Can You Sue Someone for Hitting Your Parked Car?
Car accidents can happen anytime and anyplace, and often it feels as though they happen when one least expects it.
However, the worst car accidents to happen are the ones that occur when the car is parked. A parked car that someone hits can be frustrating, terrifying, and complicated.
What to do If Someone Hits Your Car?
When someone finds themselves involved in a car accident, there are a few things that can be done to protect oneself, and if there should be a car accident claim to be filed, they can provide all necessary evidence and proof.
One person may want to consider doing a few things if they find themselves involved in a vehicle accident, regardless of who hit your car or if you hit someone's car.
Regardless of whether you are at fault, it is wise to consider contacting the police. Getting the police can ensure any property damages that happened, or if there is a personal injury that needs to be recorded, the police can take down this information.
Depending on the accident’s severity, the attending police officer may warrant or recommend one file criminal charges or consult with personal injury lawyers.
The official accident report that is filed by the police may also be required by one's own insurance company when it comes time to file an insurance claim.
When the police arrive, as the person at the scene, it is essential to record the badge number and contact information. Gathering all the evidence can be helpful when claiming any property damage, dealing with an insurer, and in general, trying to recover compensation from the person who caused the accident.
In most cases, parties receive a copy of the police report; if not, having the officer’s badge can be used as a reference.
Take Down Information
Being in a car accident can come as a surprise, regardless of whether someone hits your parked car or if one is involved in a car accident while driving. During this stressful time, it is essential to take down specific information.
The way to get this information is going to vary based on the situation and circumstance; for example, it may not be easy to take down the information of the person who hit the parked car if they have left the accident scene. In this situation, one may still want to take down the information of potential witnesses.
Information that may be helpful in a car accident lawsuit, especially hit and run accidents, include:
If possible, and the person who caused the accident hasn't fled the scene, take down their driver's license. This information is going to be necessary for any insurance claims or if they are looking to recover damages and need proof of the person from which the accident resulted.
In the situation that police are on-site, they would also take down the driver’s license, as this would be part of their report.
Having a phone number is more a general information purpose; whether it's the person involved or the police, having a contact number can help with any possible legal action or claim.
The other driver who hit your parked car may have left. If that is the case, and it's a hit-and-run accident, it may be hard to take down the license plate. Nonetheless, if possible, take down the license plate, as this information can show whether or not the car belonged to someone who was an uninsured motorist.
If that is the case, the other party may find themselves in trouble. On the other hand, if the car is part of a hit and run, the license plate can be used to file an accident report when they call the police.
Record the Damages
Filing an insurance claim requires having evidence, which means if someone hits your car, and one wants the driver to pay, regardless of how low settlement it may be, having proof of the damages is beneficial.
The proof can also help determine the overall value of damages, the person at fault, or any other factors that may impact the result or cause of the accident.
Sometimes insurance wants to review the damages, and they may have a claims adjuster go over the witnesses and reports by the other driver to ensure all information makes sense and is aligned.
Seek Legal Advice
After an accident, it may be hard to know what to do. The best thing is to consult a car accident attorney. Having this attorney-client relationship means they can liaise on one's behalf with the insurance company in terms of what type of insurance coverage they have.
Seeking legal advice does not have to cost either; for Powell Law Firm, we offer a free consultation, which can help determine the next course of action. It can be as simple as consulting about whether or not is it illegal to smoke in a car with a child in Missouri.
Suppose the accident has happened, and they are looking to file a small claims court or have their insurance policy reviewed as they feel unjustly compensated with a fair settlement. In that case, they can have a free case evaluation with Powell Law Firm.
Other things to consider that you may need to do if you or someone you know has been hit include:
Seek Medical Help
If an injury is sustained when a driver hits your parked car, it is essential to seek medical help. When you call the police, an ambulance may be dispatched depending on the severity and if injuries are indicated.
Sometimes in a parked car accident, one doesn't realize they are injured until after the fact. When a driver hits your parked car, the adrenaline or shock may mask the injuries, and the person may not realize they are injured until the adrenaline and such have passed.
Contact Family or a Loved One
Next to contacting police and medical help, getting a family member would be best. They can provide the necessary support needed. One can also give their contact information to bystanders or the police to contact their loved ones to inform them of the accident.
What to do If Someone Flees the Scene of an Accident?
When a parked car is hit, leaving the scene makes it worst for the driver who caused the damages. They now may face criminal charges by fleeing the scene, and they become at fault.
In this situation, having proper legal representation to take the claim forward, not just with insurance but with the court system, is beneficial. Fleeing the scene after someone hits a vehicle is a criminal offense. If they may find themselves doing more than just paying compensation, they may be liable for causing harm if someone got injured in the accident.
How to Pick an Insurance Company for Your Case
Depending on the first call that's made, the lawyer they pick may make a recommendation for an insurance company to work with. The insurance company may also provide a free consultation or review the case before moving forward.
If the defendant is unable to pay for proper legal support or representation, the car accident case may provide consultation on a contingency fee basis.
The best option is to work with a lawyer and insurer as they can ensure one gets the proper pay or compensation an injured person deserves from the insurance claim.
Insurance Companies - What to Remember
An insurance company is going to want to have proper documentation and evidence if you have been in a car accident, especially if the claim is someone hitting your parked car.
If the case is presented to the insurance company that another driver hits your parked car, the insurer is going to want to have solid evidence and proof of actions taken, such as did you call the police, where the vehicle was hit, was information with the other driver taken, is the car insured, etc. Insurance wants to know what steps were taken and the extent of the damages from the accident. This is going to determine who is going to pay and how much.
Powell Law Firm - Your Claims Guide to Accidents and More
Working with a St Louis motor vehicle accident lawyer after being in a car accident can be beneficial to one's case, regardless of whether injuries were sustained or not.
Every individual case that comes to across the desks of Powell Law lawyers is unique, and they work to ensure that proper compensation is received. If someone hits a parked car or has been in a car accident, they work with the insurance company, and the other driver is the lawyer to ensure you get the payment you deserve.
Sometimes, it's a matter of one's insurance coverage not being paid out, or because it was a parked car accident, one may not be fully entitled to certain benefits, regardless of what a lawyer can address these concerns.
Receive compensation for your injuries, property damage, and receive the justice you deserve. A well-seasoned lawyer in the practice areas of misdemeanor charges, insurance, or in a case where it's a parked car accident can help support through the legal system.