Many drivers don’t take notice when they bump into other cars in the parking lot. However, those little bumps can be a lot more significant for other drivers who return to find dents and dings on their car. Ideally, the offending driver would leave a note with all the appropriate contact and insurance information, but in reality it is often necessary to get the law involved in order to get compensation for parking lot collisions. Here are three ways to get legal compensation for parking lot dents and dings:
- Contract With the Offending Driver.
Even if the person who bumped your car did leave a note, you may not know how to proceed even if you are able to contact them. The best course of action is to create a legal agreement that ensures that the other driver actually follows through on his or her implied promise. Once you’ve evaluated the damage to your car (which is hopefully slight) you can draft up a legal agreement which includes:
- The names and signatures of you and the other party
- The amount to be paid for damage to your car
- Time limits for payment or repair
- Some remedies for non-payment
- An agreement to drop all claims for damages once payment is received.
You can also draft an agreement that allows the responsible party to fix the damage themselves. If you choose this route, make sure that you are as precise as possible as to what is required for each party.
- Sue in Small Claims Court.
Small claims courts can usually handle claims for damage under a certain amount, typically $5,000, though it varies by state. This often covers most dents and dings. Though it is fairly easy to file a claim for parking lot damage in small claims court, you do need to have some way to contact the person who bumped into your car, which may be difficult if they did not leave a note. If the accident happened in a commercial parking lot, you can try asking the lot’s owner if you can look at the security footage for clues to track down the offending driver.
- Submit a Claim to Insurance.
Many drivers choose not to submit a claim to insurance since the damage for dings and dents are usually very small. They might only submit a claim if the damage is substantial.NO matter what you choose to do, make sure you read your policy first.
In addition, if you decide to submit a claim, you might not want the hassle of dealing with insurance adjusters and other drivers on your own. You can contact an experienced car accident lawyer to help you figure out the best way to proceed. With a lawyer’s help, you can get compensation for even the smallest dents and dings.