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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88677
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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About a month or two ago I very lightly (less than 5 mph) rear

Customer Question

About a month or two ago I very lightly (less than 5 mph) rear ended another car while pulling up to a stop sign because he pulled up quickly then slammed on his brakes. There was very little damage, no dent, just a small paint chip. The police were not called and my insurance was not notified because of the very small visible damage. I gave him my information because he wanted to make sure there was no internal damage. He said he didnt care about the paint so i thought he wouldnt call me...

Then I get a voicemail recently that his estimate from the dealership is over 600 dollars trying to replace the whole bumper cover and there could be more damage underneath. I personally think the guy is trying to get over on me and my question is, can he still try to sue me if the police were not notified? if so, does he even have a case? couldnt i argue the fact that someone else could have hit him after that? I was in my fathers car and I dont think I am covered on his insurance so what would be the best course of action for me to take?

I also have my cousin as a witness, he saw the damage which was little to none. I dont think the damage could have been that much... I will try and negotiate with him outside of court first but i am worried he will try and take legal action making me pay this ridiculous price for such a small thing... you know how dealerships are, they try and get every last penny out of you...
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Since there is no police report on the incident (not that one is really required to make an insurance claim) there is little to document the actual damage done. He will argue one amount of damage and you would argue that was not the amount of damage done. If you decide to settle with him and pay, before you give him a dime you need to put an agreement in writing that whatever you are paying settles his claim in full and he cannot bring any additional claims. As for now, I would argue the additional damage could have happened any time after your incident and use your cousin as a witness since he waited so long to have it looked at you have no way of knowing if any additional incidents happened to cause the other damage.


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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88677
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Law Educator, Esq. and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
what do you think the chances would be that he or i would win based on the little amount of evidence?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
The chances you would win on the hidden or additional damage are pretty good IF he waited a long time to get the car checked. If he brought the car right away and just waited to notify you, then your chances are slim.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
well it has been over a month, im not exactly sure when it happened. could he argue that it just recently happened? if so, I could try and record him in a conversation asking when the accident occured?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
No, what I mean is the time frame from when the accident happened and when he took it to be examined for repairs. Since IL is a one party consent state, you can record a conversation you have with anyone.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I understand that, I just dont have the exact date It actually occured, I do however know the date he had the estimate done (which was just last friday) and i know it has been at least a month, but i just cant recall when exactly... Im guessing that probably doesnt look good if im not sure the exact date? if im trying to prove it has been at least a month or two... I could call him and ask him the approximate date and possibly record him? Im sure he'll fall for it not knowing he is incriminating himself...
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
I understand,yes, it does not look good for you at this point not knowing when it happened. Calling him and talking about the accident and getting him to admit when it occurred would be helpful to your case.

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