“Someone hit my parked car and left the scene of the accident! What should I do?”
Having your parked car involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a drain on your time, energy, and money. But there are steps you can take that can help you resolve your issue faster.
At Negretti & Associates, the first thing we recommend is checking to see whether there were any witnesses to the accident. You can also check to see if any surveillance cameras in the area recorded the accident. If you strike out finding evidence on who hit you, then you may have to rely on your own insurance to repair your vehicle.
Assuming a driver hit your car and didn’t leave a note, you could also call the police to see if anyone placed a 9-1-1 call witnessing the accident. Quite often, that witness will give a description of the other vehicle, and the police can use this information to try to locate the vehicle’s owner for you. Once the driver is found, the police can collect the applicable insurance information for the other vehicle so that you can make a claim.
As a reminder, it is against the law to leave the scene of an accident without exchanging insurance information with the other driver. For this reason, if you accidentally hit another parked vehicle, do the right thing and leave a note with your contact information.
Whose Insurance Should I Call?
Even if you succeed at tracking down the hit-and-run driver, and you have collision coverage on your own policy, then we would recommend that you submit a claim through your own insurance company. Please be aware that you may have to pay the deductible pursuant to the terms of your policy. This can be both disappointing and frustrating.
Will My Insurance Go Up?
Your insurance premiums should not increase if you submit a claim and you were not at fault for the accident. There are laws in Arizona, California, and Colorado that prohibit insurance companies from raising your premiums in this situation. If an insurance company were to raise your premiums because you submitted a claim, that insurance company could lose their ability to sell insurance in that state.
Someone Scratched My Car and Drove Off. Who Should I Contact First — My Insurance Company, or an Auto Body Shop?
This depends on the severity of the scratch. It might make sense to get an estimate from a body shop to determine how much it will cost to repair your vehicle. If the cost is less than the deductible on your insurance policy, then you probably don’t want to make a claim through your insurance company.