Considering how busy and congested, parking lots are, filled with hazards such as bikes, shopping carts, and shoppers, the risk of being involved in a parking lot accident is not low. If you happen to be involved in a car accident in a parking lot, it is important to know these steps to protect yourself and your finances.
Stay calm and remain at the scene. The last thing you want is to leave the parking lot and face criminal charges. While you may be worried or upset, it is best to take care of the situation rather than flee from it.
Check for injuries and call for medical help if anyone in the accident was hurt. Sometimes, injuries may not be apparent right away, so it is better to call an ambulance right away in the case that you may not be able to properly evaluate yourself or others.
Call the police. Filing a report with the police will be helpful particularly if anyone was injured. Usually, unless there are injuries, an officer won’t come to the scene, a report may protect you in the case that it’s your word versus the other driver’s word. You can fill out a report online or at your local police station.
Exchange information with the other driver. Information such as the driver’s name, driver’s license number, insurance information, phone number, and license plate number will be helpful for insurance purposes. If the other driver refuses to give up this information, take the names and contact information of witnesses nearby in the event that you need them to support you case. If the owner of the vehicle you hit is nowhere to be found, either wait for them to come back to their car or leave a note with your information on it. Hit and runs could lead to fines or jail time.
Take photos and record details of the accident. Make note of any damage, broken glass, property damage, and even skid marks.
File a claim with your insurance company. Most insurance policies require you to report all accidents including minor ones because the damage or your injuries may be worse than they might seem.
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AZ Insurance Team
*All policies are a little different and this may not be applicable to your insurance policy, talk to your agent to see what your policy covers.