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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.

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There are 103 comments for “What Should I Do When Someone Hit My Parked Car?”
  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Julie, whether you have insurance or not doesn’t affect the other person’s liability. If they were at fault, their insurance should pay for your damages. Your case is certainly weaker because you parked in a “no parking” zone. It’s hard for us to say without knowing the area. Some “no parking” areas are because it’s not a safe place to park. The road might be narrow, or the lines of sight can be restricted. We really can’t tell in your case.

  • Shawna thinks:

    My car was parked, hit and totaled out. Called their insurance, the car was reported stolen. I lost my car and have to come out of my pocket to purchase another car. What can I do?

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Shawna,
    We’re sorry to hear about your car. That’s terrible luck! Unfortunately, the owner isn’t responsible for the damage a thief causes with their car. You could go after the thief for damages, but that doesn’t seem likely to be fruitful. If you didn’t buy collision coverage on your car, we’re afraid you have to pay to replace it. Wish we had better news.

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