What To Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car
December 1, 2022
If someone else’s carelessness causes damage to your parked vehicle, you may be able to collect damages from their insurance company. Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage and collision insurance may help cover repair costs if you are involved in an accident and can’t determine who was at fault or if the other driver does not have insurance.
You will be responsible for all repair costs if you cannot establish liability and do not have collision or UMPD coverage. Contact a Zanes Law car accident lawyer for legal assistance if someone strikes your parked car.
Steps You Must Take Immediately After the Collision
After you find out your parked car has been hit, there are three primary things you should do:
- Inform the police: The Insurance Information Institute states that you often need a copy of the official accident report written up after the incident to file a claim with your insurance company.
- Document the accident: You must collect as much data as possible on the incident and its aftermath. Specify where you were, what time of day it was during the accident, etc. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommends photographing the site of the accident, including any debris or tire marks, damage to your car, and any identifying landmarks or signs.
- Let your insurer know about the accident: Get in touch with your insurer as soon as you can after an accident so that you may more quickly recollect any pertinent information. Your representative will brief you on the mechanics of submitting a claim and what to expect next.
Some insurers could also provide mobile applications that let policyholders file claims and include pictures of the damage. Consult a local insurance expert about your alternatives. Remember that you’ll likely need to contact the firm’s insurance provider if you use a corporate car.
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What Happens When the Party Responsible for Your Accident Runs?
A hit-and-run collision occurs when the at-fault driver’s car leaves the scene without exchanging any identifying information. If you’re involved in a hit-and-run incident, your insurance company can consider the fleeing driver uninsured.
The severity of the penalties for hit-and-run drivers varies from state to state and may be increased in injuries or property damage cases. However, even when no one was wounded, hit-and-run events are considered crimes in places with significant property damage.
Parking Lot Accidents in Arizona
A crowded parking lot of a shopping center on Christmas Eve may be quite hazardous. Surprisingly comprehensive, Arizona’s parking lot accident law offers a helpful foundation for resolving disputes stemming from vehicle accidents in parking lots. Nonfatal accidents may nonetheless significantly affect one’s health and financial security.
Worse still, the road rules in parking lots are sometimes unclear. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s to blame in an accident and what to do next. But even so, regulations vary from one state to the next.
If you are involved in an accident in an Arizona parking lot, our lawyers at Zanes Law can help you better understand how the law addresses such incidents and advise you on what to do next. We can also provide light on the complexities involved in determining who was to blame in a parking lot collision.
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Right of Way in a Parking Lot in Arizona
Most Arizona parking lots adhere to conventional norms of right-of-way traffic:
- Vehicles traveling in primary traffic lanes are given priority. Vehicles leaving a parking spot in reverse must always give way to traffic in the main lanes.
- Don’t ignore the signs. You would be held responsible if a crash occurred because you disregarded a traffic light.
- It is your responsibility to avoid hitting parked cars. If you strike a parked automobile, you’re liable for damages unless the driver acted unlawfully.
- Damage to another car caused by opening your door is your responsibility.
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Arizona Penalties for Hitting a Parked Vehicle
You’d be held responsible for the crash unless they were parking illegally. Of course, striking a parked car may have serious legal repercussions, usually fines. If you continue driving after striking a parked car, you will face increased fines.
Leaving the scene after hitting a parked vehicle is a class 3 misdemeanor. Although a class 3 misdemeanor is the least serious offense in Arizona, it nevertheless results in a lot of needless worry and expenditure.
A category 3 misdemeanor carries a maximum 30-day prison sentence. Additionally, you can be subject to a year of probation, fines, and penalties of up to $500. Even though it’s unlikely that you’ll go to jail, you still have to pay the fine, and each of these infractions will result in 6 points added to your license.
Criminal Charges In A Hit & Run Case in Arizona
Case 1: Accident with little property damage, and the offender flees the scene
Charge: Misdemeanor Hit and Run – ARS 28-662
Vehicles must stop and remain at the scene of an accident in Arizona if no one is wounded, or they must leave as soon as it is safe. Then, drivers must exchange pertinent information with one another. Any violations of this legislation shall be considered misdemeanors of the second degree.
Case 2: Leaving the Scene after Hitting a Parked Car
Charge: Misdemeanor Hit and Run – ARS 28-664
If you strike a parked automobile, you have two options:
- Find the owner of the car and give them your information; or
- Leave a message in a visible location.
The driver must also mention the name and address of the car owner if they aren’t the vehicle owner. As a class 3 misdemeanor, breaking this law is not something to be taken lightly.
Case 3: Damage to Property Other Than a Motor Vehicle and Leaving the Scene
Charge: Misdemeanor Hit and Run – ARS 28-665
This often happens when individuals bump into mailboxes, fences, or signs. Drivers must contact the owner of property damaged on or near a road and provide contact information and vehicle identification number. If the company owner requests it, drivers must also show their ID. Any violation is now a level 3 misdemeanor under this law.
Case 4: Refusal to Exchange Contact Information at an Accident Scene
Charge: Refusal to Exchange Contact Information – ARS 28-663
Refusing or failing to communicate information with the other driver after an accident is considered a class 3 misdemeanor. Upon request, motorists must reveal their full names, addresses, vehicle identification numbers, and driver’s license numbers.
Case 5: Leaving the Scene of an Accident that Results in Injury or Death
Charge: Felony Hit and Run – ARS 28-661 – Leaving the Scene of an Accident that Results in Injury or Death.
Drivers who cause collisions that result in significant physical injury or fatalities must remain at the scene or return immediately. The motorist must provide their identification, including name, address, VIN, and driver’s license.
The driver must also provide necessary assistance regarding the injuries, help arrange a medical transfer, and call the police. Whether a hit-and-run is regarded as a crime depends on how severe the incident was.
The Role of Insurance In a Hit-and-Run Accident Case
Your auto insurance may be able to assist pay for repairs to your damaged parked vehicle, depending on the specifics of your policy’s coverages. If someone strikes your parked automobile, the following insurance policies may help:
- Collision coverage: If your car is damaged in an accident when neither you nor the other driver was at fault, this should assist cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle. If you can’t identify the other motorist, your car insurance’s collision coverage will kick in and pay for the damages.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: If an uninsured motorist or a motorist who flees the scene of an accident causes damage to your vehicle, this might assist cover the cost of repairs. However, this protection is usually extra and not mandated in any given jurisdiction.
Insurance providers could ask you to cover a deductible up front before they start paying for expenses related to the accident and uninsured motorist property damage. The amount your insurer will pay for any particular claim covered by your policy may also be subject to a limit.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney for Help
You may be in a favorable position depending on how you interpret some tort law elements. While you focus on healing, Zanes Law may conduct an investigation and get a resolution on your behalf. Contact our car accident attorneys for legal representation if someone hits your parked car.
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