If you return to your vehicle to learn that it has been scratched, it can be a stressful and upsetting time. When you realize there is damage, you need to stay on the scene and make sure an accident report is completed. Use your smartphone to take pictures of your vehicle in the parking space. These photos can be helpful to the police investigation as well as the insurance company investigation.
Check for any witnesses to the incident. Sometimes an employee of a business nearby, or someone else in the parking lot might notice an accident. Ask any witnesses to provide written statements for the accident report and include their name along with contact details.
You will need to take your vehicle to a qualified auto body shop to have a written estimate prepared for the cost of fixing the scratches. If your car was parked in a parking garage or a pay parking lot, security personnel might be able to help, or it might have been caught on video camera, which will help police track down the driver.
Contacting the Insurance Company
After you have learned that your vehicle was scratched while parked, you will need to file a claim with your auto insurance carrier if you want to get your vehicle repaired. To file a claim, you will need to have comprehensive insurance coverage. Comprehensive coverage will cover all kinds of damage, including those caused by hit and run drivers.
Your insurance company will need a copy of the accident report, copies of the photos that show where your vehicle is parked, as well as photos that show the damages your vehicle suffered up close. You will also need to provide them with a copy of the estimate for repairing your vehicle.
You will need to check your auto insurance deductible for handling a comprehensive claim. Compare that deductible to the cost of fixing your scratched vehicle. If the damages are going to cost $500 to repair, but the deductible is $1,000, you will not be paying for the repairs out of pocket anyway, so there is no need to file a claim with your insurance company.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Your property damages should be covered after someone scratches your car while parked. If you are having trouble with the insurance company, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Working on a contingency basis, personal injury lawyers do not want any cash up front. Instead, they are paid after you receive compensation for your damages through a judgment or a settlement.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page, so a local lawyer can review your case and determine the best way to proceed with your claim. A statute of limitations applies, so you need to ensure your claim is filed before the deadline. Get your claim on the right track today, so you can get your vehicle repaired if someone scratches your car while it is parked.