I hit a car on September 4, and we exchanged number that’s it. They then called me 4 months later asking me to pay for the damage. Am I obligated to pay for it?

  1. 21750 POINTS
    Jim Winkler
    CEO/Owner, Winkler Financial Group, Houston, Texas
    That is an interesting question. Are you asking if it is okay to not be responsible for your actions if there is a passage of time, or if there is the question of additional damage done to the other vehicle, and you are possibly going to be used as the scapegoat? If it is the former, you need to own up to your responsibilities. If it is the latter, that may be a different story.
    It is always wise to document any accident, by picture, handwritten notes, or police report. The documentation is very helpful in a case like yours where time has passed, and memories of damages may not be as sharp. Without that documentation, the claims for damages can get a little fuzzy. You admit to hitting the other car. Morally, you now have an obligation to repair the damage that you did (if any) to the other vehicle. How much, or precisely what that damage was now becomes the question. Has the other driver told you what repairs they are seeking done? Do they match what you remember seeing done? That is where the rub will come, and you will have to work it out together. You have no way of knowing why the repairs weren't sought earlier, and perhaps that is worth knowing also. In any event, a friendly negotiation beats a contentious court battle any day. That said, you would probably do well to contact your lawyer, and seek their legal advice on what your obligations legally would be, and proceed from there.
    I hope that you can work it out in a way that satisfies you both. Good luck, and thanks for asking!
    Answered on December 15, 2016
  2. 447 POINTS
    Thad Bynum
    Owner/ Partner, Bynum Insurance Agency, Inc, Clayton, GA
    By your own comment you admitted to hitting the car although that in itself did not make you at fault. Advising you on what you should have done will not help you but I would recommend contacting your own insurance company and see if they will still defend and or handle your potential liability claim. For future information I would recommend a police report be obtained for any accident.
    Answered on December 17, 2016
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