What to do about a very minor fender bender in a parking lot?

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about a very minor fender bender in a parking lot?

We were backing out of a store parking space and another person backed out at the same time. Our cars “Kissed” and left some minor scrapes, our van has a small dent while the other car has some scrapes only. The woman is trying to tell me she needs to have it go through her insurance and get 2 estimates, etc. I offered at the time to have our body guy fix it but now she wants to go through all this junk. I am on a fixed income as I am disabled. My 19 year old future son-in-law was driving my vehicle. The lady claims she stopped her car and beeped her horn. What should I do?

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can't prevent her from filing a claim, getting multiple estimates, or, for that matter, suing you if she wants to and feels she can prove that you (or in this case your future son-in-law, who you permitted to drive, and so whom you are responsible for) were at fault and caused her damage. You can offer to settle, as you have, but cannot compel settlement. If she refuses to settle, you can pay what she wants; defend against the claim, by either trying to refute fault (i.e. show your son-in-law was not negligent or careless; a driver is only liable to the extent he or she was at fault) or by showing that her damage/repair estimates are too high; or do nothing if all of your income is protected from garnishment (e.g. social security) and you have little or no assets/property, since in that case, even if you are liable, she cannot effectively recover anything from you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption