What to do about a "fender bender" in MA?
September 27, 2011 8:03 PM Subscribe
In Massachusetts: Yesterday on my way to work, going about five miles per hour in morning traffic, I bumped the car in front of me. (My fault; I was totally distracted by the kid waiting for a school bus who looked like he was about to run into the middle of the street.) We pulled off to the side of the road and I took a look at the "damage" -- a couple of scratches to the paint on the (plastic) bumper....
posted by shamash to grab bag (19 answers total)
I took a couple of pictures with my cell phone, took down the guy's name and phone number and license plate. He wouldn't give me his insurance information (he insisted he had insurance, but didn't have his info with him), although I did give him my insurance info.
He said several times that there was no need to get our insurance companies involved if I would just pay for his bumper to be replaced/repainted.
His car was pretty beat up in various places (not just the bumper area, but also the sides had dents and places where it was covered with duct tape). I am concerned about a few things:
1. How much should it cost to go to a body shop and have them paint a plastic bumper?
2.The bumper seemed to have other damage, not just the scratches from where my car bumped his, and I don't want to incidentally pay to fix damage I didn't cause along with the "damage" I did. Or is it expected that I would do that?
3. Should I call my insurance company anyway? I'm not actually sure what to be worried about here. I haven't been involved an accident in over a dozen years, and I've never been involved in one that was my fault. There's no damage to my car, and the guy's bumper wasn't even dented -- but I guess I'm worried he might call his insurance and try to blame the other damage to his car on me.
What is the right and/or practical thing to do here?