Ask an Attorney a Question for FREE!
Car accident 9 months ago | What should I do now?
I was involved in an accident 9 months ago. I had my girlfriends car and I was parked in front of my house by the curb.
It was frosty morning I was going to make a three-point turn, but when i made the initial turn, i hit an suv i didn't see who was going the opposite direction.
I hit the rear driver side door. We both got out and exchanged info, and took pics. We decided that we didn't want to get the insurance involved and we agree to meet up somewhere and discuss how to handle the situation.
There was no police report. Well for 2 months we couldn't meet up because our schedules. Then i didn't hear from her for a long while.
Now It's July and she comes to my house and was gonna leave a note, but i was home and she told me she wants to take care of it. She said she's a parolee and she couldn't take care of it because she was incarcerated.
She also claims that because I hit her door, it made the door not close right, and while she was driving one time the door opened and she was distracted and hit a pole that put a dent on her front bumper. She then left saying she'll get quotes from an auto body shop.
She calls me 4 days later saying that the cost of repair was 4400 and that we should do it through the insurance company because it was still under the stature of limitations (One year).
So my Question is. What do i Do.
I don't think that I am at fault for her front bumper. Yet she wants to try and claim it. She wants to meet up soon in person to take care of it.
My friends and family have all said different things.
From letting her claim what she wants, to them telling me that its two separate incidents and to tell her to take me to court if she keeps trying to claim the bumper.
Should I let her claim everything? Should I let her take me to court? Should I Let the insurance claims department deal with it?
I really don't know what to do. Please help Anne.
PS I also live in California. I know that makes a difference.
There are many issues here.
As your family members have explained, it is very likely that you do not owe for the damage to the bumper. Even if she was distracted because of the damage you caused, she has a duty to mitigate her damages. Read more about that on the link below
This duty requires here to “act reasonably to avoid further damages and/or accidents.’ If driving the vehicle was distracting or it was unsafe, then she had a duty to have it fixed and then collect against you for the repairs.
She would be responsible for any ensuing damage her failure to mitigate caused. This is especially true if she waits long periods of time (because she is incarcerated or whatever).
Issue number two. You have a duty to report you claim. It is likely that your insurance company will give you problems. Read about your duty to report an accident here.
Even though some insurance companies give you issues about not reporting on time, many will cover your accident if you have a reasonable explanation (I did not think it was over $750 etc).
What concern me is that in California, if you do not report an accident with damages in excess of $750, you can get a ticket (you both can). See notes about California laws here:
There is a big chance the both can be cited.
The next issue is that for you to be liable, she had to have liability insurance. Are you sure she has insurance?
Sounds like she is a parolee with legal issues. Sometimes insurance companies will not write policies without all the documents required. It is possible that she does not have insurance.
If this is the case, there is the “no pay, no play” law in California (or something similar).
Many people’s claims are barred because they do not carry insurance. What it means to you is that if she did not have an active policy at the time, she cannot make a claim. Just double check that.
Talk to your insurance company. It is very likely that if they pay, they will not pay for the damage to the bumper. However, they will probably report the accident to the DMV, and a citation can be issued to both of you.
I hope this helps.
Click here to post comments
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Got Questions?.
Please see more answers to recent personal injury and auto accident questions below:
For a Free Review of Your Case