How do I proceed after a minor accident if no insurance information was exchanged or police report filed?

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How do I proceed after a minor accident if no insurance information was exchanged or police report filed?

I recently got into a very minor accident located in NC. The woman had stopped at a stop sign and moved forward to take a left, but put on her brakes suddenly. I did not stop in time and rear-ended her going only a few miles per hour. There was no damage to my car, and only a few hardly noticeable scratches on her car. The woman told me she was new to America, and was very quiet and unsure of the situation. We decided to exchange our names, phone numbers and email addresses and that was it. No insurance or vehicle information was obtained, and no police report was filed. Shortly after the accident, I get a call from her insurance company while I am at work. I don’t want to have to make a big deal of this and go through both insurance companies all over a scratch. What am I legally obligated to do in the situation? Can this woman track me down from just my name, phone number and email? Do I have to speak with her insurance company about the situation when I was under the impression that we could just walk away from the situation?

Asked on March 1, 2016 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) It is possible that she can track you down from phone number, name, and email address.
2) If she has been paid anything by her insurance company, the insurer has the right to seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver; if you rear ended her, then you would almost certainly be considered to be at fault in a court of law (the law presumes that in an accident like this, the rear driver is at fault, since he/she should have maintained a safe distance and paid attention to break in time). So if her insurer is involved and they paid anything, they have the right to seek the money from you.
3) Alternately, if her insurance did not pay, she has the right to now sue you herself for any costs, damage, expenses, etc. she incurred. She is not bound to any oral agreement or understanding at the time to not seek money from you.


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