Have you ever left your car parked in a parking lot, or perhaps on a busy street or even a residential area, only to come back and notice your car suddenly has dings and dents? Unfortunately, this scenario is all too familiar for many people. Even the most cautious people who routinely park in a distant parking spot, precisely to avoid dings and dents, are the victims of careless drivers.
Discovering that your car has new dings and dents is one of the most unpleasant surprises for people who go the extra mile to maintain their cars’ good looks. It can be even more frustrating when the person who has blemished your car is nowhere to be found. While some drivers who accidentally ding someone else’s car take responsibility and leave their contact information on a note, many others flee the scene, which can result in a time-consuming and costly car insurance claim.
At Freeway, we understand that accidents happen. Whether it’s in a parking lot or on the road, it’s important to know what steps to take to ensure that the damage is properly assessed and repaired.
Steps to Take When Someone Dings or Dents Your Car
In the event that you find your car with newly minted dings and dents, there are some basic steps you can take.
- Record information. If you witness someone hitting your car, write down as much information as possible. Try to get their license plate number and any other identifying information, such as the model of their car. It will be helpful to record the date, time, place, and details about the damage to your car, as well. If you have a camera handy, take pictures of the dings and dents, and the other vehicle.
- Call the police. Even if you don’t have much information, it’s important to file a police report. This will be very helpful when you’re making an insurance claim. You can also report it to the parking lot attendant or security personnel, to establish a record of the incident and may be useful when filing the claim.
- File an insurance claim. Assuming that you don’t have any information about the other driver, you’ll have to file a claim with your insurance company.
Will My Insurance Company Cover the Dings or Dents?
If your car is hit in a parking lot, and you are able to prove that someone else is responsible, their insurance may cover the damage.
What Happens If I Can’t Prove Who Hit My Car?
In the absence of evidence or insurance coverage, if you are unable to identify the responsible party or if they do not have insurance, you will have to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket. Whether or not your insurance policy covers door dings will depend on the type of policy you have and the specific terms and conditions of your coverage.
In general, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance (UMPD) , are more likely to cover door dings and other non-collision damage, such as hail or vandalism. However, you may still be responsible for paying a deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in.
It’s important to note that UMPD may not be applicable in hit-and-run cases in certain states, as well as reviewing your policy and talking to your insurance company to understand what is covered and what your out-of-pocket expenses may be.
What Type of Policy Covers Door Dings?
Comprehensive insurance policies usually cover door dings, as they are considered non-collision damage. Collision coverage policies generally only cover damage caused by a collision with another vehicle.
You can also opt for a paintless dent repair plan, which can help restore minor dings and dents to your vehicle.
What To Do If You Are The Crash Witness
If you witness a crash in a parking lot, it’s important to take action to ensure that everyone involved is safe and that the incident is properly documented.
If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. If the incident is minor and there are no injuries, document the incident by taking photos of the damage and exchanging your contact information with the affected driver, in case their insurer, or the police need to contact you for more details.
Is There A Law If You Dent A Parked Car And Don’t Leave A Note?
Leaving the scene of an accident without leaving a note could be considered a hit and run, which is a criminal offense. The severity of the offense depends on the extent of the damage and whether anyone was injured. Penalties may include fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
About California Law
In California, the law requires the driver who caused the accident to stop and exchange information with the owner of the parked car or leave a note with their contact information, including their name, address, phone number, and insurance information.
If the damage exceeds $750, or there is an injury, the driver is required to report the accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days. Failure to report an accident can result in a license suspension.
In terms of insurance coverage, California is a fault state, which means that the driver who is found to be at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for the damages. However, California also has a “comparative negligence” rule, which means that if both drivers are partially at fault, the damages will be split between them based on their degree of fault.
The laws and regulations regarding car accidents and insurance coverage can vary from state to state. It is essential to understand the specific laws in your state and to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance coverage to protect yourself in the event of an accident.
In conclusion, if someone dents your car, the most important thing is to document the damage and notify your insurance company. We are here to help you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Remember to always be a responsible driver and follow the law if you are involved in a car accident, whether you caused the damage or not.
Keep in mind that, while you can be picky about where you choose to park, you can’t always avoid parking next to other cars. Having quality insurance coverage can help you get help fixing those various dings and dents.
Get a free car insurance quote online through Freeway Insurance in order to stay protected at a low price.
Finding Affordable Car Insurance Online
Your independent Freeway Insurance agent will be able to quote you the best rates for however many vehicles with safe driving reputations you bring us. That’s because we can shop for rates from several major insurance carriers for the most competitive rates of all.