I Hit A Parked Car – What Do I Do Now?

In some ways, if we are driving a moving vehicle and we hit a parked car, we have a tendency to be embarrassed. After all, the parked car didn’t move and you hitting it could easily have been avoidable and preventable. Believe it or not, hitting a parked car is much more common than you think, so you are not the only “bad” driver in town.

A Parked Car Gets In Our Way!

A recent study revealed that almost 7 in 10 “hit-and-run” accidents in America involve a parked car. Should you find yourself hitting a parked car because it jumped out in your path, there are things you can do to ensure that the accident is handled properly.

The accident itself is not a crime, but fleeing the scene can put you in criminal crosshairs. Even if the car is parked, much of what you need to do is similar to you getting in an accident with another moving vehicle – it’s all about collecting information.

What to Do If You Hit a Parked Car

If the owner of the parked car is not readily available, wait by the vehicle for a period of time, and prepare a note.  It is always best to try to make direct contact with the owner when you can so you can explain everything. While you are waiting, take some photos of both vehicles, especially in the area of impact, and take photos of the license plates.

While it may be embarrassing, it is important to locate witnesses and have them put down brief statements as to what they saw, and get names and contact information. If there is significant damage to either vehicle, it would be wise to call the police and file a report of the accident.

If the owner of the parked car does not appear after a certain period of time, leave a note on the windshield with only this information – your name, contact information, your address and a brief explanation of the accident (do not go into the circumstances of the accident, just state what happened). You may leave insurance information if you like, but you are not required to do so.

Contact your insurance company and report the accident, with as much detail as possible – date, time, the location of the accident, the description and/or the license plate number of the car you hit, etc. Do not get into causes or reasons for the accident, just focus on the accident itself and what happened.

Don’t Leave Your Rights Parked

Just because you might be embarrassed by hitting a parked car, does not mean that your fault implies that you give up your rights. As long as you are forthcoming in noting the accident and you either make contact with the driver or leave a note,  your local Memphis personal-injury attorney should be by your side to consult you on your rights and responsibilities so you have a reasonable settlement of liability. Don’t put your rights in park just because you’re at fault. Contact us at Memphis Law Firm today.