You walk out to the parking lot after a long day at work only to discover that some driver hit your vehicle while it was parked — what do you do now? Who do you call? Wait — was that dent already there and perhaps you just didn’t notice it?
Walking out to your vehicle to find a glaring dent is a nightmare shared by every vehicle owner. And since this unfortunate situation is always a possibility, you should know how to handle it.
Below, the auto body repair experts at Minnetonka Collision share a quick rundown of what you need to do when someone hits your vehicle and leaves the scene.
If There’s Note, Look for Contact Information
If you’re lucky and a considerate driver hits your vehicle, they’ll likely leave a note either on your driver's side window or your windshield. If the note contains contact information, that’s a solid indication the other driver is willing to take responsibility for paying for your vehicle’s auto body repairs.
Call the number on the note (if there is one) or reach out to the person via whatever contact method they wrote down. You’ll need their collision insurance information to file an auto body repair claim.
Look Around for Witnesses
If the driver who hit your vehicle wasn’t so considerate and didn’t leave a note, look around for witnesses who may have seen the collision. Don’t be afraid to knock on doors if your vehicle was parked on the curb! You need to find out if anyone happened to see the vehicle that hit your car and whether anyone managed to write down a license plate number.
If you can’t locate any witnesses, don’t despair. Your insurance company may cover the cost of auto body repairs depending on the specifics of your policy.
Call the Police
Even if you don’t have a suspect, you should call the police so they can create an accident report for the incident. You’ll need this report to file your insurance claim, so don’t skip this step!
Calling the police might seem unnecessary, but without a police-issued accident report, you may have trouble getting the coverage you need from your collision insurance. Be sure you also get the name and badge number of the officer who arrives on the scene.
Document Anything Related to the Accident
Documenting the accident and anything related to it is another critical component of the collision insurance repair process. To expedite the filing process, you’ll need to document the following pieces of information:
● Date and time of the accident (if you’re unsure, ask if you can estimate)
● The location of the accident
● The names and contact information of any witnesses you were able to locate
● What the damage looks like (if it’s safe to do so, take pictures of the damage to give to your insurance company)
● Weather conditions when the accident occurred
Call Your Insurance Company
It’s best to notify your insurer of the accident as soon as you can while the details are still fresh in your mind. If you need to collect any further information, your insurance rep will let you know what to do.
If you were driving a business vehicle and someone hit it and ran, you’ll need to contact your business’s or employer’s insurance company to inform them of the incident. Follow any instructions from your insurance rep for moving forward with the process of filing your claim.
Filing a Collision Insurance Claim in the Twin Cities? Let Minnetonka Collision Help
If someone hits your parked vehicle and leaves the scene, get in touch with our team at Minnetonka Collision for help filing your collision insurance claim. We specialize in high-end auto body repair and our expert team can work with your insurer to make sure you get the coverage you deserve. To get started, schedule a free estimate, call our Plymouth, MN office at 763-230-7805, or contact us online.