When a person hits a parked car, it is usually easy to determine who is at fault. Generally, the driver of the moving car that collided with the parked car is responsible for the damage. This is because the parked vehicle did not have the ability to move out of the way, so liability falls on the moving vehicle’s driver.
Drivers are responsible for paying attention while driving and being aware of potential dangers ahead – such as parked vehicles. Failing to do so could lead them straight into another vehicle or object, resulting in costly repairs or, worse, injuries.
The Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Vaughan & Vaughan are well-equipped to handle a wide variety of claims, including those involving collisions with parked vehicles. You can consult with one of our auto accident attorneys at no cost to learn about your legal options.
When a Parked Car Gets Hit in a Parking Lot
When a driver is backing out of a space in a parking lot, they could end up hitting a parked car. This usually happens when the driver underestimates how close nearby vehicles are, or they simply do not pay enough attention.
While parallel parking can be tricky, it is especially common for drivers to hit parked cars and cause damage to both their vehicle and the other car. Generally, the driver that is responsible for hitting the parked car will have to cover any damages they caused, regardless of who was at fault.
Will My Insurance Rates Increase If My Parked Car Is Hit By Someone Else?
It’s always best to consult with your insurance company to find the answer to this question. However, generally, if you file a claim with your own auto insurance company, then it is likely that your rate will increase even if the accident was not your fault.
This is because the insurer assumes you got into some kind of accident, which can be seen as increasing risk, and they usually respond by raising rates on policyholders who have filed a claim. If you choose to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, then it is less likely that your rate will go up.
Since you are not the one causing the damage in this case, it would not necessarily be seen as an increase in risk on your part. If your car had significant damage or you were injured while sitting in a parked car that got hit, a car accident lawyer may be able to help you pursue damages from the party at fault.
I Hit a Parked Car. What Should I Do?
If you hit a parked car, it is important to take the appropriate steps and do the right thing regardless of whether you think the damage is significant or not. The most important action to take is to notify the owner of the vehicle that you have caused the accident.
In many cases, leaving without addressing it can be considered a crime in some states since it would be considered as hit and run. It is also important to check for any witnesses or surveillance cameras that could record what happened so they can back up your claim of notifying the owner of the parked car.
Fleeing from an accident and not informing anyone could lead to serious consequences if caught later on, even if your intent was friendly when leaving initially. In any case, you should take precautions to ensure that all necessary parties are notified regardless if minimal or major damage has occurred.
What Comparative Negligence Means in a Parking Lot Crash
Many states, including the state of Indiana, follow the doctrine of comparative negligence when addressing car accidents.
When determining negligence in a car accident, the driver of the moving vehicle is typically at fault if they hit a parked car. This especially applies when the parked car was legally parked and visible to drivers. As such, the driver who caused the crash will likely assume full liability for their actions.
However, should the car be illegally parked in a way that makes it difficult to see, then comparative negligence may apply. Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine where damages are awarded based on the proportion of fault assigned to the plaintiff and defendant for an injury.
This doctrine apportions liability between the parties according to their degree of fault for the damages. The more negligent a party is, the smaller the percentage of damages they can recover. A lawyer can help defend you against any allegations of fault if there are questions about whether your car was illegally parked.
What Happens If I Was Injured After Being Hit in a Parked Car?
If you were injured in a parked car accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation for injuries and losses. There are different kinds of damages that can be sought after in these situations. Two of the main types of damages are categorized as follows:
- Economic damages are intended to reimburse any financial losses associated with the car accident, such as lost wages or benefits or even employment opportunities missed out on due to your injuries.
- Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are meant to compensate for less tangible issues such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or even diminished quality of life caused by your injuries.
In both cases, it is important to document every detail related to the parking lot incident and contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to pursue any potential compensation that may be available.
Contact an Indiana Car Accident Law Firm to Learn More About Filing a Claim
The personal injury law firm of Vaughan & Vaughan offers comprehensive legal representation for those involved in car accidents, including parked car accidents. We give each client the personalized attention they deserve and work hard to maximize the compensation we recover on your behalf.
Our attorneys can investigate who was at fault, collect evidence, file claims with insurance companies, and negotiate settlements to recover fair compensation for you. Don’t deal with the insurance company alone. Find out how we can help by contacting us today for a free consultation.