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Minor Accident What would you do?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by virtual, April 9, 2014.

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  1. virtual

    virtual Member

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    Aargh. I just had a minor fender bender. An idiot pulled out in front of me suddenly and I couldn't avoid hitting him. I hit the side of his car at the rear. Fortunately I wasn't going too fast, not enough to hurt anyone, and not enough to do much damage, but I scratched up the bumper and cracked the headlight on the passenger side.

    The guy admitted it was his fault, and said he wanted to just pay for fixing it, rather than getting the insurance companies involved. I got his information, but haven't yet reported it to the insurance company. The nice guy in me doesn't care if he pays to fix the damage, so long as it gets fixed, but the cynic in me is worried that this time tomorrow he's going to change his story and I'm going to get into a hassle with all this. That might happen whether I involve the insurance companies anyway, but I'm wondering if I should give him the benefit of the doubt, or not? What would you do?
     
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  3. ercole

    ercole Member

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    I understand not getting the insurance company involved. It only leads to further premium increases. However, you should have called the police to at least file a report so as to have third party documentation of the accident. It still doesn't need to go to insurance, and most time the officers understand that. That would have you covered.

    Having said that, I can't imagine this person being a creep to not pay you.
     
  4. WiEx

    WiEx Active Member

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    The cost of even a minor accident may be more than he expects. For example, the headlight assembly on my 2013 Sport costs $775. It was the most expensive part of a $4400 repair after a minor collision with a deer. The repair cost went up by almost $1000 over the initial estimate after the body shop started on the car and found more damage. At a minimum, I would quickly get an estimate so that you have some idea how much money is at risk and how it compares to your deductible.
     
  5. soulpatch

    soulpatch Member

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    I would take it to the shop for a quick eye ball estimate. Should have one that day if not before you leave. Call the guy up with the initial numbers and give him phone to shop should he wish to talk to them.

    It is his call if the cost is too high and would be cheaper for him to go through insurance. Do NOT let it linger though. You want either a signed letter of intent to the shop by this guy to pay for any and all damages or to start the insurance process. Waiting too long can cause complications with insurance if you need to go that route.

    Being nice has its limits too. I gave 2 different people 2 days to decide. I always had an estimate that day or the next and would give them initial numbers. 1 of them went through insurance since I did not get an answer by day 3 and called it in myself. The other guy stepped up to the plate and I was cool with that. He handled the bill and the service shop.
     
  6. tmg19103

    tmg19103 Active Member

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    I had a woman put a minor ding with paint shaved off in the rear of my Saab last year. Obviously her fault. Did not fully stop at a red light. She did not want to get the insurance companies involved. I told her I would call the police so I would have a report where she admitted she was at fault and would get a quote from my body shop, which I emailed to her as a PDF, and that I expected a FedEx certified check or I would call my insurance company. I told her it was nothing personal. She understood and I had a check overnighted within three days. At least call the police for a report. Without that, and even if you were rear-ended, they could claim to their insurance company you backed into them. Yeah, not easy to believe but it could be a big hassle.
     
  7. pingbling23

    pingbling23 Active Member

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    You may have screwed yourself. Here, police will not take a report after the fact, and the insurance company will not do anything without a police report unless it's minor and occurred on private property. When you and the other party agreed to not file a report, it became a civil matter. If they refuse to pay now, you would have to sue them.
     
  8. pingbling23

    pingbling23 Active Member

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    Also understand, when officers do a crash report, most times it is automatically turned into the state and goes on your driving record. Regardless if you plan on using your insurance or not, they will find out about the crash and could possibly increase your premiums.
     
  9. StarGirl808

    StarGirl808 New Member

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    Im pretty sure every state is different. Hawaii has "no fault" insurance, which means if it is considered a "minor" accident, it is "nobody's" fault. But Ping is right, if your insurance company won't help you out, then you gotta take the other guy to civil court. Insurance companies here do not require a police report..as long as you have the other driver's pertinent info, they will help you out. Btw, whenever you get a ticket or get into a minor accident (at least here in Hawaii) your insurance company will NOT know about it unless you TELL them.
    Good luck!
     
  10. joecool622

    joecool622 New Member

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    Kill it with fire
     
  11. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    Check your state laws - some REQUIRE that you report all accidents within a limited amount of time

    I'd be doing a police report and reporting to my insurance company. Sure as you don't, you'll have a problem with one or the other.
     
