8 November, 2023
Discovering that your parked car has been damaged can be a frustrating experience. Soon after the incident, you’ll likely wonder how to proceed, from assessing the damage to navigating insurance claims. While there are some universal guidelines, the steps you should take may vary slightly depending on several important factors. Whether the situation was a hit-and-run or the liable party cooperates, this guide will explain what to do in this type of situation..
The first step you should take after any vehicle accident is assessing the damage. It’s important to be thorough in this process. While dents and scratches may be apparent, accidents can often cause hidden damage that might not be immediately noticeable. A thorough inspection from a professional can reveal any problems that you might overlook.
After the incident, ensure someone checks all areas of the car, including under the hood, the tires, and the undercarriage. This assessment not only helps to have accurate information for insurance claims, but also identifies if the damage causes any safety concerns that you need to address before driving the car.
Documenting the accident scene is critical for an insurance claim, as it can help prove what happened. Take pictures from multiple angles when documenting the scene, including close-ups of visible damage. Also, make sure to capture the license plates of all vehicles involved and the surroundings. Even if the person who struck your car seems cooperative, you should still be thorough when gathering this evidence, as they could change their story later on.
Unless the incident was a hit-and-run, collecting information from the other party involved is necessary. Always get the full name and contact details of the driver, including their phone number and email address. Additionally, gather insurance and vehicle information, including the insurance company’s name and policy number and the car’s make, model, year, color, and license plate number. Jotting down notes about the conversation can also help for future reference.
After a parked car accident, getting witness information, if available, can play a major role in proving what happened. If anyone nearby saw what happened, ask for their version of the events, as well as their name and contact information, in case you need to follow-up with them. Having supporting witnesses on your side can be especially beneficial in cases where the liable driver denies hitting your car.
In most cases, surveillance footage isn’t necessary when the person who struck a parked vehicle accepts responsibility. However, surveillance footage can be a game-changer in identifying the culprit if they deny fault or if the incident was a hit-and-run. Video footage shows what happened in real time and is evidence that is hard to challenge. Nearby businesses or residences may have surveillance footage.
After any accident, you should notify the police. Contact the authorities to file an accident report and provide details, including the date, time, location, and information about the other party. The police report can be used to show the insurance company what happened and who should be responsible. Even if the damage seems minor, you should still file a report.
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