What can I do regarding a fraudulent damage accusation?

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What can I do regarding a fraudulent damage accusation?

Several weeks ago, I lightly bumped a truck with my car in a dealership’s parking lot. The trunk of my car scuffed the corner of the truck. The paint transferred to my trunk and left a small crease. Then 3 men from the dealership, along with my husband, looked over the damage and we all agreed that my car received the most damage and the scuff on the truck could be wet sanded. They told us wet sanding is no big deal and not to worry about it. After we left, the sales manager called us and said we dented it and will need to pay for a replacement to the bumper. We said that we had concerns and that there was no visible dent so we would have our insurer get involved. They did not contact us again until last week when they called and said they replaced the bumper and the cost was about $1,200 and we could pay them cash. I then said that I could not believe they would replace the bumper and not allow us to have our insurance look at the damage beforehand. They called back later that day and said that it wasn’t replaced, rather it was sold to a customer who wanted a brand new bumper sent home with them for their own repairman to replace. I told them that seems really suspicious and I want communication to go through my insurance agent. My agent asked for photos but they sent photos of a different truck than the one involved; they sent pictures of a large dent in the middle of the bumper and on a black truck. I told my agent it was not the truck involved. Once my agent told them what I said, they continued to text me aggressively. They have also repeatedly asked for cash payment instead of going through insurance.

Asked on June 29, 2018 under Accident Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Refuse to pay, but reiterate that they can speak to your insurer and provide (again; for sake of thoroughness) your insurer's information.
If they won't work with your insurer, they can try to sue you; but to get the money from you, they would have to prove in court that you caused the damage they claimed you caused and also the cost to repair/remediate. If they can't do that, they can't win the case or force you to pay. And your insurer (if you have liabillity coverage) should defend you in court, too.


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