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What If Someone Hit My Parked Car?

Our Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Provide Legal Consultations for Parked Car Accidents

Discovering that someone has hit your parked car can be a frustrating and stressful experience, especially when the damage is significant. Many people are unsure of the steps to take when this happens, but there is a process to follow to pursue compensation.

What Should I Do First If My Parked Car Is Hit?

The first step after discovering that someone has hit your parked car is to assess the damage and gather information. If the other driver is present, exchange contact and insurance details with them. If the driver has left the scene, check for a note left on your car with their information.

Document the damage with photos and write down details, like the location and time of the incident. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information as well. This documentation is essential for filing an insurance claim.

Should I Call the Police?

In many cases, it is advisable to call the police to report the accident, especially if the damage is severe or you cannot identify the responsible party. A police report can provide an official record of the incident, which may be helpful for insurance purposes.

What If the Other Driver Left the Scene?

If the driver who hit your car left without leaving their contact information, it is considered a hit-and-run. Try to gather as much evidence as possible and look for surveillance cameras in the area that might have captured the incident. After contacting the police, inform your insurance company about the hit-and-run and provide them with the police report number.

How Do I File an Insurance Claim?

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident. Your insurance adjuster will guide you through the process and inform you about the coverage available under your policy. Depending on your coverage, your insurer may pay for the repairs and pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance for reimbursement.

What Types of Coverage Can Help Me Recover Costs?

Different types of auto insurance coverage can offer compensation after someone hits your parked car. These include:

  • Collision Coverage: This pays for repairs or replacement to your vehicle caused by a collision, regardless of fault. 
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) Coverage: This helps pay for damage caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: While primarily for non-collision incidents like theft or natural disasters, some policies may offer coverage for hit-and-run damage.

Check your insurance policy to understand what coverage you have and how it applies to your situation.

Who Is Responsible for Paying for the Damage?

The responsibility for paying for the damage typically falls on the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the driver is unidentified, you may need to rely on your own insurance coverage. Your insurance adjuster will determine the best course of action based on your policy and the available evidence. 

If the at-fault driver is identified and has insurance, their insurer should cover the repair costs. If they are uninsured, you might need to use your own uninsured motorist coverage.

If you file a claim with your own insurance company, you may need to pay a deductible. That is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance covers the remaining costs. In some cases, your insurance company might be able to recover the deductible from the at-fault driver’s insurer through a process called subrogation.

Can I Sue the At-Fault Driver?

If the damage is substantial and the at-fault driver is identified but refuses to pay, you may have the option to sue them for the repair costs. A car accident attorney can explain your legal rights and the best course of action.

Our Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Provide Legal Consultations for Parked Car Accidents

If your parked car has been hit in Wilmington, Dover, Newark, or Middletown, Delaware, and you need legal guidance, the knowledgeable Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC are here to help. Submit our online form or call our Wilmington, Delaware office at 302-888-1221 for a free consultation.