Car accidents can happen in many different ways, and one common scenario is when a moving car collides with a parked car. This type of accident can be frustrating and confusing, especially if the owner of the parked car is not present. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 145,000 crashes involving a motor vehicle colliding with a parked vehicle in the United States in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. This equates to an average of approximately 400 collisions with parked cars per day in the U.S. While not all of these accidents result in significant damage or injury, they can still be costly and time-consuming for those involved. It’s important for drivers to remain vigilant and take precautions to avoid colliding with parked cars, such as driving at a safe speed and being aware of their surroundings.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re in an accident with a parked car.
The first step is to remain calm and stay at the scene of the accident. If you hit a parked car and the owner is not present, you should make a reasonable effort to find the owner. This may include leaving a note with your contact information on the windshield of the parked car or asking nearby businesses if they know the owner of the vehicle. If you are unable to locate the owner, you should contact the police and report the accident.
When the police arrive, they will gather information and create an accident report. This report will be important for insurance purposes and can help determine who is at fault for the accident. In most cases, the driver of the moving car will be found at fault for colliding with the parked car, unless there is evidence to suggest that the parked car was illegally parked or had mechanical issues that contributed to the accident.
If you have collision coverage on your insurance policy, your insurance company will cover the cost of repairing the damages to both your car and the parked car, up to your policy limits. However, you will be responsible for paying your deductible before your insurance company covers the rest of the cost. If the damages to the parked car exceed your policy limits, you may be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket.
If you are found to be at fault for the accident, the owner of the parked car may also choose to file a lawsuit against you to recover any damages or injuries that resulted from the accident. This could include the cost of repairs, medical bills, and any other related expenses. In this case, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney who can help protect your rights and defend you in court. A seasoned car accident attorney can help your case in many ways, including:
Gathering evidence: An attorney can help collect and preserve evidence related to the accident, including police reports, witness statements, medical records, and any available video footage. This evidence can be used to build a strong case in your favor.
Investigating the accident: An attorney can conduct their own investigation of the accident to determine who was at fault and identify any contributing factors, such as road conditions or vehicle defects.
Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies are often more interested in protecting their own bottom line than fairly compensating accident victims. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Calculating damages: An attorney can help calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. They can also take into account future costs, such as ongoing medical treatment or lost earning potential.
Representing you in court: If your case goes to trial, an attorney can represent you in court and present your case to a judge or jury. They can argue on your behalf and help ensure that you receive a fair outcome.
As the owner of the parked car struck by another vehicle, hiring a car accident attorney can greatly increase your chances of winning your case and receiving fair compensation for your damages. They can help guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and ensure that you are fully compensated for your losses.
In conclusion, being in an accident with a parked car can be a stressful and confusing experience. If you are found to be at fault for the accident, you may be responsible for paying for the damages to both cars and any related expenses, including a potential lawsuit. It’s important to seek the advice of a qualified and experienced car crash attorney if you’re facing legal action, or plan to embark upon it.