Has your vehicle been damaged in a parking lot? You’re not alone. Twenty percent of all auto accidents occur in parking lots, but not all of them are mere “hit and runs.”
The worst accidents occur while you are in or around your vehicle and someone’s careless actions caused you to suffer an injury. This is increasingly more likely as distractions for drivers are at an all-time high. The National Safety Council says that about two-thirds of drivers are distracted in parking lots.
Around 60,000 people are injured each year in parking lots. Sadly, 500 or more are killed. If you have been involved in an auto accident in a parking lot and you have been injured, you need to call an attorney right away.
What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident
When you are present in a vehicle and are hit by another driver, the first thing you must do is to see if anyone involved requires medical assistance. You should call 911 immediately if anyone is hurt. If nobody is injured, it is a good idea to take pictures and video of the scene. Exchange contact information with the other driver and anyone who witnessed the incident. Be sure to record the make, model, and license plate number of the other vehicle, along with the policy number from their insurance company.
What if the Automobile Accident Resulted in Injury?
If the accident resulted in an injury or damage over $1000, you are required to file a police report. However, even if the damage is minor, it is a good idea to file a car accident report. Don’t let the other person talk you out of calling the police. Many injuries and damages are not immediately apparent, and it will be more difficult to seek compensation without a police report.
A police report will be used repeatedly in fighting for no-fault benefits or bringing a claim against the at-fault driver. You can get a copy of your police report at the police department or may be allowed to download the report for a small fee online. You need to carefully review all information on the police report as soon as you receive it. Any errors may be used as a reason to deny or delay benefits or compensation.
What if the Accident Took Place When I Wasn’t Around?
If you were not present when the accident took place, and the other driver did not leave a note, you should contact your insurance company and see if your incident is covered under your policy. However, even if it is, it may be best to pay for the repairs yourself to keep your rates from increasing. Don’t forget to check with businesses in the area to see if they have security camera footage showing the incident. If you can identify the hit and run driver, you may be able to seek compensation for repairs.
The laws concerning accidents of any kind are complex, especially in the State of Michigan. No two accidents are exactly alike. With all of the variables involved you need someone well versed in these matters to help you navigate the process of trying to return your life and property to what it once was.
Injuries from car accidents, even from low-speed collisions in parking lots, can bring many forms of impairment in your life. It is important that these impairments are properly documented and you need knowledgeable help to do it right. What you do following an injury is important, but what you are not doing could hurt you more.
If your incident took place in the West Michigan area, you can find no better representation and guidance than with Shafer Swartz PLC. We have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and can protect you and help you get what you deserve.
In need of a Michigan car accident lawyer? It never hurts to call for a free consultation. Reach out to us at (231) 722-2444.