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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2016

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Insurance Question from Freeport, NY

Asked on 03/19/2016

FENDER BENDER ISSUES! Recently i was driving and we had both stopped to make a right, he began to move then slammed on his brakes, i tapped the bumper. there was no damage to my car, very minimal damage to his car. Paint was scraped, the car was beat up already. He didn't want to involve police or insurance. was very minimal, i agreed, and gave him my phone number so i could assist pay the damage. He came to see me and i gave him $ to repair. Now he's calling that he's getting estimates 10X what we agreed upon. Seems ridiculous, should i call insurance now? file a police report now? any advice?

Answer given on March 20, 2016

If you have an accident with another vehicle, it is never a good idea to try to settle it on your own. In your case, you are seeing that the amount of damage can get inflated, and you have already made the case more difficult for your insurance company. They could deny your claim since you already tried to settle it. The other driver can also decide that they were injured which would further exacerbate the case.You should tell the other driver that you have decided to file the claim with your insurance company and that they will be contacting him directly. If he continues to call you, tell him he has to speak with your insurance company and refuse any further calls. Then call your company and give all the details of the accident and what has occurred since. Ask if they want you to file a police report or not. They may not feel it is necessary at this point.

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