Do The Right Thing: 5 Things to Do If You Hit a Parked Car

Do The Right Thing: 5 Things to Do If You Hit a Parked Car

“I hit a parked car, now what?”

Your first instinct might be telling you to drive away as fast as you can, but this is neither a legal nor morally sound solution. Rest assured, though, you can still do the right thing without ending up in a world of hurt.

The truth is, these things happen more often than you think. In fact, a recent survey found that 66% of drivers admit to distracted driving while in a parking lot. However, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously: in most states, the penalties for fleeing the scene could rival those for causing a more serious accident.

In any case, the best thing to do is to own up to what happened and get through the aftermath. Keep reading to learn the five things to do after you hit a parked car.

1. Breathe and Remain Calm

If you hit a parked car, panicking will send you in the wrong direction. Try to relax and be assured that it’s only property damage, and that you will get through this.

It’s best to stop your car for a moment and collect your thoughts before making your next move. Take a few deep breaths and ensure that you- and any passengers in your vehicle- are okay. Then, find a safe place to pull over and move on to the next steps.

2. Check for Damage

Once you’re ready, safely park your vehicle and get out to inspect the damage. Take pictures of both vehicles for your records.

3. Write a Note

If you hit a parked car and the owner is not present, it’s expected that you try and contact them. This isn’t always easy: the best thing to do is write a note to leave on their windshield.

Your note should contain the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your Phone Number
  • Your Address
  • A short explanation of the damage

Be careful not to portray yourself too negatively in the note. The Sweet James law office recommends that you be as blunt and objective as possible.

4. Contact the Police

If you hit a parked car, some states require you to report it to the police. This is especially important if there is severe damage to the other vehicle. By openly stepping forward to admit what happened, you’ll be demonstrating that you did not commit a hit-and-run.

5. Alert Your Insurance Company That You Hit a Parked Car

Even if you aren’t able to immediately locate the owner of the vehicle that you hit, many insurance companies will expect you to report the case anyway. Call your provider and let them know that you left a note in an attempt to contact the owner of the vehicle. This will help protect both of you if a claim is filed.

Hitting a Parked Car

It might seem bad at first, but a car hit in a parking lot is not a huge deal. After all, it’s only property damage, and all property can be replaced. Now that you know the five most important things to do after you’ve hit a parked car, you’ll be ready for what comes next.

For more articles, check out our other blog entries.

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