San Francisco, CA asked in Car Accidents for California

Q: Can you change your mind and decide to file a insurance claim after it was verbally agreed upon there was no damage

I posted this once but apparently need to reiterate with more details.

I accidentally lightly hit the rear bumper of a co-workers parked auto while parking mine.

He was not in the car. I got out and inspected both cars and it appeared to me there was nothing more than a few scratches.

I went to the break room after punching in knowing I would see him. Apparently another worker informed him I hit his car. He came in “jokingly” saying I hit his car and exaggerated I damaged his car. He was joking as we kidded around.

I took it as it wasn’t much and that was it. He never asked for my driver license, registration or insurance. He never said he wanted or was going to file a claim either. A few days later we even had conversations never bringing up the accident.

Now it’s been over a week. My question is can he now approach me with an estimate for damages and how long does he have to file a insurance claim. Given the time who’s to say the damage was caused by me. I’m in California.

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

A: more info needed.

yes, he can change his mind based on facts you shared.

you could have exposure having hit his car and not having left a note ID'ing yourself.

technically that is a misdemeanor hit and run and you don't want someone to press for that.

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

A: The prior answers apply. We understood the first time.

Alexander Bakhache Perez
Alexander Bakhache Perez
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Fullerton, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes - up to 3 years to file a claim is the S.O.L. for property damage only claims

you should have left a note and provided your insurance info on the spot or notified him immediately,

this could be a hit and run case and would involve the police if info is not provide and depending on the amount of the estimate of damages the DMV / SR-1 may need to be filed.

in the future you should also take photos of the damage immediately to answer your question "who's to say the was caused by me"

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