Subscribe to our mailing list

Noyes, Hall & Allen Blog

What Should I Do When Someone Hit My Parked Car?

January 28th, 2011     Noyes Hall & Allen


This week alone, two of my friends’ parked cars have been hit by someone else. A responsible person would leave their contact information for the poor victim, but that doesn’t always happen. If you can’t identify who hit your car, you have little recourse but to use your own insurance.  However, if you can identify the other party, this information may be helpful.

Flickr photo by gillicious

Flickr photo by gillicious

What To Do If Someone Hits Your Car?

  • If it’s safe to do so, get the person’s name, address, phone number and insurance company information – BEFORE the police arrive!
  • Call the police if the total damage (both vehicles) appears to be more than $1,000. If there’s visible damage – even minor – it’s probably more than $1,000.
  • Give your statement to the police. Don’t admit any fault to the other driver, or argue about whose fault the accident was.
  • Report the accident to your Maine auto insurance agent.

Should I Use My Insurance or Theirs?

If the accident was clearly the other driver’s fault, try their insurance first.  Using their insurance avoids having to pay your collision deductible, allows you to keep your Maine car insurance discounts, and contains no daily limit on rental coverage. Of course, if  you’re a victim of a hit-and-run accident, you have no choice but to use your own insurance. Your local insurance agent can help you start the process.

Use their insurance if:

  • You got their insurance information at the scene, or can quickly get the police report (many police reports aren’t available for several days).
  • Their insurance company accepts responsibility quickly (within 24 hours after you contact them).
  • You did not buy collision coverage on your own policy.

The Other Company isn’t Responding After the Accident

The other insurance company will not accept responsibility for the accident until they can confirm liability. They do this in one of three ways:

  • Their insured tells them that they were clearly at fault (e.g. hit your parked car, rear-ended you at a stop light).
  • The police report says the other driver was at fault (but remember police reports may not be available for several days).
  • Based upon their discussions with you and with their insured, they determine that their insured was at fault.

If it’s taking too long for the insurance company to accept responsibility, you may want to make a claim on your own policy.  Although you’ll have to pay your collision deductible, and any auto rental expense that might be above the car rental limit you bought on your policy, at least you’ll get your car fixed, and put the accident behind you.

Will I Get My Deductible Back if My Insurance Company Collects from the Other Insurance Company?

Yes. After they collect from the other insurance company (a process called “subrogation”), your insurance company will reimburse your deductible, and wipe the accident off your record.

Who Will Help Me Deal With The Other Insurance Company?

That depends on where you bought your insurance. Technically, your claim against the other insurance company has no effect on your insurance company or your policy. If you bought your car insurance or Maine commercial vehicle insurance from an independent local Maine insurance agent like Noyes Hall & Allen, we will help you report that claim to the other company. If you bought your Maine car insurance online, you’re probably on your own.

Tags: ,

There are 20 comments for “What Should I Do When Someone Hit My Parked Car?”
  • James thinks:

    I was parked the other guy hit me now his insurance is playing around I am not able to drive the truck for work or get to school I got liability insurance and I have bills plus I have paid 200 dollars for rides to school and home from school

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    James, if someone hit your legally parked car, and they had valid insurance, they should pay for damage to your truck. They should also pay reasonable costs for your transportation while your truck is not driveable. Even though you didn’t have collision coverage on your truck, your local insurance agent might be able to help you deal with the other company. We hope you can resolve your issue soon and satisfactorily.

  • JOSE thinks:


  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Jose, it doesn’t matter whether your car was registered or insured. If your car was legally parked and someone hit it, their insurance should pay for it.

  • Angelica thinks:

    My neighbor hit my parked car in the parking lot. I got his insurance information and just waiting for them to tell us what’s going to happen. My neighbor told me he wasn’t going to park next to me and that only lasted a week! He is parking next to me again…the owner said he would fix the problem but they don’t listen to him. What should I do? I’m so stressed about it. The police say they can’t do much since its on private property!

