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Car accident rules

I was in an small accident today which was not my fault, I believe anyway. I was driving down the street when a man decided exit a parking lot without looking and I hit him.

He carelessly tried to “run and Gun” hoping no one was coming. I guess he couldn’t see past the cars parallel parked. Lucky for him and his family, I saw him in time to SLAM on the brakes and prevent them from harm. The result was a big dent in his drivers side door, not even very big. I asked him three times to exchange insurance information but he kept saying he was rushed for work. As there was no damage to the car I was driving I thought I would be nice and let him avoid the points for an accident CLEARLY his fault. I got his first name and phone number only as he was trying to leave, but made sure he had my name, contact and license and what ever I could throw at him assuming if anything came of this the record would show I was clearly trying to do the right thing opposed to how he handled it. He left and I assumed that was that. Then ten minutes later he called me asking how I was going to pay for his door, which I promptly said that I offered insurance multiple times and then offered again. I mentioned it was his fault, however, and he would not get a dime from my insurance or me. He said he would get a lawyer and sue me for it. I have called him TWICE since then trying to get an information exchange and he is giving me attitude. What rights do I have if he comes after me and do I need a lawyer? I was driving my girlfriends car and it is insured under her policy.

I’d completely ignore him and he’ll probably go away. Don’t answer his phone calls. If he gets a lawyer, his lawyer will call you. Then your response is obvious. He avoided giving you any info for a reason. Maybe he didn’t have a license, or was driving without insurance, or he has a arrest warrant. Don’t play his game, ignore him.

I think I would make a report to the police, just to protect myself. I hope you have his license number. I would make no more contact with him. If he tries to contact you, tell him you will talk to his attorney or his insurance company, or just follow what the police suggest. Keep away from him and get the accident properly reported.

Hindsight is 20-20, as they say, so hopefully you have learned something from your naivete in this situation. You were careful to give him all of your identifying information, but all you got was his first name and his phone number?

If you managed to write down his license number, then you need to report to the police that he left the scene of an accident, which is a “moving violation” that carries points toward license suspension.
I would not ignore him, and the next time that he calls, I would suggest that you mention that you have filed a police report regarding his having left the scene of an accident. Also, I urge your girlfriend to report this incident to her insurance company, providing ALL of the details, simply because her insurance company will NOT be happy if they are brought into this process very late in the game.

Insurance fraud has swelled to huge proportions in some areas, with the “victims” claiming major bodily injury, and with sleazy physicians and chiropractors supporting those bogus claims. When “victims” rapidly leave the scene of an accident, that makes it very difficult for objective witnesses–such as the police and EMS workers–to record the condition of the people involved in the accident, and this major omission really leaves the other party open to insurance fraud. I hope that you were not set up by someone practicing insurance fraud, but the way that you have handled this situation so far certainly makes you prone to a scam like this.

In the future, if you are in an accident and someone refuses to provide proper documentation of their identification and proof of insurance, and/or if they attempt to leave the scene of the accident, be sure to telephone the police immediately after you have copied down the offender’s license number.

Edited to add:
Now, about one week after posting his question, I see that the OP has not returned to respond to suggestions or to thank everyone for the time that was put into attempting to help him. As someone observed in another post today, responses and gratitude certainly seem to be in short supply nowadays.

Call the police. Immediately. It’s time to get the law involved.

I’ve always taught my kids that any time there’s an accident, now matter how small or who is at fault, call the police immediately. A police report on the spot can prevent an enormous amount of serious legal problems. In a dispute it becomes the only truth that the court will accept. It can also prevent the kind of threats and harassment that you’re now experiencing.

My guess is he’s uninsured. Perhaps even wanted. He may even have been driving illegally, perhaps on a suspended liscense. Call the cops.

You could call the police, but their response will be that they didn’t see anything and really can’t be of assistance. It wouldn’t hurt for them to tell you that directly, though.

Make sure your insurer (your girlfriend’s insurer?) has a report and direct all future calls to them. If you continue to receive calls from the ‘aggrieved’ party or his lawyer, it is harassment. The court will look poorly on their conduct if it ever gets that far. A quick call to your insurer will put the other guy a big step away from you on the other side of a big wall.

I don’t think he was supposed to be on the road. Call the police and insurance companies immediately.

This happened to me the other day. I was starting out from a parallel parking spot when both me and the car ahead of tried to pull a u turn at the same time. I had seen that the guy was pulling a u turn, so I let him go first I then pulled my own U turn and ended up right behind him where he had stopped for some reason. My car then stalled (sigh) and I saw his reverse lights come on. I laid on the horn but he backed into me anyways. I realised that there was little if any damage to my vehicle and that the accident was clearly his fault, so I just glared at him and drove off. In retrospect I probably should have talked to him, though I doubt he’d want to put it through insurance.

You should have called the police right away to get a report. If he left, he could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He probably knew he was at fault and was trying to prevent you from calling the police.

Call the police right now and tell them what you just told us. If you play your cards right, the officer might treat this like a hit and run accident.

My rule is to always call the police and get a report filed. You can’t trust the other driver not to change his story after the fact.

You should have called 9-1-1 on the spot and let the cops handle this. If you dented his door then most likely there is damage to yours. It’s time to call Kojak and let them get involved.

Anytime someone acts like this at the scene they are hiding something or are scheming up something.

If you have his license number, file a police report (just to protect yourself) and notify your insurance company. If you don’t have a license number, forget about it. Accident?? What accident?? I don’t know anything about an accident…