Am I responsible for the repair of damage I am not sure that

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:03 pm   Post subject: Am I responsible for the repair of damage I am not sure that  

I really need some advice. I hit a car while backing out of my driveway the other day. The owner of the car was sitting in the drivers seat at the time. I got out to see if I had caused any damage, and I did not see anything. The driver of the car did not get out to look, and took my word for it. Needless to say, no information was exchanged at that time.



Ten to fifteen minutes later, I received a phone call from my roommate, who is friends with the driver of the car and was in her presence at the time of the phone call, telling me that there was a visible scratch on the car. I told my roommate to give the driver of the other car my phone number to set up a time to go look at the car to see the damage and to work something out. I explained to my roommate that I did not want to go through my insurance, and he relayed to me that the driver of the other car agreed.



The next day, I received a phone call from the woman whose car I had hit. I told her to get quotes for the damage and that I knew somebody who could probably fix the damage inexpensively, and that I could set up an appointment for her to go in and get the quote from him. I also explained to her that I would pay the auto-body shop (who gave the lowest quote) directly for the repair, rather than just giving her the money.



At that point, she decided that she would prefer to go through my insurance company, and asked for my insurance information. I told her no, I wasn't going to give her my insurance information, we had an agreement. That made me feel like there was something fishy about this. I began wondering what would make her prefer to go through the insurance company, rather than go directly to the auto-body shop and get it repaired.



Now, I am starting to think that this woman is trying to get over on me. Like I said, I did not see any damage when I got out of the car, and, as I see it, her refusing to get out of the car to check for damage at the scene, or file a police report at the time, is, in essence, her agreement that there was no damage. Additionally, how am I to know that the scratch was not caused by something else afterwards, before, or even put there by the other driver herself in hopes of getting a check for the "damage"? I really don't know what to do. I don't feel like I am legally or (at this point) morally responsible for the repair of damage that I am not even sure was put there by me.



What should I do?

yousaweirdo
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:40 am   Post subject:   

Here are a few things that might have rubbed her the wrong way:

Quote:
I got out to see if I had caused any damage, and I did not see anything. The driver of the car did not get out to look, and took my word for it.
(But there actually was damage)

Quote:
Needless to say, no information was exchanged at that time.
So there as damage, you stated that there was not and it's just lucky that she was still able to find out who you were.

Quote:
I also explained to her that I would pay the auto-body shop (who gave the lowest quote) directly for the repair, rather than just giving her the money.
Now there is the icing on the cake. You are asking her to have her vehicle repaired at the cheapest place possible and then you tell her that you are not going to pay her directly (even though you need to) rather, your going to give the money to the repair shop. This just sounds like you think she's going to cheat you... when _you_ caused the whole situation. Also, she was doing you a favor by not reporting it to your insurance company to begin with.



Now I'm not trying to berate you... I'm just trying to give you the other point of view.



Bottom line, you need to bend over backward to please this person if you want her to do you a favor and not report the accident to your insurance company. You are *required by law* to exchange DL info and insurance information. Now your telling her you won't abide by the law and are refusing to give her your information? I'd not call that good faith. As you mentioned, you question if you caused the damage. Unfortunately you hit her vehicle and it appears the damage is in the same are that you hit her. You really don't have much to argue. If she just wants to have it repaired and it willing to let you pay for it, you might want to count your blessings and handle this as quickly and fairly as possible. It's not like it was a month or two before she claimed the scratch. It was just 1 day. What are the chances that she caused the damage to the same spot you hit her all within that 24 hour period?



Bottom line... you owe _her_ for her damage... not a repair company. Best you should hope for is that she is willing to sign a property damage release once you hand her payment.



What do I think you should do? Have her obtain a couple of estimates, ask her if it's okay to pay the lowest one (she can take the lower estimate to the place who gave the high one and they will make the repairs for the lower amount) and make the payment asap. Thank her for being understanding.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:41 am   Post subject:   

Good morning shyviolet22, welcome!



Quote:
Like I said, I did not see any damage when I got out of the car
It is possible you missed something right? Was the car dirty? What was the visibility like? Are you in the body shop industry? Physical Damage appraiser? See my point?



Quote:
and, as I see it, her refusing to get out of the car to check for damage at the scene,
Many reasons for this, in a hurry maybe? Also ALL women are advised to stay in their vehicles, unless they KNOW the people involved. Are you male? I'm not saying you are a 'scary man', but I bet your were angry at the time.



