Worry about fender bender?

by Radha
(Sunnyvale, CA)

I hit a car at a red light at a very low speed - there was only a scratch on the other vehicle and no damage to mine. He was very polite and did not appear upset. In fact he was ready to let it go. I was nervous and asked if he would like for me to call my insurance and he said sure.

I wasn't able to get through and he was in a hurry so he said he'd just take my information. Which I readily gave him, but I forgot to ask for his in his hurry. All I got was his name and a picture of the rear of his car where I hit him with mine.

Since he has my insurance information and name and number, is there anything he can do? I don't have his contact information. Do I have anything to worry about if he decides to later file a claim or lawsuit against me? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Worry about fender bender?":

Radha (Sunnyvale, CA):

It is likely he will call your insurance company to file a property damage claim. From the facts you present, the collision was not forceful enough to have caused any personal injuries. With that said, we live in a litigious society. What seems like a minor harmless collision may turn into a personal injury claim if the driver was either:

-Injured, or
-Not injured, but wants to make a quick buck by feigning an injury.

Notify your insurance company immediately and tell them about the accident. Your insurance contract likely requires you to notify them of any accident. Unless the driver files a property damage and/or personal injury claim, your insurance premiums will likely not increase.

In the meantime, other than contacting your insurance company, there is not much more you can do.

If the driver files a claim with your insurance company, your side of the story will be included. Your insurance company doesn't want to give away money unless they are sure the property damage was caused by you, and/or the personal injuries the driver may have sustained are real.

You have nothing to worry about. That's why you pay your insurance premiums. In the unlikely event the driver retains an attorney, and/or files a personal injury lawsuit, your insurance company will provide to you a defense attorney at no cost.

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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