If you're looking for what to do if you hit a parked car, follow these simple steps:
- Step #1: stay calm
- Step #2: do not leave the scene
- Step #3: leave a note if the owner doesn't appear
- Step #4: document the situation
- Step #5: check if you see any witnesses
- Step #6: consult the police
- Step #7: gets help
Getting involved in a car accident is very common during the lifetime of your car. However, there is a unique situation where you probably backed up very quickly and slammed into other people's car parking behind you. The vehicle owner is not here, and the damage is unclear; what do you do?
This article provides a step-by-step process on what to do if you hit a parked car. It is critical that you follow these steps carefully because there are many mistakes that c could be made that could lead to some legal issues.
What to do if you hit a parked car?
Getting involved in an accident and hitting another car can be very stressful. However, what's more, stressful is dealing with the complications that have to do with the legal component of it.
A very common situation happens when you hit somebody else's parked car, and no one is in the car. In that case, you might get very nervous and only know what to do once someone shows up.
You, as a driver, must familiarize yourself with these different situations before they even happen and not wait until the last minute you hit the car. Therefore, the following list helps you understand what to do if you hit a parked car.
· Step #1: stay calm
Hitting another car is a very stressful situation, and the first thing you have to do is to stay as calm as possible. If you get nervous, you'll do the wrong action, and you might even get to a point to start thinking of leaving the scene and not taking any notes, especially if the accident is not that major. However, that's a huge mistake!
Therefore, by understanding that the situation is not going to evolve and everything's going to be handled, you'll be able to understand that you need to stay as calm as possible so you don't take the wrong actions.
· Step #2: do not leave the scene
As we indicated before, many people think that the safest and easiest thing to do when hitting a parked car is to leave the scene. However, as we indicated, it is an extremely wrong decision!
If it happened and you hit someone else's car, whether there are witnesses or not, you shouldn't leave the scene. There are some steps that you must follow, and leaving the scene will make things more complicated.
Did you know that if you leave the scene and someone else was able to figure out that you hit the car, you can deal with very complicated legal issues that could get you into situations that you never want to be in?
Therefore, while dealing with the situation can be very stressful, do not leave the scene if you hit someone else's car without any witnesses.
· Step #3: leave a note if the owner doesn't appear
Remember that you cannot wait forever until someone else comes or until the owner shows up if you hit a parked car. Therefore, experts mentioned that if waiting for the other person is lengthy, you can leave the scene, but you must do a couple of things before you leave.
You need to leave a note in a precise location showing the other person that you hit his car when he's not here. In this note, you need to include detailed information about yourself, including your name, contact information, insurance policy, and a summary explaining what happened and how you hit the parked car.
This step helps you get in touch with the person when he's back. By not providing this information, the owner might look for some other evidence that could figure out who hit his car. For example, he might rely on security cameras and other resources to help determine that you hit the vehicle. You can deal with complicated legal issues if that happens without you providing your information.
· Step #4: document the situation
Once you put the notes, the other thing to do before leaving is to take photos and document the situation carefully. When you're in a situation, it's the best time to describe what happened because you might need to remember exactly the details after a day or two.
For example, suppose you've been parking or trying to back up and hit the vehicle from one side. In that case, you need to document that because if the other person wanted to take advantage of you, he could also mention that you hit multiple locations. You caused some other damages that you're not responsible for.
Another thing to do is take photos documenting what happened to the vehicle. You must take good photos of all the impacted and the non-impacted areas. In other words, you want to show if the vehicle is in good condition from the other side because this proves that you're not responsible for any further damages that could happen to the vehicle after this situation.
· Step #5: check if you see any witnesses
This could be taken to your advantage if you can see others witnessing the situation. In other words, if you could convince these people to become witnesses in your case, you can talk to them and get the information, including their names and phone numbers.
In some instances, only some people are willing to be a witness in your case, and that should be fine, but it's worth a try and talking to them. You'll see that people are very nice, and they'll be able to help you through your case, especially if you didn't cause any major damage to the vehicle.
· Step #6: consult the police
You have to report this situation, whether a major or minor collision. A good thing to do at this point is to consult the police and indicate what happened exactly. You also need to file a report describing detailed information about what happened and what impacts resulted from the collision.
Having a copy of the police report or a report number helps you keep track of the situation and not be responsible for any other things that could happen to the vehicle after the scene.
· Step #7: gets help
When you hit somebody else's car, you might have some damage in your vehicle. For example, these damages might not be severe, but in other situations, they could be severe to the point that you can't drive your car.
If that's the case, we recommend you get in touch with some help. You can start with roadside assistance if you have that luxury in your vehicle, but you can also reach family members or friends who can help you and who are living nearby.
Remember that if you go with an online request for roadside assistance not included in your policy, you have to understand what and how much it will cost you for this service. Many people might underestimate the cost of roadside assistance, especially if you're in an emergency where some companies might take advantage of you.
What to do if someone hits your parked car?
It's common to deal with the opposite situation where somebody else hits your parked car. In that situation, you need to follow these recommendations:
- If the driver did not leave the scene, he made the right decision, and you can discuss what happened exactly and exchange your information
- Take a look at your vehicle and understand the level of damage that happened from the collision
- Take photos of your vehicle and other persons vehicles to ensure that everything is documented carefully so things don't change in the future once you meet in a court
- Get the witness’s information if they're willing to support in this case, especially if the collision resulted in significant damages
- Wait for the police to arrive and ensure that you fill out the report and get detailed information about the person who hit your vehicle
- Reach out for assistance if your vehicle is not drivable
Keep in mind that in some instances, lots of people might leave the scene without providing their detailed information. In that case, you still need to take photos, and you still need to report the situation to the police.
The police can provide you with recommendations about exactly what you can do. For example, he might ask you to consult the location where you parked to get details about any information regarding who hit your vehicle.
If you can find some witnesses who are willing to provide some details about what they've seen, that could be a plus. However, as we indicated before, you must remember that only some people are willing to get involved in these situations, especially since it will take effort and time.
You can also consult the location where you're parked to see if any security cameras could help you identify the person who hit your vehicle. You then need to report the situation to your insurance company and understand whether the insurance covers any potential damages that happen due to this situation.
Suppose you feel that the incident resulted in significant problems in your vehicle. In that case, you should consult an attorney and see what needs to be done to identify the potential person and have him take care of the repairs. This will involve some costs that you need to consider, especially if your vehicle is relatively inexpensive.
What to do if I hit a parked car? Final thoughts
This article provides a step-by-step process to help you answer the question of what to do if you hit a parked car.
As we indicated in this process, the first thing you need to do is to stay as calm as possible, wait for the owner to come, leave a note if the owner takes a long time and never shows up, report the incident to the police, take some photos and collect some witnesses, and finally request Some help if your vehicle got damaged.
Unfortunately, car accidents can lead to lots of damage, and in some instances, they might impact the vehicle value significantly. Therefore, before you invest in repairing this car, you need to evaluate the situation and check whether it's worth fixing the vehicle or not.
If you get to the point where it's not worth fixing your car, you want to sell it to somebody. However, when the vehicle is damaged or has problems, it'll be challenging to convince private buyers to pick up your car.
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