Parking lots are the most common location for motorists to sustain vehicle damage. Because there is such a large number of vehicles packed into a relatively small space, accidents happen, with 48 percent of those who received a parking scratch claiming that they received a car scratch or dent.
Do you know what to do if someone scratches your car while parked in a parking lot? If you return to your parked car to find that it’s been scratched, there are a handful of things you should do. The following steps will alleviate the anxiety of not knowing how to proceed if your vehicle is struck.
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What to do if someone scratched my car in parking lot?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do if your car gets scratched in a parking lot:
Step 1:Look for a message on your vehicle from the third party motorist
If another driver has hit your vehicle while parked, the first thing to look for is a message left by the motorist who scratched or dented it.
If you were not at the scene when a third party motorist denoted or scratched your parked car, then the third party motorist is legally required to leave a note with their personal contact information which includes their name, address, license plate number, and a brief recap of the event should be included in the letter. However, if the responsible third party motorist chooses not to leave a message and is caught, then they may get charged with a hit-and-run for scratching your car. In this case, the damage will most likely be covered by some insurance companies.
Not everyone who accidentally scratched your parked car will indeed leave a note. According to some insurance companies, the chances of someone getting a note after hitting a vehicle are currently only 9%, which is relatively low. If you are one of the 91 percent of people who did not get a message, move on to the next step and look for eyewitnesses or the presence of a surveillance camera.
Step 2: Look for eyewitnesses or a surveillance camera.
If you do not have a note on your car, the next best thing to look for is an eyewitness or a camera in the area.
Anyone who saw the vehicle that hit your parked car and the license plate number should be questioned. Take their name, phone number, and license plate if they saw something happen, especially if they manage to note the third party motorist driver’s license plate.
If there were no eyewitnesses and you were parked in a parking lot equipped with cameras, check to see if there were any cameras in the area you were parked. If there were, you might be able to figure out who hit your car.
Step 3: Take Clear Pictures of the Vehicle Damage
It is critical to take several detailed photos of the dent/scratch sustained by your car when the other driver bumped into it, regardless of whether there was a note, an eyewitness, or a camera overlooking the accident.
Take a number of clear, high-quality photos of your vehicle’s condition and its location. These may come in handy if you need to file an insurance claim. If you are using a smartphone, having location, time, and date stamps on your photos will come in handy. It is all to bolster the strength of your car insurance claim.
Step 4: Contact the Third Party Motorist
Contact the third party motorist who left a message on your parked vehicle and decide whether to go through an insurance company or cover the cost of the repairs yourself. It is important to remember that 99 percent of the time, usually, the scratching was caused by a genuine blunder, and a peaceful resolution can be reached.
When a scratching accident occurs, some people believe that a car door opened onto it caused damage to their car. If a third party motorist opened their car door and it collided with a parked car, they would be held legally responsible. Similarly, regardless of the circumstances, if a third party motorist hits your vehicle while legally parked, they are automatically at fault. The only time you could be held liable is if your car was illegally parked.
Step 5: Contact your Insurance Company
You only have two options if you do not have the contact information for the third party motorist who scratched your car and wants the damage to your vehicle repaired. If the person who caused the damage to your vehicle cannot be located, you must pay for the repairs yourself or file a claim with your insurance company. If you choose the latter option and contact your insurance company, keep in mind that you may still be responsible for the excess, so get a quote for the repair cost before deciding.
Even if you do not want to file a claim, you must still notify your insurance company about the minor damage. Several insurance companies have a policy that if a driver does not inform them of the damage, their policy will be voided.
You don’t need a BMW or Mercedes to be concerned about scratch protection for your car. Many dents and dings can result in an expensive repair charge — if you decide to pay for repairs at all.
It’s understandable why you don’t want to pay. Fixing scratches, after all, can cost a lot. Another option is to forego the repairs altogether.
However, when it comes time to sell, this path leads to another issue. If a dealership or an individual notices a lot of scratches, they will pay less.
As a result, the best thing to do is avoid these issues. Review the information in this post and try to recall everything. If you can stay aware of the numerous scenarios that lead to scratches, you’ll be well. When you’re expecting an issue, it’s easier to prevent it.