Picture the scene; you’ve parked your car safely in an allotted parking space and gone about your day only to return to a scene of chaos. If someone has crashed into your parked car and you’re wondering what to do next, our article will help outline your legal rights when it comes to knowing what to do next.
Stationary car accidents are more common than you think and whilst injury tends to be much lower than other car crashes, they’re still costly and often rather complicated from a legal perspective as often the person at fault has usually long left the scene.
What To Do When Someone Crashes Into A Parked Car
So, you’ve returned to your parked car to find someone has rather annoyingly crashed into your car or you’ve been involved in a low-impact crash with another car over a parking space and now you’re wondering what you should do first?
- Call the police– the first thing is to call the local police and let them know whats happened. If you can, check the car park for an attendant or even a security guard who may have been around or seen something happen. The police will be able to look at CCTV in the car park as well as look up registered vehicles on their database to find the plaintiff. It’s always recommended
- Contact Your Insurance Company– Next, you’ll probably want to tell your insurance company to start the claim going. If your vehicle is ok to drive, they’ll probably advise you to drive to the nearest garage or repair shop and get an estimate for repair.
- Find an accident attorney– Your insurance company will give you the option of receiving a payout from them regardless of whether they find the at-fault driver, or you can file a case with an accident attorney.
Car park crash- who’s at fault?
As with all car accidents, it is down to the individual circumstances, however, if you’ve parked correctly in an allotted space and someone else has hit your car, then they are at fault. A lawyer will explain this to you and finding them at fault is easier compared to more complex accident cases. In some car park crash cases, there might be other witnesses you can ask to give evidence if needed or the car you’ve collided with has stayed on the scene too.
The tricky part of finding who’s at fault for hitting your car if there were no witnesses and they haven’t handed themselves in or stuck around until you returned. Sometimes, the police are unable to identify a car on CCTV, or the car park you were in either hasn’t got CCTV or surveillance in place which means the likelihood of finding someone is very slim.
Some car park crashes can happen completely by accident, such as a driver backing out of a parking space and not seeing another car or opening a door out onto another car without realizing they were close. In these instances, the person at fault is easier to establish and an experienced attorney will make sure it’s clear who is at fault.
Who Decides Who Was At Fault In A Parked Car Crash?
When determining who’s at fault for a collision that occurred in a car park, it’s important to consider who had the right of way, and which of the vehicles were moving. An experienced accident attorney will consider all aspects of the situation before deciding who is at fault. They’ll have to consider all aspects such as who was moving or stationary and in a case where someone reverses into a moving car, who had the right of way at that moment.
A trickier decision will need to be made by an attorney if two vehicles are trying to park in the same space and crash into one another. In this instance, both drivers could be at fault as they were both moving. It will ultimately come down to whichever vehicle had the right of way as they’re more likely to be held responsible.
In more rare situations where two drivers pull out of their respective spaces and back into one another, an experienced attorney could see both drivers being at fault, as they were both moving and neither driver had the right of way. In the cases where no plaintiff is found or identified, the insurance company will still offer a settlement to cover repairs of your car as well as any loss of earnings or travel costs you’ve incurred due to not having your own car.
If you’ve been involved in a car park crash and want some help understanding your rights, speak to our accident attorneys today and find out how we could help your case.