If I backed into a car, is there anything that I can do?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I backed into a car, is there anything that I can do?

I backed up into a car. There was minimal damage and no injury yet the other driver claimed he needed to replace the bumper. I did not have insurance at the time, so I gave him contact information. The police were not called and I do

not believe he’s contacted his insurer. He has since contacted me claiming that he got a quote that it would be over $800 to fix. I haven’t contacted him back, as I simply don’t have the money. Is there anything I can do legally to get out of this? There was a quarter sized dent and a little paint transfer.

Asked on March 31, 2016 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you don't believe the cost or don't want to pay it, you can refuse to pay (or offer to pay what you think is reasonable). That then puts the ball in his court, to do one of accept your lower offer; make a lower request himself; or to sue you for the full amount. If he sues you, since you would most likely be considered to have been at fault (you backed into a car), he could win  whatever he could prove (e.g. via estimates) is the reasonable cost to repair.

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