Damaged car on parking ramp due to teen on cell phone speeding...

by James
(Apex, NC)

I was staying in an older hotel in Myrtle Beach SC. The ramps to the six floor parking garage were steep with sharp rights going up. I was nearing the 5th floor, in my lane, when a young driver on his cell phone coming down from the sixth floor cut the curve too sharp and was in my lane.

To avoid hitting him I swerved right and scraped the passenger side of my car from the passenger door to rear panel on the cement wall and poll at end of the 5th floor ramp. The driver stopped half way down the ramp. I got out of my car reaching for my wallet and checking the side of my vehicle as to the damage to my car.

I was looking at the damage and was about to approach him when he hopped in his black SUV (no damage to his vehicle) and he took off. It was dark on the ramp and I could only see that it was a plate from Ohio but could not make out the plate numbers/letters.

I went to the hotel office and explained what had happened. They apologized, appeared to search data base of guests for vehicle type/state licensed and stated they had no one registered at the hotel with a vehicle matching the description I gave.

I did not contact the police because I did not have the other party involved and the hotel stated that without having a guest of the hotel to name, it would be my word that someone was driving recklessly in the garage. In hindsight I should have still reported it to the Myrtle Beach police.

I called Allstate in NC when I got home and gave a verbal account to my insurance dealer. She stated "you probably won't be covered" and "you probably don't want to use your accident forgiveness for this type of accident." I don't know if I should press the insurance company to pay and have no idea what this might due to my premiums.

What are my options from here? Is there any way I can get the damage covered, or anything else I can do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Damaged car on parking ramp due to teen on cell phone speeding...":

James (Apex, NC):

It's not too late to contact the Myrtle Beach Police to file an accident report. You can reach the Myrtle Beach South Carolina Police Department their website.

There shouldn't be an issue about insurance coverage. If, at the time of the collision you carried underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, you will be covered. Of course, there may be a deductible.

Your legal options are limited. Without the other driver's identity or the make, model, and year of the car he was driving you are at a distinct disadvantage. The driver is ultimately liable for the damage to your car. However, without his contact information it will be nearly impossible for you to locate him.

If the damage to your car is relatively minor, and you have a high deductible, you might be better off paying the repair cost yourself.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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