We all have busy lives and each of us has places to go and things to do. Yet, none of us expect to have our personal property damaged by the carelessness of another person. Unfortunately, many have experienced the frustration of returning to their parked car only to find someone has hit and damaged the vehicle. It makes matters even worse when the person who hit the car has fled the scene without leaving an explanation or phone number behind.
If you have had the unfortunate experience of someone hitting your car while it was parked, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. The lawyers at Gould Injury Law are quick to take action and identify solutions for our clients as fast as possible. We understand the importance of gathering evidence in a timely manner.
Having a legal team working aggressively for you might give you a better chance of recovering compensation for your damages. Talk to one of our attorneys to find out what solutions are available for your case. Call us at 888-WIN-FAST to schedule a free consultation to get honest advice fast.
What to Do at the Scene of the Accident
The shock of finding your parked car damaged can be overwhelming, but it is vital to remain calm and try to gather as much information as reasonably possible. There are certain things you can do that may protect your rights and preserve valuable evidence needed to support your claim.
Whether the at-fault party is present or the damages were caused by a hit-and-run accident, it is important to take fast action and follow these steps.
1. Call the police
Reporting a motor vehicle accident is required by Connecticut law even if there is no physical injury. This will enable you to request a police report which may assist you in filing a claim for damages.
2. Remain at the scene of the accident
We may be inclined to rush off after the accident, but you have a better opportunity to gather valuable information that will support your case by remaining at the scene.
3. Exchange information with the other driver
The State of Connecticut requires motorists involved in car accidents to exchange insurance information at the time of the incident. If the other driver is still at the scene, it’s important to get his or her details, including:
- Driver’s name
- License plate number
- Phone number
- Insurance provider
4. Take photos and videos
As soon as you notice your car has been hit, it would be beneficial to start recording and taking photos of your vehicle and the surrounding area. If the vehicle that hit you is nearby, try to take clear photos of any marks and damage that resulted from the crash. Photos and video footage will help you document the time and location of the incident and may reveal valuable information later on.
5. Talk to any witnesses
Time may be limited to gather testimonies from eyewitnesses. Try to talk to as many people in the area as possible who may have seen what happened. Ask for their names and contact information.
6. Notify your insurance company
It is important to contact your insurance company and let them know what has happened. Failure to do so may jeopardize your chances of compensation. By contacting your insurer as soon as possible, you can help expedite the claims process.
7. Consult with a car accident lawyer
Gould Injury Law’s attorneys offer free consultations to give Connecticut auto accident victims an opportunity to seek fast legal representation. We are ready to listen and give you an honest evaluation of your case.
Common Reasons for Hitting a Parked Car
Hitting a parked car may happen for various reasons, but it is often caused by the negligence of another driver. It may happen in a parking lot, while you are parked on the road, or even in your own driveway.
Common reasons a car might hit a parked car can include:
- Distracted driving
- Incorrect parallel parking
- Reversing out of a parking space improperly
- Pulling into a parking space without looking
- Rear-end collision
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a car may sustain heavy damage, particularly if the other vehicle was speeding or larger in size. If a person has hit your car while it was parked, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages caused.
Consult a qualified car accident attorney with Gould Injury Law to find out your rights. Our legal team works hard to find fast solutions to fill the needs of our clients.
Hit-and-Run Accident Laws in Connecticut
A hit-and-run, also the equivalent of a charge known as evading responsibility, refers to when a driver is involved in an accident and leaves the scene without exchanging information with the other parties.
If a person hits a parked car and causes property damage, he or she is required to stay at the scene and notify the owners. It is illegal to drive off from an accident scene; doing so can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony in the State of Connecticut.
Even if there is no personal injury caused by the collision, Connecticut law requires car accidents to be reported to the police. In the event that you’re unable to find the person who hit your car, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage.
Who is at Fault When Hitting a Parked Car?
All motorists have a responsibility to operate their vehicles in a safe way that does not cause harm or damage to people or their property. Therefore, it is generally the driver of the moving vehicle who is held accountable for hitting a parked car. If you were in the car while it was parked, the driver of the other vehicle would most likely still be at fault due to the fact that your car was not moving at the time.
The at-fault party or insurance company may challenge whether your car was parked legally in order to shift some of the blame onto you. Even if this was the case, the majority of blame would probably still lie with the driver of the moving vehicle.
You can see how complicated a legal claim can get when facing a determined insurance company. Having an experienced car accident lawyer working fast for you will help you to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
The Connecticut Modified Comparative Fault Rule
The State of Connecticut follows the modified comparative fault rule. This means that when an accident occurs, each party is held responsible for damages according to the amount of fault they share. As long as you don’t hold more than 51 percent of fault in the accident, you can pursue compensation for your losses.
To seek compensation for your damages, negligence must be established. When a driver hits a parked car, assigning blame usually isn’t a problem. This is because the driver of the moving vehicle’s negligence likely caused the accident. If your car was not moving at the time, there was not much you could do to avoid the crash.
Insurance companies may still try to shift a portion of the blame on you to minimize the settlement amount. This is because compensation is decreased according to the proportion of negligence or fault assigned to you.
