Car Parking Tips · July 9, 2022

What to Do When You Hit a Parked Car

Hitting a parked car with your car can happen more often than you think. What should you do if you hit a parked car? You didn’t see any witnesses and the damage to the other car didn’t look as bad. As tempting as it may be to drive away, don’t do it. Leaving the scene, even in a minor accident, can result in fines, criminal penalties, and loss of driver’s license. This article explains what to do when you hit a parked car.

Is Hitting A Parked Car Considered An Accident?

Whether hitting a parked car is considered an accident will depend on the circumstances. If it turns out that you were driving well over the speed limit, that the turns were unsafe, or that you were driving while intoxicated, the situation may not be considered an accident.

If you leave the scene without notifying other drivers, your insurance company may handle the situation differently. Your future insurance rates could be severely affected by such actions.

Read More: Can A Parked Car Sliding On Ice?

Was The Accident Your Fault?

If the car you hit is parked, you are likely to be considered “at fault” for the accident. However, if you can prove that someone else was responsible or partially responsible for the accident, you may be able to avoid liability or at least reduce it. For example, you may have hit a parked car after a turn to avoid another runaway car, or the parked car was parked illegally.

Assuming you are not in a no-fault state, the person responsible for the accident will be liable for damages. You are not legally obligated to repair your car unless there is something unsafe on the road.

What to Do When You Hit a Parked Car

Waiting For Owner

Think a car accident is bad for your insurance rates, and a hit-and-run sentence is worse. You can add up to six points to your driving record. While you may not see any witnesses to the collision, you can’t be sure if anyone was watching.

If you hit a parked car, do not leave the scene. Wait a reasonable amount of time by the car to let the owner know what’s going on. If you’re in a store or commercial parking lot, go in and find the owner.

When you talk to car owners, understand that they may be shocked or upset by the news. keep cool. Let them know you are responsible for the loss and exchange contact and insurance information.

Leave A Note

Leave A Note when you hit a parked car
accidents and rules

If you cannot find the owner of the car, you must leave a note in the car before leaving the scene. Provide the following details:

  • your name
  • your contact information
  • Your car insurance policy information
  • an explanation of what happened

You can now legally leave the area, and the owner has the option to contact you if they wish to pay for damages.

Look For Witnesses

Obtaining witness testimony is a great way to support your account of the accident. Use your phone to record a brief description of what they observed. You can also have the witness write a short statement and sign it while you wait. Make sure to obtain the names and contact information of all witnesses.


Photograph  when you hit a parked car

It is important to create a complete record of the incident. Use your phone to photograph the crash zone on each vehicle. You should also take a few pictures of the area where the accident occurred.

The phone may be lost or damaged. Therefore, it is best to print or backup these pictures as soon as possible.

Call the police

Many state laws require you to call the police if another vehicle suffers significant damage. Since it is difficult for the average person to estimate the damage, you may not know if you need the police. be careful. Call your local police station and ask.

Contact your insurance company

Contact your insurance company

You might think that if the owner doesn’t call back, you don’t need to contact the insurance company. This is a bad idea. Owners of damaged cars have two to three years to file a property damage claim. If you don’t notify your insurance company immediately of the accident, they can deny the claim. Your toll shouldn’t be affected just because you admit to hitting another car.

Discuss your car accident with a lawyer

In general, being involved in a traffic accident is not illegal, but it does create liability that must be taken seriously. If you are involved in a traffic accident, you can get help from an experienced auto insurance attorney. Even minor traffic collisions can lead to complex insurance issues. It’s important to know your rights during the auto insurance billing process.

How Does Insurance Work When You Hit A Parked Car? 

Assuming you’ve taken the steps above, including notifying other drivers, your insurance will generally cover the cost of damage to the other car as well as damage to your car.

The liability portion of your auto insurance will cover any damage to other cars and/or other drivers’ property. In most states, this is required coverage, so your policy may include this type of coverage.

A key point here is that the minimum coverage required for the liability portion of your auto insurance policy will vary from state to state. For example, if your liability coverage amount is only $5,000, you may be liable for anything over that amount. Today, $5,000 worth of damage when hitting a parked car is not a high threshold due to the high cost of many vehicles.

Make sure your policy includes adequate liability coverage. This part of your policy provides coverage for all types of property damage you may incur, whether or not you are involved in a crash. Examples of damage under your responsibility include hitting a fence or structural damage caused by your car.

Liability coverage does not cover damage to your car from hitting a parked car. This damage is covered by collision coverage in your policy.

What Happens If I Leave The Accident Scene?

You should not leave the accident scene without leaving your contact details. You may be seen by other drivers, pedestrians, or CCTV, and if caught, points may be deducted from your license and you may be fined.

Also, abandoning the scene of an accident does not fully prove that you are a careful, responsible driver. These kinds of things can lead to higher insurance premiums. Or you can completely repeal your policy.

Imagine how upset you would be if someone hit your car and drove away. Think about all the inconveniences and all the costs you will face. It’s not great, is it? Don’t be that driver. Do the right thing.

What If You Hit A Parked Car And There Is No Damage?

If you hit a parked car and appear to be undamaged, you should still follow the steps above to notify the other driver of the car you hit, and then your own insurance company. No matter how small the damage may seem, if you crash into a parked car and leave the scene without at least leaving a note to the owner of the other car, you will be charged with a hit-and-run charge and be subject to the law at Any penalties imposed in your jurisdiction, in addition, will be subject to higher insurance rates in the future.

What If Someone Hit Your Parked Car And Left?

If you or the police can identify the hit-and-run driver, you can file a claim against their insurance or file a personal injury lawsuit against them.

If you cannot identify the hit-and-run driver, the following optional policies may still provide coverage:

Uninsured Driver (UM) coverage. UM Insurance provides coverage for losses incurred as a result of an accident involving an unlocated driver.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance. Regardless of who is at fault, PIP insurance provides coverage of up to $10,000. Whether or not a hit-and-run accident is covered by the PIP depends on your specific policy.

medical insurance. Medicare provides coverage for medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault. Again, whether Medicare covers hit-and-run accidents depends on your specific policy.

Also, there’s something called “parking insurance.” If you have a car that you only drive a few times a year, you can buy parked car insurance (sometimes called “storage insurance”). This type of insurance usually doesn’t cover liability, but may cover damage caused by hitting your parked car and fleeing the scene.


Accidents can happen, including inadvertently hitting parked cars. Regardless of the circumstances that caused you to hit a parked car, it is important not to leave the scene without notifying the driver of the other car. If you can’t find the driver, you should safely leave a note about the accident under their wiper blades with your contact information, they’ll see it, and it won’t be blown away. Be sure to promptly notify your own insurance company.