If I backed into someone 3 years ago, can they still file a claim through their insurance for damages?

Asked over 1 year ago - Trenton, NJ

Three years ago I backed into a friends car and just caused a small dent. Their car was old so they didn't want me to pay them anything. We have recently gotten into a big argument and are no longer friends so they want to file a claim through insurance for the damage on the car. Is there a statute of limitations on this?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Dean P Murray

    Contributor Level 18

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, they can still sue you and the owner of the vehicle you were driving. However, they may encounter some evidentiary issues with respect to the exact extent of the damage, especially if no police report was filed and no photographs were taken at the time of the collision. Your insurance company likely has a duty to defend you once you file a claim.

    If you have additional questions, you can always contact a lawyer, whether myself or one of my colleagues. If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST ANSWER or HELPFUL. Good luck to you.

    Dean P. Murray
    The Murray Law Firm
    560 Sylvan Avenue
    Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
    T: (201)875-2600
    F: (201)549-8700

    Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely... more
  2. Michael Ryan Juarez

    Contributor Level 16

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Quick google search returns 2 years for personal injury 6 years for injury to personal property. So it looks like your still on the hook for another 3 years.

    -Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.... more
  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 6 year statute of limitations for property damage.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  4. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Do they still have the car? If not them it will be hard for them to file a claim. Also, if they do still have the car then take pictures of it right away. It is my understanding that property damage like this in New Jersey has a 6 year statute of limitations. You shoudl verify this with an attorney licensed in New Jersey.

    If you had insurance at the time then turn it over to them to handle.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more
  5. Steven Todd Keppler

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The short answer here is: it's very unlikely. While there is a 6-year statute of limitations for damage to personal property, the SoL for auto accidents is 2 years. Regardless, and has been otherwise pointed out, your former friend will likely have an incredibly difficult time proving that his damages are caused by you, and only you, with 3 years' time in between.

    If your friend came to me with nothing but the facts you present, I would not take that case. Perhaps another lawyer would.

    The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client... more
  6. Daniel C LaTerra

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . There is a 6-year statute of limitations on property damage claims, so it seems you may be subject to the damages claim. Be sure to assess whether the damage that is claimed was actually caused by your incident three years ago, or whether there is new/greater damage that your 'ex-friend' is not trying to make you pay. Ask for photographs of the damage with dates. Good luck on this.

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