Fremont, CA asked in Car Accidents for California

Q: Can you approach a driver 2 days later after accident with an estimate when on the day it happened no info exchanged

I accidentally hit a coworkers car in rear bumper when parking mine.

I went into the break room knowing I would see him there. When he came him another worker told him I hit his car.

He jokingly accused me of making a big dent in his bumper which is not what happened. A few scratches was about it. He never asked for my drivers license, registration or insurance that day. We both never went together to inspect his car. I assumed we both agree it was just a small scratch and that was it.

My question is can he come to me two days later with an inflated estimate and ask me to pay or my insurance?

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4 Lawyer Answers
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
Answered

A: Of course he can ask for you or your insurance company to pay for the damages to his car. He has a witness to your driving into his vehicle. Go to his vehicle and take photos of the damage. If the damage still looks like it did just after the accident, you probably should call your insurance company and turn the matter over to them. However, if your fellow employee is trying to collect more than is fair, make sure the insurance lawyer doesn't agree to your "inflated" liability just to settle the case for his real client, your insurance company. Your rates might go up higher than they should if you don't have your own lawyer to protect you.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, he can. The statute of limitations on property damage is 3 years. Two days later is quite prompt. Whether the estimate is inflated is not a question you can answer, unless you are a professional auto body estimator. That takes expertise. You can either notify your insurance company, or work out a settlement (don't give anyone any money without a simultaneous exchange of a signed settlement agreement and release), or wait to get sued in Small Claims where you can present your evidence that the true value of the damage is something less than what your co-worker is stating. Bring your expert witness or a signed statement from one, under penalty of perjury, to the hearing.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more info needed.

however, as a rule, he can.

you should be thankful that he did not report to the police as a hit and run

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: As far as the dollar figure goes, your insurance carrier will probably await the report of its own property damage adjuster before approving an amount to be paid. The adjuster would arrange a time and place to see the vehicle, either in a collision shop or at a location convenient for your co-worker, and verify the accuracy of the estimate figures. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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