What To Do If Your Car Is Hit While Parked


WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 | 2 MIN READ

Not all car accidents involve you moving at the time. Sometimes, someone may hit your car while parked, and you may not even be present when this happens. Read on to learn what to do if your car is hit while parked and what you should do if you hit a parked car.

What To Do If Your Car Is Hit While Parked Step-By-Step

If someone hits your car while it’s parked, here’s what you should do.

Step 1: Call the police

The first step is to call the police. Your insurance may need you to have an accident report number before they move forward with a claim. Police will log a report and be able to investigate the accident if needs be.

Step 2: Exchange information with the other driver (if possible)

If the other driver stops after hitting your car, swap information with them. 

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the details you should exchange with the other driver are:

  • Full name and contact information
  • Insurance company name
  • Insurance policy number
  • Driver’s license details
  • License plate number
  • Make and model of the car

You should also get the names and contact details of any witnesses.

If the other driver doesn’t stop at the scene after hitting your parked car, speak to any potential witnesses to get as much information as possible.

Step 3: Document the accident

Hopefully, someone nearby has security cameras that caught the accident, but you’ll still want to ensure you have all the details. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommends taking pictures of any damage. They also suggest photographing the other driver’s license plate. You may be asked to share photographs with your insurance company to help progress a claim.

Recording the police officers’ names and badge numbers may also be beneficial. You should also ask them how to get a copy of the accident report as you may need it for your insurance.

Keeping notes of everything will make it easier for you to remember all the details later down the line.

Step 4: Notify your insurance company

Finally, let your insurance company know your car has been hit while parked. They will likely ask you for the accident report and any supporting evidence you have. This may include witnesses or photographs.

What To Do If Your Car Is Hit While Parked and There’s No Note

Unfortunately, you may sometimes come back to your parked car and see someone has hit it. They may not have stuck around or left their contact details. Read on to find out what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

What do you do if someone hits your parked car and leaves?

If someone hits your parked car and leaves, you should do a few things:

  1. First, you should call the police to report the incident. Ask for the accident report details so you can provide this to your insurance company.
  2. Next, you should call upon people working in local shops who may have seen the accident happen. They may be able to provide more details, such as the make and model of the car that hit yours. This can help locate the driver.
  3. Then, take as many pictures of the damage as possible.
  4. Finally, contact your insurance company to find out what your options are from here.

Does your insurance cover your car if there’s a hit-and-run accident?

This depends on what type of insurance you have. If you have liability-only insurance, you may be out of luck. If you have collision coverage, this should cover your expenses.

Do you have to pay for repairs if it’s a hit-and-run?

You may have to pay a deductible if you file a claim through your collision coverage. The amount varies depending on what is in your policy.

What Should You Do If You Hit a Parked Car?

If you hit a parked car, follow these steps.

Step 1: Don’t leave the scene

Never leave the scene of an accident, no matter how minor it may seem. Leaving the scene of an accident can cause the situation to turn into a hit-and-run. Hit and runs may be punishable with jail time. Stop somewhere safe to do so and return to the car you hit.

Step 2: Wait to see if the person returns to their car

You’ll need to exchange information with the owner of the car. If they’re not there, you’ll have to wait a while for them to return. While waiting for them, take pictures of any damage you may have caused.

Step 3: Leave your contact information if the car’s owner doesn’t return in a reasonable amount of time

Leave a note for the driver with all your information. Be sure to include your name, contact details, and insurance information.

Step 4: Notify your insurance company

Finally, let your insurance company know you’ve hit a parked car. That way, they’ll be prepared when a claims adjustor reviews your policy.

FAQs

What’s the first thing to do when someone hits your car?

See if there is nearby security footage that could have captured the accident. Ask potential witnesses if they saw anything. Call the police so they can start investigating and log an accident report. Then contact your insurance company so you can initiate a claim.

How do you deal with hitting a parked car?

First of all, don’t leave the scene. Wait for the owner of the car to come back. If they don’t return in a reasonable amount of time, leave your contact details at the scene. Finally, make sure you tell your insurance company.

Does insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Collision insurance will cover expenses relating to damage caused by a hit-and-run accident.

How do I claim hit-and-run car insurance?

The collision coverage of your auto insurance policy will cover a hit-and-run claim. Gather as much evidence as you can, including the police report number. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. 

Do I have to pay a deductible if someone hits my car?

You’ll only have to pay a deductible if you file a claim with your car insurance company. For example, if the person who hit your car is not identified or has no (or insufficient) insurance.

Make Sure Your Car Is Covered For Hit-and-Run Accidents

You may not be covered for hit-and-run accidents if you have liability-only insurance. Consider adding collision coverage to your policy. As always, shop around to compare rates to ensure you get the best deal available.