What is the longest a person can take before getting an estimate on a car accident for damage? Is two months too long to wait?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is the longest a person can take before getting an estimate on a car accident for damage? Is two months too long to wait?

My husband backed into someone on Jan 5 both parties said no damage. No police, no claim, the damaged car didn’t go to auto for estimite. We were contacted on March 18 from the guy saying now the guy see damage, and the estimate is over $1500 on March 18 he FINALLY took his car to the shop. He coudln’t even describe my husbands truck. But the damage just appeared he said. It seems a little fishy to me since it took so long for the car to be looked at. It took two months and so much can happen in that time.

Asked on March 29, 2009 under Accident Law, Vermont

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Sounds fishy to us too. 

While there is probably not a legal requirement that he take the car in for an estimate and repairs right away, the fact that he did not do so and that he allegedly discovered the damage a long time afterwards suggests that maybe there was no damage from the original event, and that any  damage was caused in a subsequent event. In any event to recover he normally has to prove causation and not discovering any damage for months suggests to everyone there had been no damage.

My sense is that he probably failed to file the required accident report in time too, assuming there was sufficient financial impact to require a report in Pennsylvania. 

Let your auto liability carrier know right away and they will handle it.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Sure it sounds fishy.  While it may be that the damage was there in the beginning it also may be that the driver himself or someone else caused damage later on. Or perhaps he lost his job and is making a bogus claim.

In any event you probably have liability insurance on your car. You should have notified your insurance company at the time, but if you now report it and explain that there was no damage to either car and it was not your fault, they will likely defend you anyway. Let them deal with it, as there is always the possibility that he will later claim he or a passenger sustained personal injury, and that could wind up costing big bucks.

If you lack liability insurance you could of course say there was no damage, the claim is fabricated, and "sue me."


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption