What to do if I rented a car and got minor scratches on rear left bumper?

UPDATED: Dec 10, 2013

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What to do if I rented a car and got minor scratches on rear left bumper?

I bought the full coverage insurance at the time. However, the rental company said that I did not file a police report for the scratches and sue me in small claim court and want me to pay $1800. They negotiated with me with the less payment of $1000, $1200, $900 and $850 from four diferent calls.

Asked on December 10, 2013 under Accident Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Look at the terms of the insurance you bought: are  they (the insurer or rental company--whomever provided the insurance) required to cover you under these circumstances (e.g. no police report)? If so, they'll have to pay for the damage.

If they are not obligated to cover you, your options are defend (if sued; you are only forced to pay if they file and win a lawsuit against you) if you feel that they will not be able to prove that you were responsible for the damage; or work out a settlement. Note that for the amounts you describe, it would not be worth hiring an attorney--a lawyer could easily cost more than $1200 (or even more than $1800); therefore, if you feel that they'd probably win if you were sued, you should probably take the lowest offer you can get them agree to.

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.

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