Quote:
or file a police report at the time,
Did YOU offer to call the police? Bet not, she did you an immense favor here, because clearly you would've been cited.





Quote:
in essence, her agreement that there was no damage.
NOT! That won't hold up ANYWHERE!



Quote:
how am I to know that the scratch was not caused by something else afterwards,
Within ten minutes? Come on, she just got away from you and then when she felt safe, got out of her car and looked, saw a scratch got with your room mate all within 10-15 minutes!



Quote:
or even put there by the other driver herself in hopes of getting a check for the "damage"?
Do you REALLY belive that? If she's looking for a 'check' the girl would've already been 'hurt', and have a lot more than a 'scratch'.



Quote:
how am I to know that the scratch was not caused by something else afterwards, before


You said you looked and saw NO damage so couldn't have been before right?



Quote:
asked for my insurance information. I told her no, I wasn't going to give her my insurance information, we had an agreement.
Shocked What agreement? You just TOLD her what YOU would do. Also not a good idea, you could have the cops at your door soon, for a variety of reasons (not reporting an accident not exchanging information etc).



Quote:
I began wondering what would make her prefer to go through the insurance company,
Because frankly you are being kind of mean and unreasonable, she didn't hit your car you hit hers! It's up to her how she wants to handle this, and clearly you have not made a good impression and she's afraid to deal with you any longer, and I really don't blame her at this point.



Quote:
It's not like it was a month or two before she claimed the scratch. It was just 1 day.
If I am reading his post correctly she notified his room mate
Quote:
Ten to fifteen minutes later, I received a phone call from my roommate, who is friends with the driver of the car and was in her presence at the time of the phone call, telling me that there was a visible scratch on the car


Quote:
What are the chances that she caused the damage to the same spot you hit her alwithin that 24 hour period?
again, by posters own admission was only 10 - 15 minutes.



Quote:
Quote:

I also explained to her that I would pay the auto-body shop (who gave the lowest quote) directly for the repair, rather than just giving her the money.

Now there is the icing on the cake
.



I'm in total agreement here shyviolet22, if I were her that would've sent me over the edge, and I'd have nothing more to do with you. You owe to 'make her whole' if she doesn't want to fix her vehicle she doesn't have to, but that does not absolve you of paying for the damages she sustained by your negligence. Will her vehicle be worth a little less with this scratch? Damn right it will. It's not your car to make the decision about. It is your responsiblity to pay for the damages you caused and totally up to her what she does with this payment.



Quote:
What should I do?




I think you should report it to your company immediately, you can still pay it out of pocket, (if she will allow it and may not at this point) hope you haven't made her so mad that she's now injuried, and that you haven't waited too long to report it to your company, (rarely put into play, but all policies say you must PROMPTLY report ALL losses/accidents some policies even say within a certain time frame, or run the risk of the claim being denied). Your insurance company will fully investigate this take measurements and even set up to have the cars 'matched up' if necessary, I've done this many times, when the insured insists they did not cause the damage, (most of the time they are incorrect). If you can get her to still allow you to pay the claim without reporting to your carrier (which I personally think is a mistake), then as tcope said make sure you get a release..........



Sorry if it sounds like we are coming down on you, but you've 'goofed' here. Think about if this were your sister, mom, girlfriend, what would you be telling them? Some thing along the lines of;, 'Tell that jerk to fall off the planet, you don't have to do ANYTHING that HE SAYS'. And you would be correct. Wink
Lori
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:42 am   Post subject:   

Yes, its better that you settle it coolly...may be since she's been a friend to your friend, so she may have chosen to stay calm. Also, minor scratches are not that quickly detectable. So, may be you were wrong. Also remember that she might have gotten you into a lot of trouble, especially when you have not managed a pic (for both before n after the event) which could have proven your stance. So think twice before you leap into the fire!

Thanks,

Edgar Reveler


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:18 am   Post subject:   

Well said Edgar

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:55 pm   Post subject:   

thanks for the advice.



by the way, i am a female.



shyviolet22


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:09 pm   Post subject:   

I'm sure I speak for all when I say, ''Your welcome". The fact that you're a female, though doesn't change my opinion that it is possible she didn't get out of her vehicle because she felt uncomfortable, intimidated or even some fear. At any rate, good luck and I hope you are able to resolve this amicably.

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