Los Angeles, CA

Can I File a Car Accident Claim in Los Angeles if Someone Hits My Parked Car?

Have you ever parked your car on the side of a road or in a parking lot, only to come back later and find scratches, dents, or other damage?

Unfortunately, this happens all too often, especially in cities like Los Angeles. Between crowded streets, tight parking spaces, and other common city issues, accidental car accidents happen all the time. 

If someone backed into your car, hit your car while it was parked on the street, or hit your car while you were in a parking lot, there are legal remedies available. 

My Car Was Hit While Parked, What Can I Do? 

There are a few options available to you if your car is hit while parked in Los Angeles. These include utilizing your own insurance coverage as well as potentially filing a claim against the at-fault party.

Insurance Coverage for Parked Car Collisions

Depending on the type of motor vehicle insurance that you have, you should be able to call your insurance company immediately and tell them, “My car was hit while parked.” That will help them explain what kind of coverage you have and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for damages. 

Two types of insurance could be helpful, depending on the particular situation: collision coverage and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. 

Collision coverage specifically offers benefits if your car is damaged in a collision and would likely apply in a parked car accident.

If the person who hit your car was uninsured or underinsured, you may be able to utilize your underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. 

However, note that these types of insurance are not required by California insurance law – check the terms of your policy to see whether you’ve purchased one or the other.

Hit-and-Run Is a Crime in California

California law covering misdemeanor hit-and-runs states that if you are the driver that hit the parked car, you have to notify the owner of the damaged car. If you can locate the driver, you must provide your name, address, license, insurance, and other relevant information. 

If someone hits a car and cannot find the driver, they have to place a note on the vehicle in a conspicuous place that notifies them of the accident. They have to provide their name and address as well as a statement of the circumstances. They’ll then have to notify the local police department. 

The driver of the vehicle cannot leave the scene without following the proper procedures. This is true regardless of whether hitting the parked car caused significant damage or not. 

If someone violates this statute, that is classified as a misdemeanor, and they could receive jail time and a fine. 

There’s a separate statute for felony hit-and-runs in the State of California. This is where someone in the parked car was injured or died as a result of the car accident. 

Someone Hit My Parked Car – What Can I Do?

If your car was hit while it was parked and you cannot locate the driver, your best option is likely to file a claim with your own insurance company – depending on the coverage you’ve purchased. But if you can locate the driver, you may be able to file a claim against their insurance policy instead for damages

In addition, here are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind regarding the immediate aftermath of the crash:

  • Contact your local police department and file an accident report
  • Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle from different angles. You should also document any evidence surrounding your parked car that was hit. This includes skid marks on the ground, parts of the car, and other debris nearby.
  • Make sure you get the other driver’s information if they stayed on the scene 
  • Tell your insurance company about the accident and send them any pictures and other information.

The best thing to do from there is to contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents. A qualified lawyer can review your accident and help you determine your best course of action. Keep in mind that most injury lawyers offer free initial consultations.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA

If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Los Angeles Office
4929 Wilshire Blvd Suite 960,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(877) 300-4535

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Office
350 S Figueroa St Suite 276
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(877) 751-8953