What to do if the owner of a car thatI hit is asking for damages months laterwhen they did not do so at the time of the accident?

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What to do if the owner of a car thatI hit is asking for damages months laterwhen they did not do so at the time of the accident?

I backed into a car a few months ago. The damage was very minor – just a tiny scrape on the bumper. The other guy told me the damage was very minor, so he would not bother to fix it. There was a cop on the scene, but the other guy said there was no need to file a police report since he would not be repairing the vehicle. Now 3 months later, the guy has gotten repair estimates and asked me for money. I am suspicious that he sustained further auto damage in those intervening 3 months and is trying to get me to pay for it. Am I liable to pay? Is this insurance fraud?

Asked on July 4, 2011 under Accident Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Oh boy.  And I am sure that you did not report the incident to your insurance company wither, right?  So now it will be his word against yours and you have no police report or pictures (the insurance company would have taken pictures) for you to defend yourself against his claim. And now you may have a problem with a late notice issue if you report it now to your insurance company. I think that you need to report the matter and this way if nothing else your insurance company can see if the guy had another accident after yours that was reported.  If he sues you you are going to have very little proof.  It is not insurance fraud unless he is attempting to claim from an insurance company.  He is attempting to claim from you.  Good luck.


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