Last week I was sick with a bad cold and thus groggy. I came out of the
grocery store, and a lady and her teenage daughter were walking away from
their car, which was next to mine. They almost didn't stop, did a sort of
stutter step before finally walking back to my car and their car, as I was
getting into my car. She said: "my daughter scratched your car." The
word scratch made me think she may have done it with her door as she was
opening her door. So the mother shows me the "scratch"; which is actually
a dent and a gouge/scratch. And I pointed out another scratch that was
nearby. I didn't even think to check the lower plastic body cladding
(which after getting the car home I noticed was gouged and scratched in
several places). My car only has 16K miles and is almost new.
Anyway because the teenager was driving, the mother says she wants to pay
me cash for the repairs and not go through her insurance. I got her info.
(DL #, license plate #, description of her car, insurance info., address,
phone #'s, her place of employment (sheriff's office), etc.. I took my
car to the local body shop that I like to deal with (have been hit 2
previous times in parking lots by hit and run drivers). It's $900 for the
repair (they have to paint and blend in the paint on 2 large body panels).
I've been calling this lady everyday for 5 days and only got one return
call, which was to the tune of "$900 for a small dent?!?!".
So I reminded her that the entire front-right of her car collided with my
car, so to expect the damage to be confined to 'one small dent' is
ridiculous. I also reminded her that my car only has 16K miles and that
the damage wasn't there before (my wife and myself both drive this car and
would have noticed it). And I reminded her that I was a nice guy and
didn't insist on calling the police, so she could pay cash and avoid
insurance rate hikes, and I asked her to please not take advantage of my
niceness by not cooperating and by dragging this out, especially when its
Any advice as to what I can do now, to make sure I don't get shafted on
this situation? And my advice to you guys is: CALL THE POLICE, NO MATTER
HOW SLIGHT THE DAMAGE! AND CARRY A CAMERA WITH YOU. If I would have
called the police, I'd have a police report and pics (assuming policemen
take pics of accidents), but now I am left with an uncooperative person
who caused the damage who may try to say: "most of that damage must have
already been there because I only saw ONE dent." You just can't rely on
the ethics of the average human, even one who seems nice.