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Fender Bender Question

mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
A little over a week ago I brushed up against a woman's car a few blocks from my house in Baltimore. She was parked in the middle of the street (no attempt to get out of the lane of traffic) waiting for a parking spot. I was trying to make a green light about 500 feet in front of here so I tried to squeeze between her and the parked cars on my left. Unfortunately I swapped a little paint with her, I pulled over and apologized and said it was a momentary lapse in judgement. I looked at her car and the only damage was cosmetic, just a little bit of a scuff on her rear quarter panel, she had an older (2004ish) honda CRV which has big plastic sections which helped to keep damage to a minimum. I told her I would like to pay out of pocket for anything because I didn't want my rates to go up. She even said "I think I can get my boyfriend to buff it out," She wrote down my license plate, name, phone number and address.

I get a call from her a few days later saying she got a quote "from a friend of a friend" that owns a shop and it would be $950. I told her that seemed a bit high considering someone rear-ended me last year, took off my entire bumper and the repair was only 500. She said she thought it was high as well and would take it to get another shop for another estimate. She left me a message last night saying she got another quote for $820, which I'm still having trouble grasping. I haven't called her back yet because I'm not sure what to do. I have a feeling she told both shops she took it to that "the guy that hit me is going to pay for it" so they immediately jacked up the cost 200% thinking I'll just pay it. A friend of mine that is a lawyer told me to completely ignore her and to not even give her a penny or answer her phone calls because then I would be admitting guilt and she could come back 3 months later and sue me for her neck hurting or something. Morally, I want to do something because I do admit I was wrong but I also don't want to get scammed out of 800 bucks. I was thinking it would be more along the lines of 2-300 max.

Thoughts?
 

mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
Unfortunately this lady is born and bred here, if I went to someone to "fix" the problem they might know her. Although, most B-more natives have no morals so they would probably do it anyway.
 
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amishmatt

Turbo Monkey
Sep 21, 2005
1,166
285
Lancaster, PA
She sounds as if she's been pretty accomodating so far.

You hit her.
She didn't call the po-po.
She didn't call insurance.
She got a second, lower quote.

Your lawyer friend sounds like a dick, she deserves to have her car fixed.
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
26,898
3,410
Riding the baggage carousel.
She sounds as if she's been pretty accomodating so far.

You hit her.
She didn't call the po-po.
She didn't call insurance.
She got a second, lower quote.

Your lawyer friend sounds like a dick, she deserves to have her car fixed.
:stupid:

Sounds like you've been pretty lucky all things considered. SIUP, chalk it up to experience, and pray to the FSM she doesn't decide to lawyer up.
 

mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
I am at fault and I do want to fix her car, but I don't want to pay 4 times more than it actually costs to repair it. I just made a call to a shop that specializes in small dent repair, I hope she will agree to take it there for any estimate.


Edit: And isn't it a prerequisite for a Lawyer to be a dick?
 
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bdamschen

Turbo Monkey
Nov 28, 2005
3,316
36
Spreckels, CA
One thing to keep in mind- Body work is always more expensive than you think it is going to be.

Also, think about it this way- Some dude hits your car and causes damage, then wants to take it to the cheapest place he can find that's most likely going to do a horrible job when all you want is for your car to look like it did before it was hit.
 

mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
One thing to keep in mind- Body work is always more expensive than you think it is going to be.

Also, think about it this way- Some dude hits your car and causes damage, then wants to take it to the cheapest place he can find that's most likely going to do a horrible job when all you want is for your car to look like it did before it was hit.
Her car was already a POS with other visible damage. This is part of the reason I think the quote is high, the shop probably said "we'll get this chump to pay for some of the other damage."

I have never seen, nor heard of, a $200 bodywork bill.
She doesn't need any body work, 30 minutes with an orbital buffer and it would be back to how it was. I took 20 minutes with a claybar on my car and you can't even tell anything happened, and my truck looked worse than hers.

It always pays to play it straight. File an accident report, tell the insurance company. Trying to work around the system sets you up for a fall.
Last resort might be to just call the Insurance company and let them hassle with it. I was trying to avoid paying 40 dollars more a month in car insurance for the next 3 years.
 

BMCarter

Monkey
Oct 10, 2007
297
0
Santa Barbara
Have her send you pictures, forward them to some body shops to get a rough estimate. Find a shop that sounds reasonable, and have her meet you there for an inspection. If the shop is agreeable to the both of you then you pay the shop, and she leaves her car.

Done. Not sure how this is so difficult. You should be the one taking the active role in finding a shop if you are worried about the cost, especially since you were the one that hit her.
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
14,355
2,894
behind you, don't wait up.
She doesn't need any body work, 30 minutes with an orbital buffer and it would be back to how it was. I took 20 minutes with a claybar on my car and you can't even tell anything happened, and my truck looked worse than hers.

Last resort might be to just call the Insurance company and let them hassle with it. I was trying to avoid paying 40 dollars more a month in car insurance for the next 3 years.
If you really think this, propose to have her paint cleaned and polished out first. If she is satisfied, you call it even. If you can't correct the damage, you use her lowest estimate and move forward with the repair. Surely she understands you wanting to keep expenses low, but you did hit her car after all.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
9,493
5,154
Canaderp
I worked at a body shop last year and saw this type of stuff all the time.

I think the price she gave you is probably an estimate to take the entire bumper off, remove the different plastic **** from it and paint the entire thing.

If you only scuffed the surface and didn't deform the plastic on the bumper, then yeah I'd say the quote is high.

You can also get a lower quote by telling the shop to not remove the bumper and to basically just paint the one area, if they can cut a line somewhere on the bumper. But doing it that way could also leading to the paint defects in the future.



This is what happened to my car while working at that shop. My neighbor backed into my parked car and caved in the drivers side of the bumper and smashed the fog light. For the shop to remove the bumper, heat the bumper and reset the caved in part, prep, paint and install all the crap again, I think it was about $1200-$1300. But the fog light was about $150 from Mazda, so...

It takes a lot of time to do it the long, proper way of removing everything. Lots of labour.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,921
8
Over your shoulder whispering
Do you have mutliple accidents? If not and this is your only one, typically your state and or insurer will have a cap on what is a "forgiven" accident. In NC, it's less than $1800 total damage.

Call your agent and tell them the quotes and they can tell you if that $950 would cause you an increase. If not, file it and fix it right. She'll get a lifetime warranty on repairs and you'll get a signed waiver of any further liability.