Whenever cars are packed tightly together, human error is bound to lead to mistakes. Because of this, parking lot accidents happen every day, but it isn’t always clear what to do when you come back from shopping to find that someone hit your car and left. With the potential for expensive repairs for any damage to your car, this can be a nerve wracking and stressful discovery.
The most important thing to do is always to stay calm. Look around to make sure that the car who hit you is not still in the parking lot. It is possible that the driver will be looking for you in order to give you their insurance information. If you cannot find them, check your car to see if they left a note with contact information on it. Unfortunately, many people will simply drive away after striking a parked car, and there may be no immediate way to find them.
It is important to take detailed pictures of the damage to your car, which is easy to do now that we are in an age where everyone has a camera on the smartphone in their pocket. These pictures will be used later to show the damage to the insurance company.
It is usually a good idea to call the police. When the police arrive, they will also document the damage and will produce a police report which will also be useful when dealing with the insurance company. The police will also be able to review any security cameras in the parking lot to see if the culprit can be tracked down. Driving away after striking a parked car is, after all, a crime.
If the culprit cannot be found, then you will be forced to contact your own insurance company in order to repair the damage to your car. However, before accepting any settlement from an insurance company, you should always contact a skilled car accident attorney to make sure that you are receiving a fair deal. Insurance companies are not in the business of giving you money, but rather of taking your money. For that reason, an insurance company will often try to settle for as little as they will get away with. If you don’t have an attorney making sure that you get every dime you deserve, the insurance company will often times abuse that. So take the headache out of insurance negotiations, and allow an experienced professional to protect you.