The other car rear-ended me while we were waiting at a light. He asked me not to call the cops and that we would settle this on our own. I have his information (i.e. Driver's License info, Insurance info). He asked a friend of his to come look at the car and his friend claimed it's only a minor fix. I had a body shop take a look at it and they say the damages are well above $2000 due to structural damage. Now I'm worried the guy won't pay and he's trying to scam me. What should I do?
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
It has been my experience as an attorney specializing in personal injury matters for almost 25 years, that the New York City Police Department, which based on your location is where I assume the accident occurred, will not take an accident report four days later. In fact, the police precinct would be hard pressed to take a report even one day after an accident. Instead, you will be instructed to file an accident report (MV-104) with DMV in Albany. Without any further delay, I wouild report the accident to the other vehicle's insurance company, who will then contact you to get your version of the accident and inspect the damage to your car. If the owner/driver denies the accident, the owner wil have a very hard time explaining the damage to the front of the car and how you obtained the car's owner and insurance information. If you don't any old damage to the rear of your vehicle, you should be okay either way.
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2 lawyers agree
Personal Injury Lawyer
Based on your concerns that the other driver will not pay, you should verify your concerns. If you are not satisfied, then file a report at the police station. Also, you should call the other drivers insurance company to determine if the incident was reported. If not, this is another way to record the incident. As a last resort, you can look to your insurance carrier to pay the damage and let them work to collect from the other driver. Be aware this could potentially affect your relationship with your insurance company. A lesson learned. Call the police following an accident.
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Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Yes and you absolutely should.
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Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. You may contact the writer with these links:
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Criminal Defense Attorney
It sounds like you have complied with VTL 605 which required both driver's to exchange certain information. You should file a police accident report with the NYS DMV known as an MV-104 pursuant to VTL §605. You should report the accident to your insurance company who in turn will report the accident to the other driver’s insurance company. If you do not have insurance to cover the damage to your car then you should consider filing a small claims action against the driver and/or owner of the other car in small claims court. You will need two estimates of damage or a paid repaired bill to be successful in small claims court. You should read the New York State Small claims handbook if you should decide to pursue this avenue of recovery. Anyone who sustained bodily injury in your car should immediately seek medical attention and legal advice.