A parking lot accident happens often this time of year. With malls and major department stores being full of Christmas shoppers, the chances of being involved in a car accident in one of these parking lots increase. Here are a few things that you should do if you are involved in a parking lot car accident:
Take Photos of the Parking Lot and the Cars
After a crash, some people react by pulling back into the parking space they were pulling out of. However, it is better (for you, not the other drivers) if you don’t initially move your vehicle. Instead, get out and take pictures – lots of them – of where your vehicle was at the time of impact, where the other vehicle is at, the configuration of the parking lot, and the license plate of the vehicle who hit you.
Most times, law enforcement will not come out to investigate parking lot accidents. This makes the photographs even more important if there is a dispute as to who is at fault for the parking lot accident.
Obtain the Other Party’s Contact Information
After a parking lot accident, it is important to exchange insurance and contact information is completely on the parties involved. Taking a photo of the vehicle’s registration is also important as it will show the VIN number and its proper owner.
Write down the name and address on the driver’s license to be sure you have the driver’s contact information (maybe even a photo of their driver’s license). Too many times, people deny being involved in these types of parking lot accident so the more information you gather, the better. However, never ask or provide Social Security numbers or other private, unrelated information.
Should You File a Claim?
If you sustained any kind of personal injury or substantial damage to your vehicle above your deductible amount, you will want to contact your insurance company. Also, if you caused the parking lot car accident, you are obligated to report the crash. However, if you didn’t cause the accident and have minor property damage below your insurance deductible, you may rather handle the matter outside of the insurance companies. However, many agreements to pay in the parking lot results in refusals to pay once they get home. So, it is important that you still obtain the insurance information.
If you find someone dashing through the parking lanes carelessly which causes a parking lot accident, don’t lose your Christmas cheer. Rather, take these steps to protect yourself.
Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.