When you think of car accidents, chances are you imagine moving cars on the freeway or even on regular city streets. While moving car collisions occur on a regular basis, accidents in a parking lot are actually much more common. Most drivers take precautions to help them prevent parked car accidents, but they still happen on occasion.
If you have been involved in an accident in a parking lot, you may be wondering what the proper course of action may be. We have put together an easy to follow guide to help you properly navigate your way through a parking lot accident encounter.
Following your fender bender, you should pull over and ensure that you and anyone else around you has not been hurt. Do not leave the scene of accidents in a parking lot regardless of how small the damage may be. Take a deep breath, make sure you are not impeding traffic, and move on to the next step.
If you hit another car, it is best to wait for the other driver to return to their vehicle. At this point, you can exchange insurance information and give a detailed account of what transpired. If you are unable to wait for the owner of the car, you can also write a detailed note and provide your insurance information in a clearly visible area where they will see it. If the accident occurred in the parking lot of a single store, you can also go inside and ask the customer service desk to page the car owner with the license plate number or vehicle model.
Depending on the type of accident and the severity of the damage, it may be worth your while to place a phone call to the local police station. Once they arrive, they can write up a police report and also help to locate the owner of the car or motorcycle.
It is a good idea to take photos of the damage as soon as it happens. Make sure to capture images of both vehicles from several different points of view. You can also take a picture of the license plate of the other vehicle for your records. This will help when filing a claim with the insurance company. Taking notes is also important for accidents in a parking lot. Note down the time of day, the weather, the make and model of car, and the other driver’s information.
If you return to your car and notice that it has been damaged, try to locate anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Often, bystanders will be able to give an accurate description of the events that occurred if the driver did not leave a note or stay on the scene. Even if the other driver did provide their information, it is a good idea to have witnesses provide additional details.
Speak with your insurance company right away to report the accident. Calling them before you leave the scene is the best option. They may ask you to have a police officer file a report, or they may send a claims adjuster to view the damage. Give them all of the details of the accident and also the contact information of everyone involved if it is available. They will give you further instructions so that you can seek repairs as soon as possible.
Car accidents are a regular part of life, when they happen, you have to do your best to prevent injury and remain calm. After you have reported the damage to the insurance company, the next step is getting your vehicle repaired. Depending on the severity of the damage, this may mean taking your car in for servicing immediately, or if it is minor, scheduling repair for the weekend. It is important to repair any damage to your windshield, lights, or engine as soon as possible to maintain proper road safety. The last thing you need is damage from your parking lot accident hindering your ability to safely navigate the road. Not only can this lead to another car accident, but it also can cause further damage to your vehicle.
At Great Plains Auto Body shop Omaha and Council Bluffs, we’re committed to giving you an unmatched level of service. As a company that’s been family-owned and operated for more than 26 years, we’re dedicated to treating our customers as we would treat members of our own family. We’ll keep you informed throughout the entire repair process and make sure you’re satisfied when the job is complete. From estimating and detailing to collision repair and paint services, our ASE-certified mechanics and technicians make sure the job is done right and on time.