When you park your car while out in Cedar Rapids, you assume it will be there safe when you return... But sometimes, accidents happen – even away from your vehicle. If someone hits your parked car and you return to find the damage, it can be confusing as to what to do next. The person responsible for the accident may not have stuck around or left insurance information. What do you do if this happens?
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE HITS YOUR PARKED CAR
Here are some tips to help you navigate the process if your parked car has been hit:
Document the damage. Documenting damage with your smartphone will help speed up the process of filing a claim with your auto insurance and seeking any needed repairs from an auto body shop near you. Golden Hammer Collision provides the option for mobile photo estimates straight from your device on this website. If there is broken glass, be cautious as you approach the vehicle. Here are a few things you should be sure to document with photos and video:
Take photos of the vehicle and also any relevant details around it like debris or tire marks.
Document weather conditions, location and any nearby landmarks to help identify any factors that may have played a role in the accident.
If the driver left a note, make sure to take the note and take a picture of it as well, to ensure you have their information.
File a police report. Whether the person who hit your car left a note or not, the first step should be to notify Cedar Rapids or local police so an accident report can be filed. In some cases, police may be able to track down security camera footage to help determine how the damage happened and who is responsible.
Notify your insurance carrier. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, the accident may be covered by insurance. If the driver left a note, then the claims process will be similar to an in-person accident. If no note is left, then the accident may be considered a “hit and run” accident, which is a crime. If the damage is covered, ask if you can submit photos and video of the damage to kick off the process.
Find an auto body or auto glass shop near you to repair the damage. If your car has been damaged, such as a damaged bumper, dent, or cracked window or windshield, you can contact an auto body or auto glass shop near you to discuss potential repairs. Golden Hammer Collision accepts digital photos of vehicle damage to generate a virtual estimate and kick off the repair process.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HIT A PARKED CAR
If the situation is reversed and you accidentally hit a parked car, don’t panic. Wait to see if the driver returns so you can provide them your information. If they don’t return, leave a note with your name, contact information and insurance information. You can also contact your own insurance company to start the claims process on your end. Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene without doing your due diligence to report the incident, otherwise it could be considered a crime by law enforcement.
AFTER AN ACCIDENT, FIND A CERTIFIED COLLISION REPAIRER NEAR YOU
After you’ve been in an accident, a professional technician at a local collision repair shop like Golden Hammer Collision Center will be able to repair hidden damage. Get a free quote from us - we'll even provide a shuttle and tow your vehicle if necessary. Find out why we're The Shop with the Golden Touch!