How to deal with a car park accident
Car park crashes are the among the most common car insurance claims – many of us know the feeling of returning to our car only to find someone has bumped it and driven off.
Car parks are busy places, so it’s no surprise they are the location of nearly 500,000 collisions annually – if your car has been hit or you’ve hit someone else, here’s how to handle it.
If someone has hit your car
Ideally, if someone has hit your car you’ll return to find a note with contact details alongside the new scratch or bump. Often though, this doesn’t happen, and unless you can find someone who has witnessed the crash you’ll be looking at filing a claim with your insurer.
If your car is parked overnight, unless there is CCTV surveillance nearby it’s unlikely you will be able to trace who hit it. If you’re parked in a busy shopping centre your chances are much better; if you return to your car to see it’s been hit, there’s a chance someone in a store nearby witnessed the crash or the parking lot has surveillance footage you could access to potentially trace the driver.
If you hit someone else’s car
You’re legally obligated to stop and remain at the scene for a reasonable period if you’ve been involved in an accident, even with a stationary car. You’re also required to exchange details with the other driver. If the other driver is in the car, calmly apologise but avoid taking fault, then exchange contact details – name, address, registration, contact number and insurance provider. If you feel there is any question about who is at fault, take pictures or write down the details of the event.
If there is no one present at the scene, leave a note with all your contact details and a short explanation of what happened. If possible, leave your contact details with a nearby shop as well in case the driver of the other car comes in looking for a witness.
If you witness a car park accident
If you witness a car park accident where the driver has left the scene, you are likely the only hope for the driver whose car has been hit. If possible, note the time and registration number of the car and what happened. Leave a note for the driver with your contact details as they may need to speak to you again as they organise their insurance claim.
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