Case of the Month: Hit While Parked?
Our client reported that a 2008 Ford F150 pickup truck was parked and unattended when it was struck by another vehicle. The unidentified vehicle then fled the scene. There were no eye witnesses.
GEI was assigned to review the materials provided and determine if the damage to the vehicle was consistent with a hit-and-run collision, as described.
The materials provided for review included photographs and a repair estimate for the vehicle. Examining photographs of the Ford, our expert noted minor paint damage to the left side of the pickup truck.
There was damage to the front left wheel, front left quarter panel, left door, and left side step.
Normal vehicle collisions cause intrusion damage at the initial point of impact and then large smooth areas of collision damage (usually around standard bumper height of the striking vehicle). Due to the weight of most vehicles, when they collide, there is normally significant damage. Also, due to the convex shape of the sides of most vehicles, there are several areas of a normal vehicle that cannot be damaged without first damaging the outer part(s) of the vehicle.
The damage seen to this vehicle was not consistent with these characteristics. There was little to no intrusion and the damage was very uniform for the length of the paint damage.
The damage to the front left wheel was also very telling in this case. There was damage to the entire wheel, with gouges to the wheel in separate areas.
In summary: the damage to the left side of the Ford was not consistent with the story reported of being parked and struck by a hit-and-run vehicle. The damage was consistent with the Ford moving at the time of the collision and striking a fixed stationary object, such as a pole or a gate.