What should we do if my son rear-ended a car in traffic and the police said there was no damage but the other driver wants money for his lost wages?

The driver of the other car called the police. However, when they arrived they said it was only a 5mph collision and there was no damage so no charges were filed. Since there was no damage, we didn’t contact our insurer. This afternoon, a week later, the driver of the car showed up on our front door asking for $125 in lost wages. He said he’ll come back tomorrow at 3 pm since my son was not home.

Asked on October 17, 2014 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can ignore him if you believe that he is lying and did not lose any wages; you don't have to pay simply because someone asks you. He could try suing you after that, such as in small claims court, but the onus would be on him to initiate the suit; and to win, he'd have to be able to prove in court that you son was at fault (which he probably was, if he rear-ended another car; the rear drivers in such collisions are almost always considered at fault) AND that he (the other driver) lost wages as a direct and reasonable/foreseeable result of the collision. Unless he can prove both things, he cannot recover money.


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