Parking lot scrape - what's the procedure?
October 19, 2012 10:21 PM   Subscribe

Parking lot scrape - what's the procedure?

You are not a lawyer. Also, this is for someone else, whether or not that makes a difference.

Let's say I'm asking for A. A was backing out and slightly scratched B's car. I believe B was stationary and had just pulled in next to A. I'm not sure because I am not A. B took down A's information (I believe DL#, Tag #, Phone #). A is insured. What are A's obligations, and how does A go about fulfilling them?

This was already a few days ago. A has not heard from B. A is in NC. A is not looking to get away with anything sinister or unethical (obviously opinions vary on what those terms mean).

I know this is a very basic question, but searching tends to give guidelines for serious car-accidents on roads, etc. apologies if there's a really basic way of finding this info.
posted by resiny to Law & Government (8 answers total)
I would say do nothing until A hears something from B. A lot of the time if the damage is minimal, the other party will choose to just repair it (or live with it, or try to get at the driver that caused the damage directly) rather than go through insurance and risk having their rates raised. At least that's what happened to me in the one accident I was ever involved in (was driving a beater, rear-ended a guy driving a BMW, he freaked out even though his car had a tiny scratch while mine needed a new hood, never heard from him again).

Someone who knows more about this will come along of course, that's just my personal experience advice.
posted by mannequito at 10:30 PM on October 19, 2012

A was there? They exchanged info? Ball's in A's court to report it, and it easily may take longer than a few days.
posted by rhizome at 10:35 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would think it's in B's court, not A's? (B being the person whose car was scratched, and A being the person who's presumably liable)?

I was A in this situation a few years ago (I scratched up the bumper of a tiny sportscar). I gave my info to B, a week or so later they contacted me about paying for a repair, I did it through my insurance though perhaps it would have been wiser for me to simply write them a check directly. TTBOMK everyone was happy with the outcome.

Presumably if B decides that it's not worth the trouble, A will never hear of the matter again. Customarily I don't think A has further obligations.
posted by hattifattener at 10:52 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you mean something along the lines of what legal obligation does A have to report the accident - At least in my state (and as I understand it, many states have similar rules), you don't need to report accidents with no injuries and under $500 in damages.
posted by pla at 11:34 PM on October 19, 2012

A. calls his insurance company, gives them all the information he has and quits worrying about it. If B calls, the insurance company handles it.
posted by SLC Mom at 12:20 AM on October 20, 2012

A shouldn't tell his insurance company anything unless B decides to pursue the issue. The insurance company might raise A's rates.
posted by twblalock at 3:15 AM on October 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

A should check their policy for what their responsibilities are. Some policies require the policy holder to report any accidents they know about, or else they aren't covered.

But if there isn't a clause like that, then A has no responsibilities but to wait for B to file a claim.

Insurance really doesn't care about what you tell them, as long as a claim isn't made. Many states make it illegal to raise rates for a claim. But they can remove any "no claim" discounts.
posted by gjc at 5:34 AM on October 20, 2012

Insurance really doesn't care about what you tell them, as long as a claim isn't made.

This is not necessarily true. It depends on your state insurance regulations. In many cases insurance companies can and will enter information into the national insurance CLUE database about an inquiry even if you do not file a claim. This may affect your rates.
posted by JackFlash at 12:07 PM on October 20, 2012

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