What to Do if Someone Hits Your Parked Car?

Every time you take your car out, you look forward to having a nice drive and finishing the work you are going for. If you are not out for a long drive, you would most likely have to park your car somewhere to do your work. Imagine a situation where you come back to your parked car to find it damaged. Let’s say, you parked your car outside a supermarket with several other vehicles and came back to see a big dent on its bumper. It would be nothing less than a heartbreak to see your car damaged out of nowhere.

Finding your parked car damaged is the last thing you would expect when you leave it in the parking lot. If the luck is on your side, you may find a note from the person who accidentally hit your car providing his/ her contact details. Even the security cameras in the parking lot or nearby areas may give a clue of the car that damaged your four wheeler. Otherwise, finding the person at fault may get very difficult.

What Happens During Parked Car Accidents?

In case someone has hit your car while it was parked somewhere, one of the following scenarios may occur:

  • Scenario 1

    A vehicle accidentally hits your car in the parking lot and its driver either waits for you or leaves his/ her contact details on your car. This indicates that the driver at fault is ready to cooperate with you and cover your damages.

    In this case, the process of getting your car damages covered can be very simple. You just have to get in touch with the person who caused the accident and file a third party claim under that person’s motor insurance.

  • Scenario 2

    A vehicle hits your car while it was parked and its driver runs away from the accident spot without leaving his/ her contact details for you to get in touch. Such a scenario is mostly referred to as a hit and run accident.

    In this case, it can be difficult to find the driver at fault and get him/ her to pay for the damages caused to your car. In case you manage to find the offender, you can get him/ her to pay for your car’s damages by filing a third party car insurance claim against him/ her. But if you are unable to find that person, you will have to get your car repaired on your own.

What Should You Do if Someone Hits Your Parked Car?

If a vehicle mistakenly hits your car while it was standing in the parking lot, ideally, the driver of that vehicle should pay for the damages caused to your four wheeler. The driver at fault should leave his/ her contact details for you to get in touch. But often, that’s not the case. You may find no note from the person responsible for damaging your car and you may stand there scratching your head while wondering want to do next.

Well! The first thing that you should do in case of a parked car accident is to try to remain calm and alert. Now, take a look at what you should do if your parked car has been damaged:

  • Note the Offender’s Details

    If you find your car damaged in the parking lot and a note with the offender’s details waiting for you, you should store that paper safely. You will need to get in touch with the person at fault to get your car repaired. In case you see the vehicle that damaged your parked car fleeing the accident spot, you should note down that vehicle’s registration number and its model instead of chasing the vehicle. This will help to file a police complaint against the offender.

  • Find Witness to the Accident

    If you did not see the vehicle damaging your car or find a note left by the offender, you should look for witnesses to the accident. Try to find the people who were present at the accident spot and had seen your car getting damaged. When you find any witnesses, ask them for about the description or details of the vehicle that damaged your car. Also, check if the witnesses are willing to testify against the offender. In case they do, don’t forget to take their contact details.

  • Call the Police and File an FIR

    As soon as you see your parked car damaged, immediately call the police and report the incident. You will also need to file an FIR or First Information Report with the Police. Once the FIR has been registered, the Police will begin the investigation and might find the driver who damaged your car and fled. Besides, most motor insurance providers require policyholders to submit the copy of the Police FIR to raise a third party car insurance claim. So you might need to submit the FIR copy to the offender’s insurance provider.

  • Inform Your Car Insurer About the Accident

    Besides calling the police, you should also notify your car insurance provider about your parked car accident at the earliest. Once you inform your motor insurance company, you will be able to raise a car insurance claim to get the damages of your car covered. If your insurer needs your car to be inspected at the site, wait for the surveyor to come and do not move your vehicle from the accident spot. Once the survey has been done, you can take your car to a network or non-network garage for repairs.

  • Look for Any Security Cameras

    If you find your parked car damaged, check for any security cameras that may have captured the accident. Most markets and mall parking lots have security cameras, which may help you to find the details of the car that hit yours. If it is a parking space without any security cameras, look for any shops or residences nearby with security cameras that may have recorded the incident. If you do find the accident recorded in a security camera, take a copy of the footage.

  • Take Photographs of the Accident Spot and Your Damaged Car

    No matter how much in a hurry you may be in, do not forget to take pictures of the accident spot as well as your damaged car. The pictures will act as evidence of the accident and the damages caused to your car. These pictures will help you to get your claim approved by your motor insurance company and will also aid in the police investigation.

How to Get Your Parked Car Damages Covered?

There are two ways of getting your parked car damages covered. You can either get the offender to pay for the damages by filing a third party car insurance claim or raise an own damage claim with your insurer.

  • Third Party Car Insurance Claim

    As you may already know, a third party car insurance policy is designed to cover all third party accidental liabilities of the policyholder caused by his/ her car. Therefore, the person who hit his/ her vehicle to yours will be legally bound to pay for the damages caused by your car. All you need to do is file a third party accidental claim against the offender, whose motor insurance company will pay compensation on his/ her. Of course! A third party car insurance claim is only possible if you are aware of the person who damaged your parked car.

  • Own Damage Car Insurance Claim

    In case you could not find the person responsible for damaging your parked car, you can still get the damages covered under your car insurance policy, provided you have own damage cover. An own damage cover provides coverage for any accidental loss or damages caused to your car along with fire damages, theft and damages arising out of manmade and natural calamities. However, own damage cover is not mandatory in India, unlike the 3rd party car insurance. Therefore, you need to have a comprehensive car insurance policy to get your motor insurance company to pay for the repair of your car.

How to Raise a Claim for Parked Car Accidents?

To raise a claim for a parked car accident under your comprehensive car insurance, you need to first inform your motor insurance company about the accident. Make sure to intimate your insurer as soon as possible. Your insurer may send a surveyor to inspect the damages to the car after which you can send the vehicle for repair at a network or non-network garage of your insurer. You will also have to submit all the required documents to your motor insurance company to get your claim approved.

In case you send your car for repair at a network garage, your repair bill will be paid by your insurer on a cashless basis. On the other hand, if you send your car for repair at a non-network garage, you will have to pay the bill on your own and file a reimbursement claim with your insurer later.

In a Nutshell

Parked accidents are for real and happen quite often. It is better to stay prepared for any adverse situation than to get the shock of your life on seeing your car damaged in the parking lot. Since you cannot predict if you will be able to find the offender who hit your car, it is better to buy a comprehensive policy instead of third party car insurance so that your motor insurance company can cover the damages.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 05 October 2020
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