Parking lots and garages can be busy and congested places. Drivers are looking for the perfect parking spot.
Pedestrians are trying to get in and out of stores. And surprise obstacles such as
bicycles or rogue shopping carts can wreak havoc, even at low speeds. With all this activity and chaos in a small area, it's no wonder that many car accidents happen in parking lots. If you get into one, follow these steps to stay safe and protect your finances.
1. Stay at the Accident Scene
Under no circumstances should you drive away from a parking lot accident, regardless of whether you are involved in a fender bender in a parking lot, a door-ding hit-and-run, or any other type of accident. Instead, take a deep breath, stay calm, cool, collected, and get ready to handle the incident as best as possible.
2. Find the Other Car Owner
If you inadvertently strike another car in a parking lot, there are a few things you can do. You can wait for the other car owner to return to their vehicle, explain what happened, and exchange car insurance information. Another option is to leave a note for the other driver that includes your name, phone number, and a brief explanation of what happened. For those who are parked at a store, it may be beneficial to go inside the store, head to the customer service desk, and find out if the store can make an announcement over its loudspeaker to find the other driver.
3. Call the Police
Call the police to document the parking lot accident. The police may be able to help you locate the other driver as well.
4. Capture Photos of the Cars Involved in the Accident
Use your smartphone’s camera to take photos of your car and the other vehicle involved in the parking lot accident. In addition to capturing photos of both cars’ damage, you can use your smartphone to take photos of the other driver’s license plates.
5. Take Notes
Retrieve as much information as you can from the other driver involved in the parking lot accident. Along with the driver’s name and car make and model, you should get their phone number, driver’s license number, and car insurance information.
6. Find Witnesses
If you leave your car in a parking lot and find your vehicle was damaged while you were away from it, seek witnesses. Anyone who is near your car may be able to provide insights into what may have happened to your vehicle. You can also visit a store or other business that manages the parking lot to see if surveillance footage can be reviewed that may show what happened to your vehicle.
7. Get in Touch with Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company to let it know about your parking lot accident. Even if your car has only experienced minor damage after it was side-swiped in a parking lot or involved in a hit-and-run in a parking garage, you should let your insurer know about the incident. That way, your insurer can help you get your car repaired as quickly as possible.
About Peninsula Auto Body
We live and work within the San Francisco Peninsula area. Our commitment to the community extends from helping our customers to helping our team members and right into the community itself. At Peninsula Auto Body, we are neighbors helping neighbors, especially after an automotive accident. From towing to filing claims to making sure you have transportation while we fix your vehicle, as your