But there is an easier way than arguing your side of the story on your own. If you hire Gould Injury Law to represent you, we will work fast to get the facts and aggressively defend your rights.
Four Elements Needed to Establish Negligence in Connecticut
If someone crashed into your parked car and you wish to seek monetary compensation for your damages, the State of Connecticut requires you to prove the defendant, the at-fault party, acted negligently. When establishing negligence, the following four elements need to be established.
1. Duty of care
The defendant owed a duty of care not to cause harm or damage to you. For example, all motorists have a duty to obey all traffic laws and to drive in a safe and responsible manner.
2. Breach of duty
The defendant failed to live up to his or her duty of care by acting negligently. For example, a driver gets distracted by checking his or her phone while driving.
The defendant’s negligent actions directly caused the accident. Perhaps the driver was distracted by his or her phone right before colliding with the other car.
The accident resulted in financial damages for you. For example, property damage, medical bills, or pain and suffering.
Compensation You Can Seek When a Person Hits Your Parked Car
When someone hits a parked car, it can place a real inconvenience on a victim’s life. If you were inside your parked vehicle when it was hit, you may have sustained injuries leading to expensive medical costs.
Whether it’s a minor crash or not, car accidents can place a heavy burden on victims and their families. Many accident victims must deal with expensive car repair costs and may be left without a functioning vehicle for a period of time, affecting their ability to work. Thus, it’s only fair for victims to be fairly compensated for their losses.
Damages our attorneys seek to recover for car accident victims may include the following, but are not limited to:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional trauma
We know our clients are in need of support and deserve justice. Gould Injury Law has successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. If you need a fast solution for your car accident case, talk to one of our experienced attorneys today.
Who Will Pay for the Damages?
If your car was hit while it was parked, you may need to seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company or your own. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to deal with multiple insurance companies. It can be an overwhelming and complicated process, but our lawyers know how to handle complex cases and get fast results for our clients.
Minimum insurance requirements in Connecticut
All Connecticut drivers are required to carry and maintain auto insurance, including liability coverage as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
The State of Connecticut has set the following minimum requirements for auto insurance requires:
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 per person
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage of at least $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability has a minimum coverage of $25,000 per accident
- Bodily injury liability has a minimum coverage of $25,000 per person/per accident
- Bodily injury liability has a minimum coverage of $50,000 per accident
When the at-fault driver is still at the scene
If someone hits your parked car and remains at the scene, it is important to exchange insurance details with that person and notify the police. You can file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage to recover your damages.
When you cannot identify the hit-and-run driver
In the event that a person hits your parked car and flees the scene, it can be a real challenge to track down the hit-and-run driver. If you are unable to identify the driver, you will likely need to make a claim against your own auto insurance coverage. For a hit-and-run accident, you may be able to file a claim under your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
When you are able to identify the hit-and-run driver
If a person hits your parked car and leaves the scene, it is a crime. If you are able to identify the hit-and-run driver and prove that he or she caused your damages, you can file a third-party claim against that person’s insurance company.
Filing a lawsuit against an at-fault driver
Usually, most negligence claims are settled out of court, but if a reasonable agreement cannot be made, you may have the option to file a lawsuit. Our experienced car accident lawyers are familiar with Connecticut car accident laws and, if necessary, we can help you take legal action for your case.
Connecticut Time Limits for Filing a Car Accident Claim
In the State of Connecticut, there are strict time limits for filing a claim or lawsuit for personal injury cases. Failure to file your documentation on time will most likely see your case rejected. Unfortunately, once the time period has lapsed, you lose the right to seek any compensation for your damages. We don’t want you to miss out on your opportunity to get a fast and fair settlement for your case.
The lawyers at Gould Injury Law are well-versed in Connecticut’s personal injury laws. We can use our extensive knowledge and resources to submit all necessary documentation within the limited time constraints. We work for a fast and successful outcome.
Do I Need to Hire a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer?
Not all car accidents require a lawyer. If there is only minor damage to your vehicle, and no bodily injury, you might be able to settle the matter with the at-fault party and their insurance provider. However, no matter how minor an accident may seem, the impact on a victim’s life is rarely so insignificant.
Dealing with insurance companies and insurance adjusters can be an extremely stressful experience. If you hire a seasoned lawyer who can deal directly with insurance companies on your behalf, though, this can help alleviate any unnecessary stress and give you peace of mind.
If your accident involves any of the following situations, talk to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible:
- You or a family member suffered injuries
- You sustained substantial property damage
- An insurance company is disputing liability for their policyholder
- A hit-and-run driver caused your accident
- An uninsured driver caused your accident
Call Us for Quality Representation and Fast Solutions
If someone has crashed into your parked car and left you with a mountain of bills, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages. The Gould legal team fights aggressively for those who have suffered due to the careless actions of others. We are known as “The Fast Firm” because we act quickly to pursue the maximum compensation for our clients.
If you have questions about your car accident case, call Gould Injury Law to find out how we can get quick results for you. Our attorneys can meet with you in person or via video conferencing to discuss your case.
Call our lawyers at 888-WIN-FAST for a free consultation.