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    PatsGirl's Avatar
    PatsGirl Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Mar 1, 2008, 11:07 AM
    Auto Accident
    My son was in an auto accident, he rear ended another car that stopped suddenly because a police car with sirens was attempting to get through an intersection . He was barely moving when they hit (they had just started to accelerate from the light) and when he got out to check that everyone was fine the other driver said she did not want to call the police, asked for his phone number and left. When she called, I asked her to send pictures and get estimates. Looking at the pictures and my sons truck, it is clear that he caused damage to her bumper. However, she has trunk damage that she is claiming he caused. He has no damage what so ever on the front of his truck except the tow hooks are bent (this is what caused two holes in her bumper).

    She did not want to call the police because her tag was expired and she had no insurance coverage (which is illegal in FL). We are willing to pay for whatever damage he caused, but she is claiming way more than we think he caused. We have not contacted our insurance company since we thought the claim would be low and we would repair her car and be done with it.

    She got estimates ranging from 3000.00-5000.00 and her car is a Toyota 2001 Avalon with 130,000 miles on it.

    I want to pay for what damage my son caused, but it is getting complicated.

    Does anyone have any information on what exactly our responsibilities are? Has anyone had a similar experience with some advice?

    Thanks!
    George_1950's Avatar
    George_1950 Posts: 3,100, Reputation: 236
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    #2

    Mar 1, 2008, 11:16 AM
    Unless you are an adjuster and/or an attorney, you need to contact your insurer. On the other hand, she may not want to go to court if she is going to testify, under oath, that she was driving with expired tag and no insurance. How did you learn these facts?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,769, Reputation: 5427
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    #3

    Mar 1, 2008, 11:17 AM
    What damage is there to the trunk? Is it possible the truck did it?

    If the trunk damage is unrealistic, come up with a fair estimate to repair what damage he caused to her bumper and offer that to her. Otherwise, you will have to report the accident to your insurance company.

    P.S. Of course, she can always come after you for more $$, especially if she gets insurance and renews her tag -- her word against yours. She can also later come after you for whiplash claims. Like George said, the best thing to do is report the accident to your insurance agent. A claims adjuster will be assigned to the case.
    PatsGirl's Avatar
    PatsGirl Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Mar 1, 2008, 11:37 AM
    I noticed the expired tag on the pictures she sent me and she told my son that she had no insurance. I am not sure she even has a valid driver's license. His truck has no damage at all except for the bent hooks and they are really low on the truck (used for towing I guess). It does not seem possible that his truck could have done that damage. I AM worried that she will come after us for more damages. I have researched the rear bumper cover and figure the part, labor and paint would be about 350.00. I will probably offer her that, but I have a feeling she will want more. Oh, she also wants 2 weeks worth if a rent a car. I mentioned to her that she can not rent a car without insurance.

    If I contact the insurance company now, will I be in trouble for not reporting it sooner?
    Would they raise our premium for the accident even if I pay her without going through the insurance company.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,769, Reputation: 5427
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    #5

    Mar 1, 2008, 11:53 AM
    When was the accident?
    PatsGirl's Avatar
    PatsGirl Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Mar 1, 2008, 03:02 PM
    It happened Feb 21st... she got the estimates and sent them with the pictures last Tues.
    George_1950's Avatar
    George_1950 Posts: 3,100, Reputation: 236
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    #7

    Mar 1, 2008, 03:07 PM
    At this point, do you know if she owns the car?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,769, Reputation: 5427
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    #8

    Mar 1, 2008, 03:08 PM
    No, it's not too late. I'm guessing the other driver will not cooperate with your insurance company's adjuster. And your insurance company may not pay for her damage, but will pay for yours (under uninsured driver coverage).

    If I were you, I would call my agent, tell generally what happened, and ask his/her advice as to what to do--and ask if your rates will go up if the company gets involved. It might be cheaper for you to settle with her, but she scares me regarding settlement.

    After all, what can she do if you refuse to pay for her damages? Sue you?? (and have her situation exposed)
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,277, Reputation: 7690
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    #9

    Mar 1, 2008, 04:29 PM
    Yes, turn it over to your insurance and let them handle it, they will either pay her or settle with her ( or she will sue and the insurance company will end up paying it)

    This is why you call the police when you have an accident.

    The fact she had no insurance and had an expired tag does not effect the accident claim at all in any way, none. So all she did was not get hier own ticket, and use that as an excuse to try and perhaps cheat you. Unless it really did caause this damage.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,473, Reputation: 760
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    #10

    Mar 1, 2008, 04:37 PM
    Offer her the $350 and tell her to take it or leave it. It she chooses to leave it then advise her that your son will sign a complaint against her for expired tag and no insurance. As the accident occurred on Feb. 21 he has 30 days with which to sign the complaint so you've got to act fast. In all likelihood she won't want to have to go to court and admit that she was driving illegally so I'm guessing she'll be happy to accept the $350.
    PatsGirl's Avatar
    PatsGirl Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Mar 1, 2008, 06:38 PM
    Thanks everyone for your help... you know I am not sure she owns the car.
    The VIN was included on one of the estimates and I thought about paying for a history to see what it told me. I have not done that. I am not sure what details the history would have.

    My son learned a great lesson here. He thought that because she did not stay, it would not be necessary to call the police. He now knows that you call the police ALWAYS, move your car to a safe place and stay there and wait on them even if the other party leaves.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,825, Reputation: 2035
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    #12

    Mar 1, 2008, 08:49 PM
    A new bumper not including labor $104. But if it is a uni body she may likely have more damage. My guess is he had to do at least a few hundred dollars to somewhat over a thousand worth of damage because the bumpers are molded into the body, but I doubt 3000.00-5000.00

    The Bluebook value of the car is approximately $9,000.

    I would do like the others said turn it over to your insurance and tell her to take it to court.
    She may be too afraid of getting fines if she does.

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