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In NYS, parked on residential street, is it possible to get in trouble if one's car fender scratches another vehicle's fender?

Mamaroneck, NY |

I received a note on my car's windshield from another car owner, saying that I had parked too close to his vehicle and my bumper hurt his bumper. (residential street) He said he took down my vehicle information and that he advised me to phone him. I really don't believe that I did this and I want to know if he has any legal rights against me? Unless, one sees (or has a witness) to something happening to one's car, I doubt he has any proof. Can you advise me? I don't know whether to phone him. Thanks.

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Attorney answers 3


If you did cause an accident, then contact either your insurance company or the other person. If the damage is minor, then it should be a minor matter. You may retain an attorney to represent you but it may not be cost effective.

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Dear Mr. Lutzky, Thank you for your response. I didn't park too close to another vehicle and I don't know what this person who left me a note is talking about. Perhaps, he parked too close to my car and in backing out, struck my front bumper and is blaming me. I was not there and I don't know what proof he has. I do not have collision car insurance and I'm sure it was only a minor scratch this other car owner is talking about. I don't know whether to ignore him, or call him and tell him I had nothing to do with it. I can't afford a lawyer. Thank you.

Jayson Lutzky

Jayson Lutzky


You can deny it or wait until the other side does something and then respond.


Maybe he saw it or maybe someone else did. You can't stop him from suing you. Under the terms of your auto policy you are suppossed to place your carrier on notice of a possible claim or it can disclaim against you later.

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If he can prove you did it, you are liable for the repair. As has been said, your insurance company will not cover this if you don't timely report it to them. However, if you report it and they pay for repairs, your rates will go up. Obviously, if the cost to repair is less than your deductible, reporting it can be counterproductive. You should call this person and see what evidence they have that you did this and then you can make a better informed decision. Also, take and preserve photos of your own bumper if it shows no damage.

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