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My car was damaged in a parking lot—what do I do now?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 @ 12:32 PM

what to do about parking lot damage

It’s no secret that parking lots can be pretty chaotic places to drive, especially on the weekends or anytime remotely associated with the holidays.  They’re little circuses filled with pedestrians, drivers cutting across parking spots, inconsiderate double-parkers, maniacs racing by, people backing out of spaces at the speed of snails, skateboarders, skipping little kids, and probably even some clowns.  So what should you do if you’re one of the many who has been in a parking lot accident?  Follow our guide below to minimize some of the stress that an accident like this can cause.

Exchange insurance information.
As you would in any other type of accident, be sure to exchange information with the other driver.  This includes names, phone numbers, license numbers, license plate numbers, insurance companies, and policy numbers.  If there are witnesses, it might be helpful to have their names and phone numbers, as well.  If you hit an unoccupied car, try to find the owner.  If you are unable to find the owner, then leave a detailed note with an explanation, your contact information, and your insurance information.

Call the police.
If the damage is minor, then the authorities might tell you just to exchange information on your own, but it’s a good idea to call them just in case.  If they do choose to survey the scene themselves, then that would provide you with a detailed report stating the facts.  Most of the time, car insurance companies won’t require a police report for a minor accident, but if they do request one, then you can let them know you contacted the authorities.  This way you’ve covered all your bases.

Take pictures.
On the subject of covering all your bases, be sure to take pictures of the accident.  Lots of us have cameras on our phones, so you probably won’t have to carry around an extra camera just for situations like this.  Take photos of both vehicles and the damage done.  Also be sure to take photos of the rest of the vehicles besides the damaged areas.  This could prevent you from having to pay for repairs to damage you didn’t cause.

Call your insurance company.
As soon as you can, give your insurance company a call and explain what happened.  If you are at fault, then your liability coverage will cover the other driver’s repair costs.  If the other driver is at fault, then his or her insurance coverage will pay for your repairs.  If you were the victim of a hit-and-run, then your own collision coverage (if you have it) will pay for the repairs.  If there is a dispute as to who is at fault, the insurance adjustors will determine who is responsible.  Don’t try to argue it out with the other driver.

Call Bel Air Autobody to have your parking lot damage repaired.
At Bel Air Autobody we can repair any kind of parking lot damage you might have.  If it’s just a small ding, there’s a chance that our skilled technicians might be able to repair it without needing to repaint your vehicle by using a technique called Paintless Dent Removal.  We will work with you and your insurance company to provide you with the best and most cost-effective repair in Harford County, Maryland!

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Topics: insurance coverage, parking lot damage, parking lot auto body damage, what to do after an accident, PDR, parking lot accident