Parking lots can be just as hazardous as the road, if not more so. You’ve got a whole host of obstacles to deal with like parked cars, shopping carts, pedestrians who are engrossed in their shopping bags and smartphones, and landscaping. Plus, in the winter, parking lots typically aren’t nearly as well maintained as roads.
If you find yourself involved in a parking lot fender bender, don’t panic! Take a deep breath and keep the following “do”s and “don’t”s in mind.
Don’t drive away
When you hit or otherwise damage someone’s car it can be nerve-wracking. If you’re a young or inexperienced driver, or if this is your first accident, it can be really frightening. However, whatever you do, do not just drive away. If a customer, employee, or surveillance camera spots you, you may face more serious consequences.
Do tell the owner
If you hit someone’s car, it may be tempting to just leave a note and get out of there, but you should try to tell the owner face-to-face. Head into the store with the make, model, color of the car, and license plate number and have the information announced over the loudspeaker. If you can’t find the owner than leave a note with all of your contact information.
Do document the damage
If you have a camera or a smartphone equipped with a camera, take a picture of the damage done to both cars for your records.
Do document the scene
Again, if you have a camera or a smartphone equipped with a camera, take some pictures of the environment or accident scene. For example, if the other driver had a stop sign, take a picture of it.
Don’t rely on memory
Use whatever is at your disposal to take thorough notes. If you have a smartphone, you may be able to make an audio recording. Take down the other driver’s name, address, phone number, license number, insurance company, any injuries, and any other details.
Do call the police
If the damage is extensive or you or the other individual involved are injured, you may want to call the police. Law enforcement officials can document the accident and provide information for your records.
Do contact your insurance agent
Contact your instance agent as soon as possible to let him or her know about any damage or injuries. Your agent will be able to help you determine what should be done next including if you need to contact an attorney.
Don’t assume you’re alone
Fender benders can be costly. This is especially true if anyone involved is injured. With that in mind, you’re going to want to compile as much information as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask other people if they witnessed the accident or to get security camera footage from the store. If you do find a witness, jot down his or her recollection
of the incident and contact information.
Finally, be sure to contact an experienced car accident Brooklyn attorney
if you have been involved in a New York fender bender.