Can I File a Claim if Someone Hit My Parked Car in Miami, FL?
August 11, 2022 | Sagi Shaked
Can you file a claim if someone hits your parked car? It depends on whether you can locate the at-fault driver, what kind of losses you suffered, and what type of insurance coverage is available.
If you cannot locate the at-fault driver and carry only Florida’s mandatory minimum auto insurance, you may be out of luck regarding damage to your vehicle. But if you can and have more substantial coverage, you might find that you can cover the damage to your car and any injury you may have suffered.
My Car Was Hit While Parked: Common Causes of Parked Car Accidents
“Someone hit my parked car” is a common complaint. Here are some possible reasons that a parked car accident could occur:
- A driver falls asleep at the wheel and collides with a car parked on the side of the road.
- A driver tries to pass another car without enough passing clearance and sideswipes your car. This often happens on busy, narrow streets.
- The driver of the car that hit your car had a seizure or a heart attack while driving and thereby lost control of their car.
- A driver swerves into your car to avoid a pedestrian running into the street (a child chasing a basketball, for example).
- A driver strikes your car because they are intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.
- A driver suffers a tire blowout and loses control of their car.
- A driver tries to squeeze into or out of a narrow parking space and sideswipes your car.
- A driver backs into your car in a parking structure or a parking lot.
Perhaps the most dangerous kind of parked car accident occurs when you are parked in the emergency lane of a highway due to a flat tire or mechanical problems, and a passing car hits your car at a high speed. Even worse, an 18-wheeler truck might hit your car while you are inside it. Accidents like these can cause catastrophic injuries.
Filing Insurance Claims
Perhaps the most important factor in the aftermath of a parked car accident is the availability of appropriate insurance coverage. The following is a list of some common auto insurance coverage types available to Florida drivers.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance is mandatory no-fault insurance that covers 80% of your medical expenses and lost earnings. If you need this insurance, you must file a claim against your policy, not the at-fault driver’s policy.
- Collision insurance. Your collision insurance covers any damage to your car, regardless of fault. You might not have a collision insurance policy since it is not mandatory in Florida.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM insurance). This insurance compensates you for personal injury, lost earnings, and property damage if the other driver is uninsured or lacks sufficient insurance coverage. It also pays for hit-and-run accidents. UIM insurance is not mandatory in Florida.
- The at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance. This type of insurance is not mandatory in Florida for most drivers. It is also useless in hit-and-run accidents if you cannot locate the at-fault driver.
- The at-fault driver’s property damage liability insurance policy. This will pay up to $10,000 in damage to your car. It is mandatory in Florida. Nevertheless, it is also useless in a hit-and-run accident if you cannot locate the at-fault driver.
Taxi drivers, commercial truckers, and on-duty Uber/Lyft drivers must carry much more insurance than most drivers, usually provided by their employer.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim
Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, during which they will ask you questions and evaluate your claim. If you have a strong claim, they might offer to represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means no legal fees upfront and no fees ever unless you win, either at the settlement table or in court.