How to Handle a Parking Lot Accident
Miami Collision Experts Share “What to Do” Tips on Parking Lot Fender Benders.
What to Do When You’re Involved in a Parking Lot Accident
It happens to everyone. One second you’re sitting in your car, singing along to your favorite tunes, when BAM, someone dings your car door in the parking lot. It’s a nightmare every car owner dreads. Between calling insurance and getting into the body shop to get the car fixed, it can seem like an endless mess. If you’ve ever wondered what to do when a parking lot fender bender strikes, look no further! Keep reading to discover the helpful tips and steps to take when you experience a parking lot accident.
What to Do If You’ve Damaged a Parked Car
Sometimes it’s your fault…that’s the unfortunate reality of owning a car. But, you shouldn’t have to walk into a situation where you’re at fault completely confused.
- Never leave the scene: If you’ve hit and damaged a car in the parking lot, taking responsibility is the first step. If you leave the scene without reporting the incident, you can be slapped with hit-and-run charges.
- Call the police: Even if you’re on private property, calling the police protects you from hit-and-run charges. It shows your complying with the law. File a report, and make sure you let your insurance know.
- Try to locate the owner: If you can’t find the owner, leave a detailed note with your name and contact information.
What to Do If Your Car is Found Damaged
Sometimes you walk out of the grocery store to find your car scratched and dinged up. What do you do then?
- Call your insurance: Your insurance provider needs to know if the car has been damaged. Calling them right away will start the proper claims and repair process.
- Get proof: Take photos and see if there were any security cameras in the area that caught the accident. Ask if any people nearby witnessed the event. If there’s evidence, it’s likely you can find the culpable party.
- Gather information: If the culpable party stuck around, collect as much information from them as you can. Take down the license plate, car make and model, and personal information of the driver.
What to Do If You Witness a Parking Lot Accident
Plenty of people have witnessed a parking lot accident. When you do, it’s important you do your civic responsibility and help the drivers.
- Take notes: Write down the time, location, and other pertinent details of the accident, such as the make and model of the cars, descriptions of the drivers, and the license plates.
- Call the police: If severe damage is evident, or if the at-fault party drives off without stopping, call the police with as much information as possible. Hit-and-run charges are no laughing matter and can be punished with expensive fines.
- Share your information: If either driver exits the vehicle, give them your contact information and let them know what you saw. Do the same when contacting the police, share the best way for them to contact you in case they need your statement again.
What to Expect When Working with a Collision Expert
Once your insurance has accepted the damage claim on your vehicle, they’ll probably refer you to an auto body expert to take care of it. Once you’re there, you can expect your first visit to include an estimate of the cost that will be sent to your insurance company.
The estimate will include any repairs and the cost of said repairs. You may require body repair, bumper repair, or repainting. A reputable auto collision specialist will be able to offer a good explanation of any repairs needed and their related costs. Some of the costs may need to come out of pocket to meet your insurance deductible.
Once your insurance accepts that estimate, and if you’re alright with the plan, then your collision expert will typically schedule you to come in at a later point for repairs on the vehicle. The entire process can take several days depending on the severity of the damages.
About Jorge’s Body Shop
Jorge’s Body Shop has been proudly serving Miami for over fifty years in the autobody repair industry. They are a local, family-run business that works hard to provide only the best service for their clients. Their work is guaranteed to last your car through its lifetime. Jorge’s Body Shop works with you and your insurance to make the car repair process easy. Give them a call to schedule your auto estimate today!