Scratched someone’s bumper, what to expect?

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Topic: Scratched someone’s bumper, what to expect?

Travel and Transportation April 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Scratched someone’s bumper, what to expect?

Ugh, so I scratched someone’s bumper today on the street in Woodley Park. It already had a few dings on it, but my scratch was pretty noticeable so I left a note anyway. Now that I’ve done that, what are the odds of the owner of the car calling or trying to rip me off? I’m reading that bumper repair can be pretty costly. Should I insist on getting multiple written estimates? Is it better to go through insurance or pay up on my own? For what it’s worth, my car is pretty old, so I have super basic insurance and am not sure this sort of thing would even be covered (or cost-effective for me to go through insurance). 

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Ouch.  I hate the idea of someone who has “done the right thing” getting penalized.  I’ve been on the receiving end of this equation and I will tell you, I was happy that someone was forthcoming and honest enough to acknowledge the mishap…. in fact, so much so, I recognized that the infraction was what it was (my bumper too had some dings) and never even called the person.  I realize things don’t always work out that way.  I do still harbor the hope that honesty is the best policy; if you get contacted, how about just starting with what you have posted here… “My car is pretty old, I have super basic insurance” – what can we work out together?”  Do you know a good mechanic or can you get some references?  Hope it works out.

I would just like to commend you for being honest!

Personally, if someone admitted that they scratched my car, I probably wouldn’t ask them to pay very much since parking on the street in DC if I got my paint touched up it would only be a matter of time before it happened again. But yeah – thanks for speaking up. I couldn’t even get the guy who parks in an assigned spot next to me to admit he scratched my car after politely asking him about it!

I recently bumped someone’s car while at a stop light. There was maybe a very light scratch on the bumper – if it were my car, I wouldn’t have even noticed or cared. We exchanged information and I asked them to call me with an estimate before going through insurance. They did, and the estimates were all over $1000. So I told them to go through my insurance  – and never heard anything else about it, they never followed through. So, based on my very limited experience, I might suggest going through insurance – maybe the hassle will discourage them.
Personally, I agree with msfanster – if it were my car, I would thank you for your honesty and not care about my bumper. Seriously, there are way more important things in life. But I will also say that I have had friends who got screwed over by people in this same situation. 

Man, I wish everyone was as nice as you! Someone bumped my back bumper so hard that it cracked–there’s about a foot-long, thing crack that now runs horizontally across it. When you hit someone that hard, you KNOW. And of course, they didn’t leave a note.

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