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Should I give up so soon?

Last Friday I was in Washington, DC, parked legally on a street. A woman was sitting in her car behind me, parked beyond the No Parking sign. She was, at most, 3 feet (and I’m being generous) behind me.

When I attempted to back up, I tapped her bumper. I never took my foot off the brake, but let the car slowly back up. I never used the accelerator pedal. I was going less than 1 mile per hour. She is claiming via her insurance that I cracked her bumper along with a couple other damages. My car has zero damage. It’s clear she’s lying.

My insurance is ready to settle and give her what she wants. Out of principle, I’m not backing down. This woman is lying and taking advantage of the system.


A) How fast does a Nissan Rogue need to be traveling to crack the bumper of a Mazda 3 at 3 feet distance between the two cars?

B) If my Nissan’s bumper is higher than her bumper and that’s what’s she’s claiming is damaged, does anyone know where I can find the height of a Mazda 3 front bumper?

C) Should I just give in and let her get her way even though she is clearly lying?

There is nothing you can do, I am pretty sure every car insurance policy I have ever had, gives the insurance company the right to settle even if you don’t want to.

Disclaimer- I was a truck driver, not a lawyer.


How do you know you didn’t crack it? It’s not just a function of speed, it’s also a function of what part of your car hit (i.e., sharp and pointy or flat?) and also temperature. I’m not sure what the weather was like in DC last week, but if it was really cold, that could impact how much force it takes to crack the bumper.

So the answer to A is “it depends.”

The answer to B is to measure it, but it should be between 16 and 20 inches.

We can’t answer C for you, that has to be your decision. But I can note that if you hit stuff, you risk being assessed damages, whether true or not. I know parking in DC is a bear, but you’ve just really got to not hit stuff. You might want to invest in a backup camera to keep this from happening again.


Old-timer is correct. Your insurance company will settle with the plaintiff. The amount they agree upon is not your concern. This no longer has anything to do with you.

She is not necessarily lying. One of the advantages of modern bumpers and crumple zones is that they absorb momentum better than a rigid object. One of the disadvantages of modern bumpers and crumple zones is that they take damage as they absorb momentum, leading to costly repairs of expensive components.

Either way, this isn’t a battle worth fighting.

The thing to consider is that your car came into contact with the other car while it was under your control, so whatever happened was clearly an at-fault accident for which you are liable. If the woman is engaging in insurance fraud, it is because you created an opportunity for her to do so.


Are you familiar with the phrase ( Tilting at Windmills ) ?

Give up and don’t bump anymore vehicles .

Thanks, I have enough of your opinions. Let’s close this one down.

You may or may not have any luck stopping more people from offering their opinions, but one way to discourage it is to mark the issue solved by designating one of the responses as the solution. That way, the discussion shows up as “solved.”

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I think I know what the problem is … :wink:

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This is an important question.

Beth did not like our answers and left.
So very easy to damage a bumper cover.

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So many people don’t want answers, they just want confirmation for their opinion.