Common Insurance Scenario: At-fault in Parking Lot Accident
You’re reversing your car into a parking spot when you all of a sudden hear a bang. You just backed into the car parked behind you! The parked car has been dented, but yours is only scratched. The driver of the parked car isn’t there and no one is around. It may be tempting to just leave, but this could result in severe consequences.
By walking away, you could be opening yourself up to much worse than just having an at-fault accident on your record. For starters, there could have been a witness you didn’t notice, who took down your licence plate number and may report you. As a result, you could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. This is a seven-demerit-point conviction in theprovinceofOntario, as well as a fine of $200 to $2,000. As for insurance rates, they could skyrocket for at least three years.
So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?
If you don’t know the owner of the car and he or she is not present at the time of the accident, do your best to find the car owner. Go to any homes or businesses in the area that are in direct view of the location of the accident and ask people if they know the owner of the vehicle. If you can’t locate the owner, leave a note with your contact information as well as your insurance information under the windshield wiper of the car that you hit.
If the note is lost, you will be able to defend yourself against a potential leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run) charge, as you will have proof that you tried to find the owner by letting officials know that you canvassed homes and/or businesses in the area trying to locate the driver. Plus, you could visit one of the many collision reporting centres inOntarioas well. There police can help you track down the owner of the car. Don’t forget: all accidents must be reported to your insurance company, regardless of fault.
It’s difficult to look back and wish you had done something differently. Follow the proper procedures and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run! If you have gone through this situation and you now have higher insurance rates as a result, you still may be able to get a lower rate. Check out InsuranceHotline.com, where you can compare offerings from 30 competing insurers to find the lowest rate available for your driving profile.
In part one of our series, we look at the reverse scenario: another driver has hit your car in a parking lot, denting your car. What do you do? Do you report it to your insurance company? Do you report it to the police? Do you just fix it yourself?...read more.