It’s a dark, rainy night and the supermarket car park is very busy. You spot a space – but as you reverse to turn into it, you feel a thump on your rear bumper. Jumping out of the driver’s seat, you realise that your vehicle is undamaged but you’ve dented the passenger door of another car. In your haste, and with such poor visibility, you simply didn’t see it.
What do you do next? Did anyone see what happened? The temptation might be to drive off and park somewhere else – what is known as a ‘dent and run’. Although a recent survey showed that one in five drivers have bumped into a parked car and failed to report it, that would be a mistake.
Most car parks are covered by CCTV, or the driver could have seen the incident through the store window. If you’re caught leaving the scene without owning up, you could face a charge of criminal damage.
1. Accept Responsibility
You caused the dent, so don’t think of trying to evade the consequences.
2. Gather information
Make a note of the vehicle you hit – make, model, colour and registration number. Also take photos of the damage and of how the vehicle is positioned in the parking bay. Are there mitigating circumstances? Is the car sticking out or parked at an angle?
3. Tell the owner
Write a note with your name, address and contact details, together with details of the accident, and leave it under a windscreen wiper.
When the owner of the damaged car calls, hopefully they will respect your honesty and want to deal with the consequences in a calm manner.
4. Seek Professional Support
At this stage you may have decisions to make. For example, should you contact your insurance company or pay the repair bill yourself? You may also face a third party who is angry and aggressive.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and are unsure of your rights or feel the need for expert advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us at AYB Law. We have long experience in handling a range of claims and will offer all the support and guidance you require.
Give us a call on 01772 250605 and we’ll do our very best to help.