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Angie, sorry to hear about your car being hit. Neighbor issues are always touchy. The police are correct: they don’t have any control about parking on private property. It’s really up to you, your landlord and your neighbor to work out. Once your neighbor’s insurance rates increase after his insurance company pays to fix your car, he may be more careful about parking.

  • giovanni Rodriguez thinks:

    My car was parked on the Richmond CA,two cars were involved in an accident don’t know who was at fault,one car hit the other on the side in an intersection,then as a result the car spins and hits my car in the rear. ,I filed a claim against the insurance of the person who hit the car in the fist place,but they denied my claim because they said there insures did not file any loss against her car.

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Giovanni, We’re sorry your car was hit while it was parked. The responsible driver’s insurance (if they had any) should pay for damage to your car, regardless of whether they had collision coverage on their own car. The liability portion of their policy is what pays for damage to your car.

  • kathy thinks:

    my car was parked and i was sitting in it when a landscape truck drove by and took off my mirror with a leaf blower hanging on the side of the truck.
    the driver spit at me and told me he was going to tell the police i was pulling ouT! now his insurance cmpany has said they are not paying because i was pulling out..which i was not! i was sitting there at 11:25 waiting to go into see a client at 11:30.

  • danel thinks:

    Someone backed into my wife’s car. Took it to their Progressive) they estimated about $1000.00 damage. I took it to a body shop my ins co recommended and got an estimate of over $2000.00. Progressive said they could cut me a check if I just wanted the money or I could take it to any body shop and get it fixed and they would cover the whole thing. Why would they not cut me a check for amount of my body shop estmate. Does this sound right?

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:


    The “his word against yours” cases are difficult. It’s always a good idea to call the police to an accident scene, because stories can change after the fact. If you have collision coverage on your car, your company could pay you and then go after the landscaper’s insurance company. Depending on the amount of damage, they may determine that it’s not worth pursuing.

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Danel, Some people prefer to “take the money” and not repair the damage. If Progressive told you they’d pay for the body shop to fix it, I recommend getting the work done and letting them pay the shop directly. Sometimes, the insurance company can/will negotiate a better price for the same work, which is why they prefer to pay the shop directly. As long as the work is done to your satisfaction, this should work out OK for you.

  • Joseph thinks:

    My car was parked at work. A man running from the police crashed into it. He has no insurance and all I had was liability. I am now without a car. He is ordered to pay restitution but fair market value will not buy me a car. My question is since it was on private property does my employer have to help me out at all.

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Joseph, Sorry to hear about your bad luck. Your employer really wasn’t at fault for the damage, any more than you were. We don’t see how they share any responsibility for the damage.

    If the “bad guy” is actually paying the fair market value, that’s what your insurance company would have paid if you had collision coverage. That should be enough to replace your car with a similar one. Do you think the FMV was too low, or are there just no similar vehicles available in your area?

  • jJoe thinks:

    My car was parked on private property. Some guy nailed the back of it and I had to pay for towing and a car rental while it’s being fixed. His insurance company is not reimbursing me. I’m obviously at zero fault, what am I supposed to do?

  • Rae thinks:

    A driver hit one vehicle then hit my vehicle then my vehicle was pushed into another vehicle. All vehicles that was hit was parked.. Will my insurance be liable for The vehicle my vehicle was pushed into.Thanks.

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    You should have no liability if your car was parked legally. The driver that hit you is responsible for all the damage from that point on. Another reason to pay attention to your “third number“.

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Joe, is the driver’s insurance company paying for the repairs to your car? If so, they should also pay related expenses like towing and rental. Perhaps your insurance agent can make a call to the other company on your behalf. An agent can be your advocate in cases where the other company isn’t responding.

  • robert k thinks:

    My car was parked legally in a parking lot some one hit my bumper smash my rail light screwed amogst other wire and socket damage no cameras no witnesses i came out to no info and a damaged truck what can i do short of pating for everything my self

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Sorry to hear that Robert. Unfortunately if you can’t identify the person or vehicle that hit your car, you’re going to have to either pay for it yourself or put in a claim under the collision coverage of your auto policy.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply