Parking lots are one of the most common places for accidents. Though these collisions are often at low speeds and lead to minor damages, like scratches and dents, they can also be very serious and expensive disasters.
Many drivers trivialize the damage done in parking lot collisions, and drive away from the scene to avoid getting in any trouble. This can often make the most stressful part of a parking lot accident finding who is responsible. To be clear, striking a parked vehicle with your car and driving away without leaving a note or any other way to find you is a crime. If you find yourself in a situation where you have hit a parked car, the best practice is to take pictures and call the police to report the accident. At the least, you must leave a note with your address, name, phone number and insurance information. Doing this will save you a grave deal of legal trouble in the long run.
If you return to your parked car to find it damaged without a clear culprit, the first step is again to call the police. If the person responsible cannot be found, you will have to rely on your own insurance to fix the damage. Most insurance companies will deny your claim unless there is a filed police report that the accident occurred.
In a moving collision, the same rules apply as on the road. After the accident, you have an obligation to check to make sure that no one is injured in the other car, provide your information to the other driver, call the police and stay until they arrive. Failing to do any of this is also a crime and can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction if there are serious injuries.
Once you have a police report, contact your insurance company and give them your side of the story. Insurance companies settle claims based off the information they have, so it important to give as many details as you can. You should also consult with an experienced car accident attorney Dekalb County GA trusts. An insurance company’s goal is to pay you the least they can, and negotiations with insurance companies can be tricky and time consuming. Without the help of an experienced attorney, you can frequently find yourself facing seemingly endless delays and receiving significantly less from an insurance company than you need to pay for the damage.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into parking lot accidents.