If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of losing control of your car and hitting another one, you know that there are specific steps to take to avoid problems, keep yourself safe, and move on.
It’s a terrifying experience to drive your car into another; it can leave you feeling rattled and confused, mainly because the last thing you want to do is hurt someone who may be in your car or the driver of another vehicle.
Before you learn what happens if you hit a car in a parking lot and leave, you should contact a Surex insurance advisor if you’d like the inside scoop on how to find the best car insurance deals in Nova Scotia.
What causes these accidents?
Distractions while driving have been on the rise for several years now, and parking lots are some of the most common situations where distracted driving accidents occur.
A driver may be attempting to put something away in the trunk, texting, adjusting a radio station, or even talking with passengers when he loses control of his vehicle and hits another car or person.
The driver of another vehicle in the parking lot may not be paying attention. That’s when the trouble starts.
It takes less than a second to change lanes, making it difficult for drivers to see what is coming at them when they pull out of a space or attempt to pass someone else in a parking lot.
Poor visibility also poses problems inside a parking lot because parked cars often block the vision of approaching vehicles on either side. No matter how small the parking lot, there’s sure to be an accident waiting to happen if no one pays attention while driving and obeys traffic laws.
What to do if you hit a car in a parking lot in Nova Scotia
If you hit a car in the parking lot, it can do a lot more than ruin your day. Even the tiniest collision can result in an increase in your insurance rates, the need for medical treatment, and the worry of hit-and-run drivers. If you are judged not to be the negligent driver, and it is your first time in an accident, you will usually not be given a raise.
According to statistics, a driver who files one $2,000 or more insurance claim should expect a 41 percent increase in insurance premiums. Here’s what to do if you’re in a car accident in a parking lot, whether you’re at fault or the victim.
For the driver who is at fault:
Do not get behind the wheel. It is improper and unlawful to flee the scene after causing damage to someone’s property. If there are witnesses or surveillance cameras, you can be charged with a hit-and-run. It will save you a lot of time and effort to address the issue at hand.
Track down the other automobile owner if they are not in the vehicle. If you’re outside a store, go inside and ask an employee for assistance by using the intercom to request the automobile owner. Please make a note of it. If you can’t find the automobile owner, write a complete description of the accident along with your name and phone number.
Determine the extent of the damage and keep a record of it. Make sure your automobile isn’t endangering other drivers or pedestrians, and then step out to inspect the damage. Take photographs to record what has occurred. This will help protect you as well as the person whose car you damaged, so they won’t be able to blame you later for extra damage.
With the other driver, exchange information. Name, contact information, address, driver’s license number, insurance company, policy number, and VIN are the items you’ll need to exchange with the other motorist.
If the other driver hasn’t already done so, call the cops. If tempers are flaring, the police can assist by impartially documenting the damage and taking control of the situation. They can also assist in locating the other automobile owner if they have not yet been found. Insurers frequently use a police report to identify who is at fault.
Make contact with your agency. If you try to delay alerting your insurance company about the accident in the hopes of keeping your rates low, it could backfire. Suppose the other motorist later decides to sue you for the collision. In that case, the insurance company may refuse to cover any legal or medical costs, which would very certainly outweigh any increase.
If neither party admits to being at fault, the police will be necessary to get to the bottom of the problem and adequately assign blame.
What should you do if you own the car that was hit?
Make an appointment with your insurance representative. They will assist you in determining your future moves. This will also protect you if the individual who hit you chooses not to report the car accident to their auto insurance provider or if they have no insurance at all.
Call the cops. Having the police present to help you sort through the circumstances is incredibly vital if you own the automobile that was hit. They’ll figure out who was to blame for the accident. If you are not at blame and the authorities are not present to corroborate it, the other driver’s insurance company will have an easier time getting them off the hook for damages.
Obtain the information of the other motorist. Even if the two of you decide to drive away because the damage looks minimal or non-existent, you may not know there are problems with your automobile until later and will need at least the other driver’s contact information.
Make a photo of the damage. Even if the other motorist snapped images, it’s a good idea to have your own. You’ll want to be paid for any damage, no matter how slight.
Collect evidence. Inquire about what witnesses observed or entered the store, as well as whether they have security cameras that could have filmed the collision. If the other person’s account changes, the video recording will protect you.
If your car has been engaged in a hit-and-run accident and the driver who hit your car has vanished, you should question those near you if they saw the accident. You should also inquire about surveillance cameras in the parking lot inside the store and call the police and report the damage. Calling the cops is a crucial first step.
Someone slammed into my parked vehicle. Will my car insurance premiums increase?
Unfortunately, the answer is: it depends. If you have done something wrong that led to the accident, your insurance rates will almost certainly increase. They may not, though, if your insurance plan includes accident forgiveness or if it is your first accident.
If your automobile was parked at the time of the accident or you were judged not to be at fault, the following variables may influence whether or not your insurance premiums will increase:
You could be held responsible for the accident if you created a circumstance with where you parked or how you parked that made the accident unavoidable.
There may be ways to avoid a rate increase after an accident, such as taking a driver’s education course, raising your deductible, or shopping for new insurance coverage. Some customers prefer not to file a claim with their insurance carrier and handle the repair themselves if the cost is near the deductible and the driver can afford it.