It could happen at school, the mall, or even at a nearby restaurant – a parking lot accident.  If it happened to you, do you know what you should and should not do?

Whether it’s not seeing a car as you back out of a parking spot, coming around a corner and hitting another vehicle, or returning to your car or truck to find someone damaged it and drove off, parking lot wrecks happen more often than you might think. There are more than 50,000 parking area accidents every year in the U.S. While most are minor, they can be very unsettling. And determining who is at fault can be a sticky situation.

Here are 10 Important Things to Do if You’re Involved in a Parking Lot or Parking Garage Accident:

    1. Call for medical help if someone is injured
    2. Avoid getting into an argument
    3. Take pictures before moving the vehicles
    4. Write down the time of the crash and diagram where and how it occurred and any other important information (obstructed views, weather conditions, how fast your or the other car was going, arrows or other markers showing the direction of travel, etc.)
    5. Exchange insurance and other important information (License plate and driver’s license numbers, names and phone numbers)
    6. Seek out and get contact information from witnesses
    7. Make a police report
    8. Leave a note under the wiper blade with your name, insurance, and contact information if you hit an unoccupied vehicle and can’t locate the
    9. Don’t negotiate with the other driver to work a deal without notifying insurance because they could still make a claim
    10. Contact your insurance provider

Some critical things you need to know…

    • Never leave the scene without leaving a note; doing so could result in a major violation and penalties
    • Be aware of staged accident schemes
    • You’ll be paying for damage if someone hits you and leaves unless you have collision coverage

And lastly, here are some tips to help avoid an unplanned “bumper-cruncher,”.

    • Be extra cautious when backing out of a space (the cause of 25%or more of parking area crashes) and don’t rely on backup cameras
    • Observe posted signs
    • Slow down
    • Don‘t cut across lots and spaces
    • Don’t speed up or suddenly back up for a vacant space
    • Avoid cell phones and other distractions
    • Park in well-lit areas
    • Choose a parking spot at the end of the row or next to an island or pole to help protect our car
    • Watch for pedestrians, especially children and the elderly

Contact a California Casualty advisor to make sure you’re covered for the unexpected. Call today for a policy review at 1.800.800.9410 or visit


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or


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