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Can You Sue if Your Parked Car Gets Hit by a Drunk Driver?

Can You Sue if Your Parked Car Gets Hit by a Drunk Driver?

What to Do if Your Parked Car Was Hit

No matter where you park your car, unless it is on a private property with cameras, it tends to be a gamble. If someone hits your car, whether they were intoxicated or not, the ideal situation would be for them to leave a note giving you the ability to contact them and get the situation worked out. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes it is necessary to take matters into your own hands and get the police or even the courts involved. If you have walked out to your car to be greeted by an unsightly accident, here are the steps you should take next:

  • Call the police

This step might seem like it is coming too late, but it is actually quite important. A police officer will be able to document the incident and create an official accident report. You will usually need to have this when you file a claim with your insurance company, so you should ask for a copy of the report as well as the name and badge number of the officer. Another benefit of calling the police is that they have access to the recent drunk or reckless driving arrests in the area. If someone was pulled over or arrested, they can let you know and connect you with them in order to cover the repairs.

  • Document the accident

You would do well to take as many pictures of the accident as possible. This will help identify what might have happened to the car, which can help identify the individual responsible. You should also take note of the exact location of the accident and any relevant surroundings.

  • Notify your insurer

After the accident, it is recommended to contact your insurer as soon as possible. This will help you remember the most relevant details of the incident so you know what is required to file the claim and what to expect throughout the process. Some insurance companies also offer applications that allow you to file a claim and upload photos of the damage. Depending on your policy’s coverage, your insurance might help with the costs of repairing the damage to your parked car. Both collision and uninsured motorist property damage coverage should help pay for these repairs. If the driver who hit your car did leave a note, it is recommended to share that info with the police and your insurer.

If you or the police is able to track down the individual who hit your car, you are able to sue them or their insurance directly in order to cover the damages. In New York, leaving the scene of an accident leaves the individual responsible liable to be criminally charged and receive a sentence of up to one year in jail. This punishment increases if someone was seriously injured. New York’s Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Act provides an avenue for New York drivers who lack sufficient insurance coverage to file a claim for damages.

California and Florida are the only two states that prohibit insurance companies from raising rates after not-at-fault accidents, so if you must utilize your own insurance in order to cover the cost, you might find your rate increasing in the future. Furthermore, your insurance might not cover the entire cost, so it would be much better to have the individual at fault cover the cost. If we are able to locate that person, our team of personal injury attorneys would be happy to help you sue and get the compensation you are owed.

If you need help suing a drunk or negligent driver, or would like to learn more about our personal injury services, call Belushin Law Firm P.C. at (888) 918-9890 or contact us online.

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