Believe it or not, one of the most likely times for your car to be hit is while it’s parked. Even if you are not in the car at the time, it is still considered a car accident.
It’s upsetting to find that someone has destroyed your property, but you need to remember to treat it like any other accident. That means taking photos and collecting evidence that you can use to make a claim.
Steps to Take When Someone Hits Your Car
If you’ve discovered that someone has hit your car, don’t move your vehicle. You should take photos of the damage and note the location and time of day. In some cases, someone may have left you a note with contact information, which is the proper thing to do. However, many people are left wondering who hit their car.
The next step is to contact the police and file a police report. Even if the damage is minimal, this could be considered a hit-and-run crime. Florida law requires drivers to report accidents that cause more than $500 in damages. Most of the time, it will exceed this amount, even if the damages look minor. It’s best to err on the side of caution and notify the authorities.
You’ll also need to contact your insurance company about this incident. They will need a copy of the accident report, too. Failure to notify your insurance company promptly could result in the rejection of your claim.
Who Will Pay for the Damages to Your Car?
As Florida is a no-fault state, every driver must carry the minimum amount of insurance required by law. Although it seems unfair, you will likely need to pay a deductible for your car repairs. This amount will depend on what is specified in your auto insurance policy.
If the party who hit your car is found liable, you may be able to file a lawsuit against their insurance company for the repair costs. However, this may be a challenge if the other driver left the scene without leaving contact information or filing a report of their own.
You can check with the local businesses where you were parked and see if they have security cameras. These may contain recorded footage of the accident and reveal information about who hit your car.
A car accident lawyer in Fort Walton Beach can guide you on how to handle a hit-and-run case. It is considered a hit-and-run to hit a parked car and leave, even if the damage to that parked car is minor. The state of Florida can impose a $500 fine, second-degree misdemeanor charges, confiscation of a driver’s license, and up to 60 days in jail for anyone who commits this crime.
While it may be frustrating to discover your car has suffered damages while parked, you can speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to find out what steps to take next. Since most offer a free initial consultation, you can discuss your case and see if they can help you obtain video footage from businesses in the area to track down the person who hit your car.