Someone Hit My Parked Car – What Are My Options?
Not all car accidents occur when both parties are actually occupying their vehicles. In fact, a surprising number of collisions involve one driver striking a parked car. Unfortunately, if the driver doesn’t stop and leave his or her information, then the owner of the struck vehicle could find him or herself with a damaged car and no one to file a claim against. There are, however, options for motorists who find themselves in this situation, including filing an insurance claim with their own providers.
Common Causes of Parked Car Accidents
There are a lot of reasons that a driver might strike a parked car, but most involve:
- A driver falling asleep at the wheel;
- A driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and lost control of the car;
- A driver attempting to pass another car on a narrow street and without enough passing clearance, resulting in a sideswipe crash;
- A driver swerving out of the way to avoid a pedestrian or cyclist;
- A driver suffering a blown tire and losing control of the car;
- A driver attempting to squeeze into or out of a narrow parking spot; or
- A driver backing into the parked car in a parking lot or parking garage.
The most dangerous type of parked car accident occurs when a vehicle is parked in the emergency lane of a freeway because of a mechanical problem or flat tire and a passing vehicle strikes it at a high rate of speed. Unlike most parked car accidents, where the driver of the parked car isn’t actually present at the scene of the crash, these kinds of collisions can result in catastrophic injuries.
Filing an Insurance Claim
In most cases, the victims of a parked car accident will only have a few options when it comes to recovery, most of which involve filing a claim with an insurance provider. Technically, all drivers are required to have PIP insurance in Florida. Unfortunately, these policies only cover medical expenses and lost earnings, so someone who suffered only property damage will have to look elsewhere for compensation.
Another option is for the owner of the parked vehicle to file a claim under his or her collision insurance policy. These policies cover any damage to a vehicle, regardless of who caused the accident. Another option is to file a claim under an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. Unlike other policies, this type of insurance covers property damage if the at-fault driver lacks insurance or can’t be identified. Finally, if the at-fault driver who struck the parked car can be identified, then the owner of the parked car could file a claim with that driver’s property damage liability insurance provider. These policies pay up to $10,000 for vehicle damage.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer for Help
If your car was damaged by another driver while you were parked and you need help recovering your losses, contact the dedicated Florida car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 to learn more about your legal options.