Andrew from Columbus, OH Asks – “What Happens When Your Car Is Hit When It’s Parked And You’re Not There?”
The primary issue in most car accidents is always who is liable for the damage caused, that is, which driver is at fault in the entire incident. More often than not, one driver or motorist acted negligently (not using reasonable care or caution while driving) and caused the accident, he or she is the one at fault and is liable for the other party or parties’ related damages.
The first step, as with any other accident, is to notify the authorities, and have a report made. Even if the damage is minor, it is better to file the report, just in case that minor damage should turn out to have major implications later. As soon as you realize that your car has been hit while you weren’t around, call the police. Even if the officer determines that there isn’t enough damage to warrant a report, at least you will have it on record when and where the incident happened.
Your next task is to contact your insurance company. Give them as much information as possible, including the weather conditions, the time of day (or night), and the location where your car was parked, such as alongside the road, or in a parking lot. Your insurance agent will ask you for the information they require, including what the result of the police report was.
Once this is done, the insurance company will either send you to an insurance adjuster, send one to your location, or advise you of how to get an estimate of damage. In many cases, you will be told to get multiple estimates for the repairs, while other companies will simply refer you to a repair agency that can provide them with the details that they require.
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, the damage may become your own responsibility. The best thing to do is talk about such a hypothetical situation with your agent before it happens. Find out what steps you need to take to protect your vehicle even if you are not around, and get the proper coverage. While we all hope that such an event never happens, it is much less expensive to plan ahead than to be left holding the bill when it does. Having the right kind of insurance, and the proper amount of coverage is the best protection you can have should your car get hit while you are not around.