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Damage to unattended vehicles

UPDATe Magazine Ed1. 2019 - 12-08-2019

Damage to unattended vehicles

Recently a Member returned to their car which was parked in a carpark, to find that someone had reversed into it, in fact still was reversing into as she entered the carpark. Fortunately she witnessed the damage and was able to take details of the offending vehicle, but what if she had been five minutes later, what should she have done? What if someone has scraped a shopping trolley across your paintwork - what do you do?

Consumer rights organisation DECO has some advice for people who return to a damaged vehicle, which may help to save you some headaches, if of course you want to take the matter further.

DO NOT MOVE YOUR CAR
Whatever you do, don’t move your car, or leave the place where you found the damaged car in the parking lot. Call the authorities so they can record the damage without moving the car. This is important when making a claim, because someone needs to have witnessed the vehicle damaged in situ.

TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS AND NOTES
Take photographs of the damage caused and write down, in as much detail as possible, a description of what happened, the damage, any paint on your car etc. Any detail can be important – it’s better to write too much than not enough. Photographs and descriptions will help to present the claim.

CARPARK POLICY
Some car parks may have a policy for these cases. Unfortunately the vast majority rule out any liability in case of damages, but imagine that happened in the parking lot of a mall where you shopped. You are protected by the Code of Consumer Protection. This applies to both paid and free parks. You can send your photos, in a registered letter and with acknowledgment of receipt, to the Association for the Defence of Consumer Rights (DECO). Do not throw the ticket away from the park if one is issued, it may come in handy as proof.

CHECK FOR THE EXISTENCE OF CAMERAS
Although the images recorded in the parks are only valid as evidence if the video cameras are legally installed, you can try to work out what happened to cause the damage and even identify any witnesses. Check with the park management if they have cameras installed and if they can keep the recording to avoid it being erased in any daily purge.

UPDATE YOUR INSURANCE
Check if your car insurance has coverage for vandalism issues and prepare your declaration to present to them.

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