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Fender bender problem. Seeking advice please.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by PringlesLFE, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. PringlesLFE

    PringlesLFE Mmm...Salty.

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    So last night around 11:45 PM, we had a ton of freezing rain over here that literally froze over 99% of the roads in black ice. This isn't too common here in dirty jersey...but I was driving to one of the campuses at my University to pick up my sick girlfriend who was waiting outside at a bus stop in this terrible weather.

    Theres a screwy area of campus where it's a giant circle with a bunch of exit/entrances that'll lead you to different parts of campus. A guy in front of me stopped suddenly and I ended up gliding over the black ice and even though I was ripping the E-brake, I slammed into the rear of his 06 Dodge Dakota.

    I was in a real rush and even though I'm gonna need to replace my sedan's front grill and front bumper, I forgot to take a picture or get any of his information. I gave him all of my information because in the past when this has happened to me once, and the other driver had agreed there was no visible damage, I was never contacted about it...and this is obviously how it should be. When you see a broke, distressed college kid rushing to go get his sick gf from a busstop, why would you send him an email at 2am with a link to a $400 bumper...threatening to take it to insurance if I don't replace his bumper when there was only 1 square inch of paint scratching and a smudge of paint...that dissapeared when I wiped it with my finger.

    My biggest concern is obviously, If I take it to insurance and claim that the damage was minimal (which he agreed upon via email), since I don't have any pictures, he can easily take a hammer to his bumper and claim that it was damage from my car (since my bumper's smashed to pieces)


    I googled this son of a :pooh: and know that he works in a university building not too far from campus...he's a grad student doing some engineering/tech kinda stuff. I'm going to pay the parking lot a visit later today and look for his truck to take pictures of.

    What do you guys recommend as my options? I know this was a lot to read but even though I'm not a super active contributor to this forum...I believe the majority of the regular members here are good people and will offer advice on things beyond saltwater aquariums.

    Thanks for all your help...I know this isn't exactly an ideal situation....I appreciate it.
     
    PringlesLFE, Feb 2, 2011
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  2. PringlesLFE

    little_fish Moderator

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    If you do go and take pics of his car make sure that there is some sort of time and date in the photos
     
    little_fish, Feb 2, 2011
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  3. PringlesLFE

    Toolman RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH

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    Being from NJ and enjoying and paying the some of the highest rates in the country I suggest you take the pictures as planed. Walk around to the front and get the vin # that will give you the information you need Google dodge vin decoder and get all the information you need. Make some calls and compare prices. Don't forget labor. Any friends in the body shop business? However it turns out for you have him sign a release that he has no injuries and vehicle was repaired to his satisfaction.....Good luck keep a cool head because he can turn on a dime and call insurance company you might also want to report it to campus PD just to cover your rear.
     
    Toolman, Feb 2, 2011
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  4. PringlesLFE

    Toolman RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH

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    FYI did a fast search.... parts are around $200.00 not counting labor. Are you any good with a wrench? I have a problem with people who take advantage of people good luck...
     
    Toolman, Feb 2, 2011
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  5. PringlesLFE

    PRC Stop Quoting Me!

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    You were driving to fast for the conditions and slammed into the back of his truck. If both vehicles are on the same "ice" nobody is going to stop suddenly.

    I doubt very much he is going to go outside and beat on it with a hammer. He doesn't have to. The insurance company is going to pay for it either way.

    He sent you the picture, because it was fresh in his mind, he got home and saw that the damage was a bit more extensive than a "ding".

    In all reality he's doing you a huge favor by giving you the option to pay for it. You can pay $400 to him for the bumper, or you can pay higher premiums until you're 35 yrs old.

    In Michigan, (probably the same as New Jersey) you're considered "at fault" if you hit the back of any vehicle.
     
    PRC, Feb 2, 2011
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  6. PringlesLFE

    Toolman RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH

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    I think that is universal law you rear end someone you loose just giving a less expensive option. All I know is if I or my kid did it I would step up and fix it and not leave it to someone else to do or not do.
     
    Toolman, Feb 2, 2011
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  7. PringlesLFE

    Creben aspiring reefer

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    Pringles,
    i have a lawyer friend and down here, and whenever a car read-ends another, he agrees its the fault of the person behind.
    this same type of thing happened to me, my car rolled into another while i wasn't even inside it! (its a stick with a weak e-brake). Their bumper had one small paint smudge but i had to shell out $800 to fix it!
    in the end, the $800 up front was much cheaper than the insurance premiums, as PRC said.
    sometimes we just have to take the hit :grumble:

    Best of luck! ill pray for ya
     
    Creben, Feb 2, 2011
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  8. PringlesLFE

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Sorry to hear Pringles :(

    Sometimes, insurance companies do make exceptions for "Hands of God" type of situations like yours, where the roads were icy, and you couldn't have avoided hitting him even if you gave a reasonable amount of space. You really should have gotten his information as well and waited for cops, even if it was minor. Good thing you tracked him down, though.

    Keep those emails! If the guy admits it was minimal damage, you can submit that as evidence. Plus, if he DOES take a hammer or whatever to it, they will be able to tell, regardless of the condition of your car.

    NEVER leave a scene w/o getting the other's info (that way, the insurance companies can duke it out), and getting a cop involved is in everyone's best interest, because if you leave before a cop shows up, technically, the other party can get you charged for hit and run, even if they did tell you "Oh it's ok...you can go". People are very "trigger" happy nowadays. I got bumped a few weeks ago...no damages or scratches, and I let him go w/o exchanging info or calling cops....thinking back, technically, how would HE know I wouldn't report him for hit and run :) But I'm not like that. Unfortunately, many people are opportunists.

