What should I do if I hit someone but cannot now reach them?

About a month ago I was in a minor accident when I was backing out of a parking spot. I was looking to the left behind me and the guy claimed he was also backing out and didn’t see me. I ended up backing up into his driver’s door and left a dent. We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to settle it without insurance. I called the guy 4 times that day and upon the last call I asked if I could come get pictures the next day so I could get some estimates and he said yes. Well the next day came and when I called him 2 times both times the call was ignored

after 3 rings and I got voicemail. Never heard from him until this morning. Now he wants to settle this. How do I know that the damage has not gotten worse?

Asked on June 24, 2016 under Accident Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you remember what his damage was, you can't "know" whether or not it has gotten worse. All you can do is discuss the matter with him and see if you can some to a settlement number and terms you can afford and think is fair. If so, settle; if not--for example, if you think he's trying to get you to pay for damage you did not do, or think his repair estimate(s) are too high--you don't have to settle and can let him sue you; he'll have to prove you did the damage and its cost before he can recover money from you, and you'll have the chance to challenge his evidence and testimony.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.