I bumped into the car in front of me at a red light...

by Danielle

This morning I pulled up at a traffic light where there was a red signal. Seconds later as I shuffled in my car seat my foot slipped off the brake and I bumped the car in front of me. Once the light turned green we both pulled aside. The owner of the car I bumped into took my details, my name, my address and number plate.

There was a very small scratch on the vehicle I bumped into and no other external damage had been done. I was so nervous because I was driving my friend's car that I didn't take any details from the driver of the car I bumped into. I am so worried that this person may lie about this incident to make a higher claim, as I now have no proof and this will be bad for my friend's insurance.

Can the other driver claim more than the actual damage to the car? Will my friend's insurance company check to make sure he isn't lying? Will they raise the premium rates for my friend because of this incident? I'd really appreciate any information you can give. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "I bumped into the car in front of me at a red light...":

Danielle (USA):

Let's separate the answers...

First and Second: While the other driver may attempt to claim more than the actual damage to his or her car, you can rest assured your friend's insurance company will send a claims adjuster out to verify the actual damage.

Insurance company claims adjusters are highly trained to differentiate recent damage from old damage. There is a pattern for almost every car collision. Adjusters are able to "connect the dots" so to speak to assure their company will only pay for the actual damage, and not a penny more. You shouldn't worry about this at all.

Third: There's really no way to tell if your friend's insurance company will raise his premiums. Factors insurance companies rely on when deciding whether or not to raise premiums include the age of the insured, the amount and type of moving violations (tickets), and prior collision claims.

If this is the first claim against your friend's insurance policy and his driving record is clean, there's a good chance his premiums will not rise.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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