  12. jmck123

    jmck123 New Member

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    I wouldn't sweat not having a police report filed right away. Unless the vehicles remain in the same position it is difficult for the police to assess fault and rarely do so without corroborating evidence (witness statements, tire skids etc.,). I am not familiar with your state's insurance requirements so I cannot comment on whether a police report would effect your coverage if the other driver's insurance company refused your claim.

    If you are concerned this person may change their story later on if the bill is too high I would suggest asking for their email so you could send them the body shop qoute. In the email you can say something like, "I appreciate you agreeing to accept full responsibility for this accident. As we discussed I will be taking my Explorer into a body shop for a qoute on the damage. As you will be paying in full for the damage, is their a Ford dealership near (insert where you live) that you would prefer I receive a qoute from. As I need to have this taken care of immediately I would greatly appreciate a prompt response.

    I would start with this email instead of a qoute as if the cost is too high they may immediately deny responsibility and if they do respond then you at least have some evidence they have accepted sole responsiblity. Also you do not need to take it where they suggest as the purpose of the email is to obtain their admission of wrong doing. I hope this works out for you.
     
  13. new to ford

    new to ford Active Member

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    I would call your insurance company asap so it's clear it was not your fault.

    Why does he want to pay himself? maybe he is driving without insurance? In that case, good luck chasing him down to pay you.

    Couple a years ago a teenage girl rear ended the explorer, the only extremely minor damage was the tow pacakge plastic cover, for about $80.00. She offered to pay on the spot, got here phone number and email, later called/emailed her couple times and she never got back to us


    Last month I was in a fender bender, new fascia and one fog light, total cost was $1,300.
    Last thing you want is to be chasing a guy to pay you, next thing he might say he does not even know you!, Yeah, there are some flakes out there!!!
     
  14. 1995E

    1995E Well-Known Member

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    This is why I bought a dashcam, for these types of situations. If I get out of the car, I record the conversation with my iTouch. I then notify the person after he admits it, "Oh, I forgot, I have a dash cam that recorded everything, so thanks for being honest." I've never had to go through this scenario BUT this is how I plan it out to be if I don't plan on making the police report right away. Usually, I'd have them give me the money right away. The easiest way for people to get away from an accident is by lying they will pay for the damages and drive away.
     
  15. Ryan327

    Ryan327 Active Member

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    Off topic a little here, but recording laws vary from state to state, be sure you are within the law!

    Here in VA, only one person has to be aware that it is being recorded so you never have to say thing since you are already aware :D

    I hope you get this worked out, but I'd call it in ASAP. Everything is way more expensive then people think and sometimes you go in and they say you need 2-3 body panels, paint, maybe a part or two here, and before you know it it's a couple grand. Good luck!
     
  16. ltdjp

    ltdjp Member

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    After working in the insurance world as an adjuster/broker/claims for some time.. I don't care how nice someone is. Report it to their insurance, every time. I've dealt with way too many horror stories of 'nice' people wanting to work it out on the side. Watch your own back and contact your insurance and theirs immediately.

    -Doug
     
  17. pingbling23

    pingbling23 Active Member

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    In your experience in claims, what would you do if someone called in a few days after the fact with the op's story?
     
  18. Project X

    Project X New Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: July 10, 2014
  19. ltdjp

    ltdjp Member

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    I would take all of the info they collected (hopefully they got make/model, insurance info, license plate, VIN, DL#) and I would call the other insurance company for the insured and open a claim and start liability investigation. If they don't have all the info for the other driver or no insurance info, I would use the multitudes of abilities to search for the person and get the claim opened with the right insurance company/policy.
     
  20. Odrapnew

    Odrapnew Active Member

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    Unless Hawaii's no fault is different, that's not how it works. No fault is basically your own insurance covering your expenses regardless of whose fault it is. You can claim liability on the other person to reimburse you and your insurance company for your expenses.

    http://www.all-about-car-accidents.com/resources/auto-accident/auto-insurance-issues/hawaii-auto-ins
     
  21. Bobmbx

    Bobmbx Active Member

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    GEICO is really good about fixing the cars they insure. Someone hit me several years ago, got a police report at the scene. Called GEICO within hours, and the next day they called and told me when my appointment for the estimate was. I asked if I had to do anything or wait for the other guys insurance company to contact me. GEICO said nope, they would fix my car, and they would deal with the other insurance company.
     

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