Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
‘Another driver bumped into my wife’s car in mid-May 2010 as he was turning and offered to pay for the damage (which was a scrape on the front bumper) if we went to his buddy to get it fixed. He apologized and gave us his name and drivers info, he did NOT ask for ours in return. My wife had honked at him twice to get him to stop as she could tell he was going to hit her as he was turning and he was waving to someone else as he was going by. She said she was not past the stop line. She also said she thought she could smell alcohol on him after he stopped to resolve the accident. No one contacted the police or insurance. I took some time and decided to get a quote for fixing it from a body shop (not his buddy’s) in mid-July and then gave him the quote in late July. About $500 in damage. He said it was way too much and to go to his buddy’s shop where he could probably fix it for $80 – $100, so I did and in August his buddy came back with pretty much the exact same quote of around $500 in damage. For months, I phoned his cell and left messages which he never returned. I finally got a hold of him at home in November. He told me that it’s been too long and I should have gone to his friend right away and that other accidents could have happened and he refused to pay it, even refused to pay $80 – $100 that he said he would have paid before. He then went on and said for the first time that my wife was over the stop line and that he honked twice to get her to move, which is not true. I said that I should have gotten the original quote faster but that I don’t get in accidents every day and the chances of another accident on the front bumper in the time after he hit it was next to nothing and there has been no other accidents since he hit it. He also said that when he saw the bumper after the accident in May he didn’t see any real damage. He said he will think about it and asked for my home number. I still haven’t heard from him and I doubt I will. He will likely ignore me just as he did after the August quote that didn’t suit what he thought the damage should cost to repair. So my question is can I make him pay if we go to court or is it too late now by the law?’You should immediately make 2 telephone calls, in this order:
Question: 1. Call your local police department and ask them if it is possible to still file a report. If it is not too late, do so.
2. Call your insurance company and explain the situation to them, and ask them what your next step is. Your insurance company is there to help and protect you – you *pay* them to do so. Let them do their job.