If you were injured or sustained property damage while your car was parked, you may be unsure of your next steps. You may be wondering: Do I Have a Claim? Will I Be Covered? Am I Owed Compensation?
It is important to act quickly to protect your right to compensation. This includes calling the police and informing your insurance company of the accident. You may also want to consider having an experienced lawyer who can represent your best interests and guide you through the legal process.
A member of our legal team is ready to go over your available options – whether that is negotiating a claim and/or filing a lawsuit in a consultation. It is free of charge and comes with no obligation to have us represent you. We only get paid if we help you obtain a recovery.
Zero Upfront Fees. Ph: (866) 320-4770
Accident Scenarios Involving Parked Cars
There are a number of scenarios that can cause a driver to hit a parked car. For instance:
- A driver may have been distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or fell asleep at the wheel when he or she hit one or more cars parked on the side of the road.
- Perhaps a driver misjudged the available clearance and ended up hitting the side of a parked car. This can happen with inexperienced drivers or those driving an unfamiliar car.
- On narrower streets, a driver may have gotten too close to an oncoming car while passing and sideswiped a parked car in the process.
- The driver of the moving car may have had a sudden medical emergency (i.e. a heart attack or a seizure) and lost control of his or her car before hitting a parked car on the street.
- A driver turning into an adjacent parking space or trying to parallel park may hit a parked car.
Most people assume that claims involving parked cars should be easier than accidents with two moving cars. However, liability for parked car accidents can get complicated if the car was illegally parked. The driver who hit the parked car and the owner of the parked car may share blame for the accident.
Will I Be Covered If Someone Hit My Parked Car?
You will first need to make a claim through your own insurance company. In Ontario, auto insurance is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. Based on your policy and coverage limits, your insurer may cover the repair costs if someone hit your parked car and caused damage.
In addition to the standard policy requirements, purchasing extra coverage in the event of an accident may help protect against loss or damage to your car. For instance, collision or upset coverage could help to repair or replace your insured car if it is hit by another driver – regardless of who was at fault.
What If I Was Injured in My Parked Car?
In addition to property damage, you may have been injured in the accident. Perhaps you were sitting inside your parked car when you were hit by someone. If you were parked on the side of the road because your car broke down or after a tire blowout, there is always a risk of being hit by another driver.
Perhaps you were stepping in or out of your parked car when you were hit or just standing next to your car. Drivers, however, have a duty to pay attention to the road to avoid an accident. Unlike a parked car that is not moving, a driver that hits a parked car generally has the ability to move out of the way.
What if the At-Fault Driver Fled the Scene?
It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident if it results in property damage, injury or death. If another driver hit your parked car and fled – whether you were in it or not – it is considered a hit-and-run.
The insurance company will likely deem the fleeing driver as uninsured. If the driver cannot be found, your uninsured automobile coverage could help compensate you for the damage to your car. This coverage is mandatory in all standard Ontario auto insurance policies. If the driver is located and your damages are significant, you may be able to file a lawsuit against him or her to try and recoup your losses.
Failing to remain or return to the scene of an accident is an offense under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. If a driver hit your parked car and then fled the scene, he or she could face the following penalties:
- A fine between $400 and $2,000; or
- Up to six months in jail, or both
- Demerit points added to his or her driving record
- License suspension for up to two years
Strengthening Your Case for Compensation
You may decide you want to take legal action against the other driver. If you do, our firm is ready to help you with your personal injury and accident needs. Here are steps you can take to strengthen your potential case:
- Call the police to file a report. Ontario drivers are legally obligated to report an accident if anyone was injured or killed, or the accident resulted in $2,000 or more in property damage.
- Take photos of your injuries and vehicle damages. This may include damage to your bumper or fender, dents and scratches on the side of your car or broken headlights or taillights.
- If possible, obtain the other driver’s contact details, insurance and registration information. Sometimes a driver who left the scene may leave a note with these details.
- Inform your insurance company of the accident. A lawyer at our firm is ready to communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain maximum compensation.
Reach Out for Legal Help You Can Trust
An auto accident lawyer based in Windsor is ready to review your situation and discuss your right to compensation in a free initial consultation. This meeting comes with no obligation to have us represent you. We also work on a contingency fee basis so there are zero upfront fees unless we help you win.
Find Out If You Have a Case: (866) 320-4770