Accidents do not only occur on the freeway. Many accidents take place in parks, in parking lots, or even in your own driveway. What do you do when the accident is in a place where the police will not come out? Who do you call in these cases? These questions, and more, will be examined below. And before you scoff that these accidents do not occur, there are very tragic examples of these accidents, some even resulting in death.
Call the Police
The first thing to do in the event of an accident is to call the police. This applies regardless of whether you are on public or private property. Police are more likely to file a report on a public street, but many insurance companies will not file a claim without a police report. To be on the safe side, it is best to always contact police so that there can be documentation of the accident, even if that documentation does not result in a full police investigation.
So even though there may be no full police response it is critical that you ask the police to file a report for you to show to your insurance company.
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The Role of a Third Party
When you have an accident on private property there is a third party involved. There are the two parties in the accident (each driver), and the owner of the property. Typically, in an open road accident, the owner of the road (the state) does not have any part in claims. But on private property, the owner of the road or wherever the accident takes place, does have a stake in the claim.
This third claim can occur when the property itself caused the accident. The owner can have a faulty drive, or parking garage. Maybe a sign blocks the view and creates a hazard. The owner of the property can then be the one who pays out, possibly to both drivers.
Because the owner of the property often plays a part in an accident claim, they are often quick to get involved. This can be good if the owner is interested in helping and provides evidence clarifying what happened. But the situation can also be hard because the same party may obstruct the investigation for fear of a large settlement.
If you are at a mall or parking facility, there may be private security or patrol that you should also inform. If it is a large enough site, they may have protocol for how to handle these accidents. While these guards may write up a report, it often will not satisfy your insurance company’s requirements. If you are curious, contact your insurance agency to see what the requirements are for your specific policy.
Either way, when in an accident on private property it is very important that you contact law enforcement as soon as possible for adequate documentation. But remember to always make sure everyone is safe right away.
Contact an Attorney
Once the dust has settled, contact the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. to help make sure your claim has a fighting chance. You should contact your attorney before contacting your insurance company. The insurance company wants to make sure they pay the least amount possible and will attempt to find a faulty party. Proper representation will help you navigate this avenue with confidence.