Unfortunately, not every driver is careful when driving close to parked cars. If you are sitting in your parked car in a parking lot or alongside the sidewalk and another driver hits your car even if no one has been injured you should call the police immediately.
The reason why this is important is because one of the best bits of evidence when filing a claim with your insurer is an accurate police report. Depending who is to blame and whether the accident occurred in a no-fault or at fault state for insurance purposes you should get the contact details of the other driver.
You need to write your own report as well as soon as possible while the facts are still clear in your mind. You should also get the names and contact details of any witnesses who are prepared to corroborate what happened.
Another useful source of evidence is photographs taken at the scene of the accident.
Sometimes you may be lucky as there could have been a video camera installed in the area taking constant footage of events in the area. You can ask permission from the provider to view the relevant footage. As soon as you can you should contact your insurance provider.
You are sitting in your parked car, not moving. You may not even have your seatbelt on as you feel it is very unlikely that you will be hit by a car while your vehicle is parked and may not even be running. Suddenly, out of nowhere, another vehicle hits you.
You are faced with damages to your vehicle, but even more importantly, injuries that may be so severe in nature that they require ongoing medical attention and result in lost work.
The loss of wages and the mounting medical bills can lead to financial disaster. Fortunately there are some legal actions one may take to protect themselves and their financial security in such a situation.
Injuries You May Sustain When Being Hit in a Parked Car
Car accidents can cause many injuries ranging from minor bruising to severely debilitating damage. Injuries that may occur when someone is hit while a car is parked often include neck and back injuries.
In severe cases, more severe injuries may occur such as head and brain injuries, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and psychological injuries.
What Happens When a Driver Hits Your Car When You Are Parked in It
When you are parked in a car and are hit by another driver, the collision, even at slow speeds, can feel very powerful. This is because the car that hit you is in motion while your car is not.
The motion perpetuated by the vehicle that hit you then transfers to your car and results in very strong forces. Depending on the speed of the car when it hit you, the damage can be very severe due to the nature of the accident.
Damages to Your Vehicle that Could Occur
When a vehicle hits a parked car the damage to the car will depend on the speed of the moving vehicle at the time. If the driver is speeding and loses control of his/her vehicle the chances are the parked car could be totaled and if anyone was in the car at the time there could be some serious injuries too.
Other possible car damage could be any of the following:
- a minor fender bender;
- shattered windows;
- shattered windshield;
- damaged wheels and tires;
- a fender bender totally destroyed.
Whatever the damage is to your car the repairs should be included in your PI claim. You will need to get an estimate from a reliable car repairer.
How to Determine Who Was at Fault
The owner of the parked car is unlikely to be the one at fault so s/he will need to provide sufficient evidence to the at-fault driver’s insurer to prove who caused the accident. A personal injury lawyer is the best resource to use when filing a claim for compensation from the insurer of the at-fault driver.
Before contacting the lawyer, you should have all the evidence at hand to prove who caused the accident. If the accident occurred in a at-fault state then you should have the right to compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
If the accident took place in a no-fault state you will have to recover the cost of the vehicle damage from your own insurer.
As far as insurers are concerned in an at-fault state like Michigan, you should have all the evidence available to prove who caused the accident such as:
- the police report;
- eye witness’ reports;
- estimate of cost to repair your car;
- photos taken at the scene;
- diagram showing how the offending vehicle hit your car;
- video camera footage, if available;
- receipts for medical treatment so far;
- a written estimate from your physician of further medical treatment.
- value of wages lost;
- an estimate of wages lost in the future.
As soon as all the evidence has been put together your PI lawyer can negotiate on your behalf with the at-fault driver’s insurer. S/he should be able to reach a satisfactory settlement to compensate you for your financial hardship.
Does Where You Were Parked and Sitting Matter?
When a parked car is hit by a moving vehicle, the person who is hit in the parked car may wonder if it matters where the car was parked. If the car was parked legally, you have no reason for concern.
If the car was parked illegally, it may complicate matters but that does not excuse the driver of the other car from negligence if that was what caused him or her to collide with your vehicle. Where you are sitting when the car is hit does not matter.
If you suffer injury due to the actions of the other driver, it does not matter if you incurred those accidents in the front seat or the back. The negligence of the other driver was the cause of the accident, not the location or your position within the vehicle.
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Filing a Claim Against a Driver Who Hit You While Your Car Was Parked
When filing a claim against the person who hit your car while it was parked there are a few things you will need including the driver’s contact information and his or her insurance information.
You will need to call the insurance company to report the accident and file a claim. It will be important that you prove fault (and negligence if that is the case) when filing your claim or your claim may be denied.
If you were parked illegally when hit, it is important to note that the insurance company may try to fight the claim.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were hit by another car while parked, you may want to retain the services of a personal injury attorney to assist you with your claim.
It is important to remember that even if the case is clear cut and the insurance company admits fault, it is not in their best interests to pay you as much as you are possibly entitled to.
A personal injury attorney will work to ensure that you are awarded all of the damages you should receive, including damages for lost wages and pain and suffering.