Just a minor fender bender, that's all!
August 11, 2014 10:51 PM Subscribe
I backed into a car and there was no visible damage on either car so we didn't call the cops. But they are opening a claim with my insurance company. How screwed am I?
posted by peachpie to Law & Government (32 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was backing out of my parking space and stupidly bumped into the bar behind me. The other car apparently parked in the spot across from me just as I got into my car so I didn't see anyone was parked behind me. I was going no more than 10 mph. It made a loud sound so I stopped and got out to check both cars. The couple who owned the car were walking into the store and heard it and came over to see the damage. They were Russian and very distrustful of me and insisted it could be damaged in a way we can't see. They were also talking to each other in Russian so I didn't know anything they were saying to one another.
There really wasn't any damage. My corner bumper got scuffed up, but when I rubbed it, the scuff marks came off. Their car had no visible damage, except for knicks and scratches in other spots not from me. Their car did not look well-maintained. I exchanged insurance info with them. I told them there was no damage, but they insisted the bumper might be cracked. I saw no evidence of that. My insurance card showed an expired date from a few days earlier because I hadn't received my updated card yet when it automatically renews, so they wouldn't let me leave. I didn't want them to call the police because I was hoping maybe they wouldn't open a claim with my insurance company if their car was fine so I called my insurance to verify for them that my insurance was not expired. Once they got that confirmed, they proceeded to call my insurance and open a claim. Awesome. I didn't see any value in sticking around or calling the cops (especially since I had accidentally left my drivers license at my apartment and wasn't sure if I'd get in trouble) and we agreed we would not call the cops and they said I could leave.
Is this going to be a bad situation for me? I took pictures of everything as well as I could. It was dark and my cell camera isn't great, but I took photos of their bumper, my bumper, other big dents all over their car, their insurance card and their license plate. I called my insurance company to tell them the couple was filing a claim but there was absolutely no damage. I don't believe I admitted on the phone with insurance that I hit them, but I definitely said stuff to them like "I was driving 5 mph, I'm sure your car is fine" that maybe they secretly recorded on their phones? I'm not sure. I seriously barely hit them. I wasn't sure if I should have a cop come and look at their car right then, but I've left now.
Is there anything else I need to do to protect myself? Can they make up fake damage or have one of their mechanic friends make up a bunch of damage that wasn't there? I was trying to be honest and up front with them, but I am scared they are going to screw me. Their car looked sort of crappy and I am worried I will be on the hook for stuff that my bumper did not do.