide security of the property and help in solving liability issues.
The car accident report bears all the facts and opinions of the car accident. This crash report will be of great importance later if you intend to file a car accident lawsuit, or when you file your settlement claim through any insurance company.
3. Gather evidence. From my personal research, at least 95% of car accident cases are settled before going to trial. This very data implies that lots of car accident settlements are done by car insurance companies.
To successfully pursue any car accident settlement process, you need a concrete piece of evidence. This is the reason you will need to take pictures of the personal injuries and car damages, photos of the license plate number, eyewitness statements, car accident footage, and others.
4. Call the insurance company. Many insurance companies require that their clients inform them about the car crash within 24 hours, or within 30 days in case the person sustained major injuries and so it was impossible to contact them in town.
Delay to inform the insurance company could lead to delayed claim processing, you may be accused of fraud, or your claim may be denied because you already lost the evidence.
5. Hire a car accident attorney or a personal injury lawyer. Though few cases of car accident claim settlements are handled out of court, almost all 5% of the cases that go to trial need the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
Hiring a car accident attorney helps in negotiating for a maximum settlement and relieves you of the hassle of negotiating with tough and tricky insurance adjusters. But, do not hire an accident attorney if your settlement amount will likely be below $10,000.
Someone hit my parked car and left- what you should do?
Someone who hits your parked car and left commits a hit-and-run crime unless the person left a note bearing all the necessary pieces of information as I already explained earlier in this article.
What you should do is simple. Follow the steps I explained in the last section above. Ask bystanders if any person saw anything to do with the accident.
You can also look for any security camera around the accident scene. If your car was parked in a garage or on a busy street, there is a chance it could have been captured by a nearby camera. Go hunt for footage.
All the pieces of evidence you gathered should be handed to the police to aid the investigation. Sadly, only 10% of hits and runs are solved by police.
If the police can not find the other driver, your only option is to file a compensation claim through your own insurance company. You should get compensated only if you carry collision insurance coverage and or, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
What happens when someone hit my car and I left the scene?
Someone who hits your car but leaves a note commits no hit and run unless the note bears unsatisfactory information.
In such a scenario, go through all the steps a person follows after a car accident. Use the note left behind to contact the driver and his/her insurance company and kick-start your claim process.
Going through a non-own insurance company is even tough and expect a rough ride. I highly recommend hiring a car accident lawyer if there is a huge amount of money to be claimed as a settlement.
What to do if my car was hit while parked at work?
You parked your car in the parking area of your workplace and headed to your office or table. A few hours later, you are astonished to find that someone hit your car. What do you do?
First of all, do not move your car. Take photos of the damage, search to see if any security camera captured the incident, and ask workmates if any saw the person that hit your car.
Go on and contact police to come to the scene and complete a car accident crash report and contact your insurance company right away.
Someone hit my parked car whose insurance do I call?
Whose insurance you should call after someone hit your parked car depends on the circumstances of the accident, damages, or injuries sustained.
There are several sources of compensation you could try after any car accident. Possible sources of compensation after a car accident are;
- From the at-fault driver or his insurance company.
- Employer of the at-fault driver
- The owner of the car if he/she is different from the driver
- Your own insurance company, etc.
From the above list, it is very clear whose insurance company you should call after someone hit your parked car. To be precise, make sure you call and inform your own insurance company as well as the insurance company covering the at-fault driver.
What do I do if someone hit my parked car at night?
You left your car parked in the lot and headed to the next restaurant for your dinner. Halfway through your meal, someone informs you of the accident involving your parked car. what should you do?
In my own opinion, the following are steps you should follow if someone hit your parked car at night.
- Do not move your car or leave the car accident scene.
- Locate the person that crashed your car and exchange information.
- If the driver left a note, use the information to contact the driver
- Inform authorities (police) and invite them to compile a car accident cash report.
- Gather all necessary pieces of evidence in preparation for possible lawsuits or compensation settlement claims.
- Consider seeking legal advice if there are significant damages that warrant large sums of settlement.
My car was hit while parked will my insurance go up?
Whether your insurance rates go up or not depends on the circumstances of the car accident. For example;
Your insurance rates should go up if you are partly to blame for the accident. For example, wrong parking implies you partly contributed to the occurrence of the accident.
Some insurance companies simply raise your rate as long as you filed a claim, or if someone else files a claim against your coverage. They do not care if you are at fault or not.
Contrary to the above, some insurance companies are so good to their customers and will only raise the rates only if their clients caused the accident.
In connection to the above, I know companies who will not give you a raise if it’s your first time causing an accident. You will only get a raise only if you are causing a subsequent car crash.
So, as you can see guys, having your insurance rates raised depends on many factors. I recommend you find out from your insurance broker or agent to get first-hand information.
What happens if someone hit my parked car and I didn’t call the police?
If someone hits your parked car and you didn’t call the police, it’s still important to document the incident as thoroughly as possible-I already explained this, right?
You need to take photos of the damage to both vehicles, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, and get any eyewitness information.
Having a police report can be helpful in your claims process, but it’s not always necessary. However, in some states, there is a requirement to report the accident to the police if there is property damage or injury. If you’re unsure whether you need to file a report, it’s a good idea to check your state’s specific car accident laws.
Even if you don’t call the police, it’s still important to report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible, so they can help you navigate the process of getting your vehicle repaired and get any medical expenses covered, if applicable.
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE HITS YOUR PARKED CAR AND LEAVES A NOTE?
As I already said, the person commits no hit and run if he/she leaves a note bearing all the necessary information.
But, if there are injuries involved but the driver left the note but did not offer help to the injured, that driver will still have committed a hit and run and so deserves hit and run penalties.
In such scenarios, go ahead and collect as much as evidence just as I already explained in the steps you should follow after a car accident. Use the information in the note to contact the driver and his insurance company.
Hand over the note to the police you invited to complete the car accident crash report and if there are significant damages, think about seeking the advice of an experienced car accident attorney. Remember, seeking legal advice does not imply hiring one!
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE HITS YOUR PARKED CAR AND DOESN’T LEAVE A NOTE
Someone commits a traffic offense (hit and run) if he/she hits your parked car but leaves no note. Please go through all the steps a person should follow after a car crash.
But as I already said, your chances of finding the hit-and-run offender are very low since only 5-10% of cases of hit and run drivers are caught by police.
In that case, be ready to file your compensation claim through your own insurance company. Since you have no good evidence, there is a likelihood of having your claim denied by your own insurance company. This is the reason you should think about hiring a personal injury attorney.
Do I need a car accident attorney if my car was hit while parked on street? If your parked car was hit on the street, it’s important to document the event and exchange information with the other driver.
Whether or not you need to call the police depends on your state’s specific laws. In any case, it’s important to report the incident to your insurance company to start the claims process.
Your decision to hire a car accident attorney is a personal one and it should be based on your individual circumstances.
Here is an example. the damage is minor and both parties can reach an agreement, you may not need an attorney.
However, if the other driver was at fault and you’re looking to receive compensation, your attorney can help you navigate the claims process and negotiate with the insurance company. If you’re unsure what the best course of action is, then it’s a good idea to consult with any car accident lawyer.