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  1. #1
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    How to handle a Fender Bender

    OK, I backed into someone in the parking lot today. It was my fault. The lady seemed really busy, so we exchanged insurance information and went on our ways.

    What is the next step I need to take here? Do I file a police report, or should I try to avoid it? I think we have 72 hours to report it in Iowa. Do I notify my insurance, or just try to handle it on my own?

    I have Progressive insurance, not sure if they do accident forgiveness. Her car already had some damage to it, and was already in pretty poor shape. I would estimate that her car probably had $1,000 worth of damage from me. Damage to my car was minimal, just a scratch on the bumper corner.


    Last edited by ccyclonepower25; 01-30-2011 at 01:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    I looked up Progressive, I don't think I qualify for accident forgiveness since I have not been with them for 4 years. I have a pretty low rate right now, so It might be best for me to handle this without filing a report.

    Don't know all the legalities though to doing that.



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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    I would not file a report. Especially, if you know it was your fault. The only time I would is if it wasn't your fault, but the other person was trying to blame you. (and most times with accidents in parking lots, nobody is at "fault" and the police send you on your way).


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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    Call the lady and see what she wants to do. Maybe she would be willing to accept some $$ to not report.


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  5. #5
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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    Well if it is considered a No Fault accident, then it may be beneficial for me to file a report. My rates shouldn't go up on a No Fault, and the legal paperwork will be in order.



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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by ccyclonepower25 View Post
    Well if it is considered a No Fault accident, then it may be beneficial for me to file a report. My rates shouldn't go up on a No Fault, and the legal paperwork will be in order.
    That's true. I guess it really depends on the accident. I've had a couple of friends get into fender benders in parking lots and the person at fault was obvious, but it always seemed like the police said nobody was at fault, just because parking lots are a cluster **** and anything can happen at any speed.


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  7. #7
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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    OK, I went to the Iowa DOT website. It says that legally we have to report if there is more than $1,500 in Damages, Or if there is an injured party. So legally we don't have to report it. Maybe we can settle.

    Would it be better to not report and try to settle with her. Or to report it, if it is a No Fault, I may not be out anything money wise.



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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by ccyclonepower25 View Post
    OK, I went to the Iowa DOT website. It says that legally we have to report if there is more than $1,500 in Damages, Or if there is an injured party. So legally we don't have to report it. Maybe we can settle.

    Would it be better to not report and try to settle with her. Or to report it, if it is a No Fault, I may not be out anything money wise.
    I would probably just call and try to settle with her. Seeing that you're a Cyclone fan, if you report it, the police will probably find you at fault. How do I know this? Well, because for some reason, cyclones fans tend to get kicked in the nuts just a few more times than any other person.


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  9. #9
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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    I do have ISU license plates, so that is a definate possibility.



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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    She can file a claim with your company regardless of who is at-fault, then Progressive will investigate the claim to find out what happened. Now if it is obvious you are at-fault and you tell her that, you can ask her if she would be willing to settle the damage without insurance being involved. Then it is up to the "victim" whether she is comfortable with you settling out-of-pocket, or she can choose to still go through Progressive for repair/payment.

    On the other hand, if you believe you are not at-fault you can file a claim with her company as well...



  11. #11
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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    Sounds like you've got it all figured out


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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    Best time to settle it without insurance companies is right on the scene in cash. You are probably going to be hearing from your insurance company on this if you gave her your info. Next time if you can get any witnesses the best thing to do regardless if you are in a hurry is call the police and have an official accident report written up and pictures taken. I've heard stories before with these parking lot fender benders where the person whose car got hit makes it sound like no big deal at the time but a day or so later is trying to take your insurance company to the cleaners for more damage than you did. My parents had this happen when my mom tapped someones bumper and barely scratched it and it turned into a big mess where the whole bumper had to be replaced or repainted or something when a little touch-up paint would have been just fine.

    I know it sucks to get a claim on your insurance but sometimes crap like this its better to cover all your bases with an official accident report so it's not your word against them if they try to get more out of it than they should.


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  13. #13
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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    If it is on private property there will not be a police report unless there are injuries from the accident.



  14. #14
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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    Yeah, I found that out. If it is on private property, with no injuries, and small damage, you file your own report, police don't come out.



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    Re: How to handle a Fender Bender

    This happened to me a couple of years ago at my daughter's daycare center. I was backing up at the same time a lady behind me was backing up. We basically backed into each other. She got out of her car all PO'd saying that I had backed into her. She demanded our insurance information, but never offered hers.

    When I called my insurance company, they took my statement of what happened and after talking to the other woman, they determined that since it was a no-fault accident, and both of us had left our parking spaces, they weren't going to pay anything to the other woman. Our SUV was virtually unharmed (I think it cracked the taillight), so no claim was filed at all.

    Needless to say, this woman was livid and kept calling us demanding to know what we were going to do about the dent in the trunk of her car, which probably had a book value of $2000 or less. You can pretty much guess what I told her.



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