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Tapped a car while trying to get out of parking

So, this morning, I was trying to move my car to be closer to my apartment. I was in between 2 cars. The car (one of those giant GMC trucks) behind me was parked in front of two private driveways (houses). The owner was on the phone.

I asked him if he could back up a little bit, so I could have more space to get my car out. He was too busy to answer. I got into my car and when I backed up, my back bumper SLIGHTLY bumped/tapped his front bumper.

I didn’t leave. I got out. We both looked at his car. He rubbed his hand on his bumper and there was no visible damage. No scratches. No bumps/dents. He told me to be careful that it was a brand new car. He paid 50K for it. but he said it’s fine. I even asked him one more time if everything was okay. He said yeah it’s fine. I left.

Neither one of us took photos (I didn’t have my phone with me). He didn’t ask for my personal/insurance info. I didn’t ask his either. I left. 15 minutes later I came back with my phone to take pictures of the front bumper. He already left.

However, some people advised me to report this to my insurance as this counts as “collision” and I may be charged with “hit and run”. First I didn’t leave. I got out and talked to the owner. Second, there really was no damage to his vehicle or mine.

If you were in my position, would you contact your insurance/cops?

Depends on your insurance company and your relationship with them.

In a somewhat similar situation, I was inching forward to make a right hand turn from a driveway and turned to see a bicyclist glaring at me on the passenger side. He claimed that I had pulled out without looking such that he ran into my front passenger side wheel.
I neither heard nor felt a collision. But I stopped the car and got out to look. Could see no damage to my car nor to his bike, but he kept claiming there was damage. I asked him to show me and he refused. So I took pictures all around and he just kept getting angrier and louder.
I refused to acknowledge that an accident occurred (because there’s no evidence of an actual collision or damage) and kept asking him to show me damage, which he claimed might show up later.
I started to feel like he was ‘off’ and so did not give him my identification or insurance. He took down my license plate number and I left.

I later reported it to my insurance company and gave them the photos I took. They kept it on file in case the guy files something with the police. And they do not count anything against me for filing the info with them (maybe because of my years of clean record with them). This last point is something you should know about your insurance company.

[Edit: I looked at your sketch and now think you did a form of ‘parallel parking by touch’. Happens a lot in some places, under a no harm, no foul, kind of standard. Also, the truck may have been company owned and the guy doesn’t want to raise a ruckus if he doesn’t have to.]

No, I wouldn’t. Insurance is for damage claims. There’s no damage, ergo no insurance contact is necessary. Telling an insurance company that you ran into something is never a terribly good idea unless it’s necessary because it can cause your rates to go up even if the incident doesn’t cost the insurance company a dime.

He can accuse you of hit and run if he wants - at which point it’s your word against his as to what happened. He’s going to have a hard time proving you hit him at all if there’s no damage to his truck.

I parked my car in that spot last night. I purposely chose that spot as I hate getting my car out between 2 cars.

He was not supposed to be there as his car was in front of 2 private driveways.

I think “some people” are wrong. No damage, no problem, no accident to report, no leaving the scene. Some people like to make a big deal out of nothing so be happy and go on with your life. The only reason to get insurance involved is so that they can represent you against a claim. No damage, no claim, nothing to worry about.

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True. But the cynical part of me. the “what if” anxiety… What if he gets into an accident later today and he decides to be a jerk and blames it on me?

Yeah, I don’t have much faith in human beings. lol

They were my co workers. Some say it’s fine. Some say I should report it just to be “safe”.

Thanks, sir!

All the more reason the guy is unlikely to pursue the situation.

A suggestion. In today’s world, with cameras available on phones, snap pictures of whatever you can. Even the view from your driver’s seat before you left the space (or before you drove away) would be helpful to have ‘just in case’.

So maybe park your car in that space again and snap a picture ‘just in case’.

What if, what if, what if. Life is dangerous. A meteor could hit. Anything is possible if you let your mind wander.

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That is possible. But the damage would have to line up and match up. If it doesn’t, filing a false police report would be very bad for him.

Hahha. True.


It’s very unlikely he will do anything. I also believe he lives in the area… so I may run into him again.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone with me. I was walking my dog. The car was parked 2 blocks away from my apartment, I was trying to move it to my block. When I returned with my phone, the car/guy had already left.

Well, if you see his truck again, snap a picture of the front showing no damage. That’s all you really need for ‘insurance’. :grinning:

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Haha! That’s what I will end up doing maybe.


I was just curious to see how others would do if they were in this kind of situation!

Well back in 1957 we were driving out of the park after watching fire works and it was a traffic jam. The local school superintendent had his red 56 Olds and we had our 57 Ford. He pushed his way ahead of us and squeezed into our lane with our front bumper creasing the entire side of his red Olds. No one stopped and no one did anything. When we got home I cleaned the red paint off our bumper. Good as new. I’d see his car and he never got it fixed. Its been 60 years now and no one has come to collect. I suppose its possible his heirs will contact me sometime but I won’t remember a thing except we were in Michigan at the time, two states away. Have a beer, go on with your life. There are bigger concerns out there today.

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My daddy used to joke “keep backin’ up 'till ya hear glass breakin!”.

There seems to be a wealth of misinformation shared between bicyclists. From your description the cyclist was at minimum riding in the wrong direction. If they were riding on the sidewalk they were possibly more at fault. State traffic laws can substantially vary but in my state cyclists are required to obey the same laws as motor vehicles. I am confident at least half the cyclists have never read the DMV driver manual. I see cyclists frequently running stop signs and red lights. I have sadly never seen one being cited by a law enforcement officer. Even sadder I all to often see a twisted bicycle and report of a critically injured or deceased cyclist on the local TV news.

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If they were illegally parked and you have photos you should have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately far to many azzholes have no respect for the law much less respect for other people.

You deduced very correctly. He was riding on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the street, which had bike lanes on both sides!

It was a bad two-way driveway out of a shopping center, with building corners probably right up to building code limits on both sides. I inched up, but cannot account for what speed he might have been going as he came from the right. From the left, there was the added width for the opposite direction, so if he was coming from the right, there’s at least that extra distance. Traffic laws make sense!

I don’t think you need to do anything. If the truck owner was concerned about a nicked truck bumper, they’d have told you at the time. If the truck owner wanted to avoid a confrontation, he might have written your license number, and I suppose his insurance company may eventually contact you. But all that seems very unlikely. In any event there’s nothing more you can do. Suggest to forget about it.

Your story reminds me of a Lamborghini owner I found myself sharing a table at a coffee shop a couple years ago; she was telling me she was upset b/c an SUV had bumped into her car in a parking lot, and she just found out the estimate to fix it came to $13,000.