should I pay out of pocket if I hit a parked car?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Nov 14, 2012

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Insurance Question from Charlotte, NC

Asked on 11/14/2012

should I pay out of pocket if I hit a parked car? I hit a parked car-to pay out of pocket will be $800. Should I just pay it or report it-will that make me a "reckless driver"? Also, the wreck was a while ago, is it too late?

Answer given on November 15, 2012

If you hit a parked car you have two options. You can turn this in to your insurance company and they will settle the damage with the other party for the repairs. However, depending upon the insurance company’s rules, they could increase your auto insurance rates for this accident.You may elect to pay for the repairs out of your pocket. If you decide to do this, be sure you get a qualified estimate from the other party’s repair shop. You don’t want them to come back and ask for additional money for additional repairs. Once you and the other person agree to an amount, get a signed ststement from them agreeing that the amount you paid is the complete amount.You should not have any issues as to being a reckless driver, even if you report the damage to your insurance company. The police will not be involved unless the other party calls them. You do need to make a decision about how you want to pay for the damages so you can get this resolved soon.

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