    Good luck though! +1 lilfish about a pic w/ a time/date stamp.
     
    wontonflip, Feb 2, 2011
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  9. PringlesLFE

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    +1. Be nice to him -- it was your fault, and he can end up costing you a lot of money. One thing to think of -- he may not want to go through insurance. Even if insurance does pay for it, he will still have to pay the deductible. Maybe his deductible is really high. Sometimes, the deductible is higher than the cost of repairs! In that situation, he would probably go after you to pay his deductible as well (which is within his rights).

    So I would try my best to settle it without getting insurance involved. You get insurance involved, your premiums go up and you probably end up paying his deductible (which could be $500 or $1000).

    Buy him the bumper he wants and you are on the hook for a one-time payment of $400.

    Either way, I agree with your plan to go find his vehicle and get pics of it. If it wasn't damaged (as you say), I can't imagine why anyone would be trying to get a new bumper out of it. It's a hassle, and would render his vehicle inoperable for a while during the time it's being fixed. Why would he want to be car-less while his car is in the shop for nothing? I tend to think (and I could be wrong) that there was more damage than you thought, it just wasn't visible at the time.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 2, 2011
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  10. PringlesLFE

    dcantucson

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    +1 Everyone. Good luck. Hopefully you won't have to pay him too much.
     
    dcantucson, Feb 2, 2011
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  11. PringlesLFE

    d2mini VIP Member

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    How do you guys know he won't take the $400 AND go to insurance.
    What legal action does the OP have in that case?
     
    d2mini, Feb 2, 2011
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  12. PringlesLFE

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    In that case, you provide his insurance company with proof that you bought him a new bumper, and proof that the funds were you agreed upon to settle it without getting the insurance company involved, and then his insurance company drops him and may go after him for fraud.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 2, 2011
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  13. PringlesLFE

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    Thats why he needs to keep a record of the emails AND get a copy of the recipt for the bumper and the cost of replacement.

    Was the bumper damaged? If not, the insurance company will only pay to repaint it. Which ever is cheapest. I know first hand on that one.
     
    bjohanson1234, Feb 2, 2011
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  14. PringlesLFE

    Toolman RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH

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    Like I advised have him sign a release saying everything was bought back to pre accident condition and he has no injuries ... Be pro active respond quickley it goes along way the longer he waits for you the closer he comes to going to insurance... stuff happens if it only costs you $400.00 pay and walk away. For the future pulling up the E brake doesn’t help in fact when you lock them up you can go faster you have zero drag and no engine braking to help… ice is ice..... :twocents:
     
    Toolman, Feb 2, 2011
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  15. PringlesLFE

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    But there's also the whole injury liability though...you never know with people these days.

    When a moving truck backed into our then-brand new Jetta, my 1 year old son was in the back seat sleeping -- the truck's bumper smashed the rear window. We did notify insurance, but the company preferred to pay cash rather than go through their insurance for the reasons biff said -- they pay more in the long run. Scary stuff though, since they were inches from my son (who mind you, slept through the WHOLE thing!)

    Plus you didn't get HIS info....who's to say he has no insurance anyway. In VA, you pay a hefty fine for not having insurance.

    I believe in karma...my hubby slightly bumped someone, they exchanged info, cops came gave him a small ticket (failure to pay attention), but since there wasn't a single scratch on the other car, nothing materialized. A couple of weeks later, someone bumped us, same deal, no scratches, except I did let him off w/o exchanging info (against what I normally would have done hehehe -- but I figure "pay it forward"--maybe he'll do the same for someone who bumps him!).
     
    wontonflip, Feb 2, 2011
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  16. PringlesLFE

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    I know in Illinois, that if you arent at fault, as in some one rear ends you, you get a check from the other guys insurance, not yours. So in this case, even if he didnt have insurance, he can still file the claim against Pringles' insurance. Nothing is stopping him. So if you do pay him the $400, pay him in the form of a check, not cash.
     
    bjohanson1234, Feb 2, 2011
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  17. PringlesLFE

    Sharkie The Damsel Defender

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    Its easier to just pay the $400 for the new bumper and get proof you bought it.
    A few months ago my dad BARLEY tapped another car in our volvo and the screws on the license plate frame barley scratched the guys' bumper. The guy was really cool and just wanted my dad to pay for the damagers (altho $400 for a new paint fix was expensive (altho with labor and the area that was the cheapest around) because both of the deductibles were way more costly than fixing the part and we didn't need our insurance raised anymore (my dad is a bit of an accident magnent. everyone always seems to hit him from behind... this was a first for him hitting someone). Get a receipt from wherever you pay for the bumper at-or better yet set up a time for BOTH of you to meet at the place, order it and get 2 copies of the recipt. then it gives you a witness of a clerk as well. $400 seems expensive but its a lot cheaper than having to pay higher insurances for a while
     
    Sharkie, Feb 2, 2011
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  18. PringlesLFE

    PringlesLFE Mmm...Salty.

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    Thanks everyone, Sorry for the delayed response. I took some pics the other day and emailed him saying because there is such minimal damage, I would just give him cash instead. How much do you think would be appropriate?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    PringlesLFE, Feb 5, 2011
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  19. PringlesLFE

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    DAMN! For that? $3. LOL.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 5, 2011
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  20. PringlesLFE

    dcantucson

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    Yeah I can't see much damage either. Is the bumper pushed down a little bit?
     
    dcantucson, Feb 5, 2011
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