Was Your Car The Unfortunate Victim Of A Hit And Run? What You Should Do

Posted on: 1 June 2017

When you park your car, whether it is on the street in front of your home, in your driveway, or in a parking lot, you likely do not think much about the possibility that someone could come along and hit your car while you are away from it. However, hit and run accidents with parked cars happen every day. If your car becomes the unfortunate victim of such an incident, it may be difficult to know what to do in the moment because you are so surprised and shocked upon finding your vehicle damaged. Get to know some of the steps that you should take after your car has been damaged by a hit and run so you can be sure that you handle the situation correctly and get your car back on the road as soon as possible.

Contact the Authorities

The first step you should take, before you move or touch anything on or around your vehicle, is to contact the authorities. Because the situation is a non-emergency (i.e. nobody was hurt or in immediate danger), you should find and call the non-emergence line for your local police department rather than call 911.

Once you have informed the police of the incident, an officer will be assigned to come and look at your vehicle and take your statement. This may take a while depending on the city in which you live and how busy the police are on that particular day. So, remember to stay patient and to continue waiting until an officer arrives on the scene.

Take Photographs of Your Vehicle and the Damage

While you are waiting for the police to arrive, you can use your cell phone to take photographs of your vehicle as well as any debris in the parking lot or on the street that you might find. You can use these photos as evidence of the incident when you report it to your insurance company.

It is also always a good idea to have documentation of an accident of your own in case anything else comes of the incident or you have trouble with your insurance claim. The police will also take photographs but having your own is a good backup plan and will help you if the scene gets disturbed in any way before the police arrive.

Call Your Insurance Company After the Police Give You a Case Number

In order to get your insurance company to help cover the cost of your car repair needs (or at least apply the cost to your deductible), you will need to call your insurance company and file a claim regarding the accident. However, you should not do so until after the authorities have come and taken a report of the incident.

When the police create a report, they will give you a case number for the incident so that you and your insurance company can follow up on it and so the police can potentially find the person that hit your car. While the police department will do their best to help you find out who damaged your vehicle, unless there were witnesses that come forward or the incident occurred in a parking lot with good security cameras, you likely will not find the culprit. However, the police report is still an important step to getting the car repair you need to put the incident behind you.

These steps will help you to get through the initial aftermath of finding your car damaged by a hit and run and will get you back on the road as soon as possible, including navigating the repair your car may need from a body shop, like Black Horse Auto Body Shop Inc.