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My car was hit at a red light. What are my options?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I've never been involved in an accident so I could use some advice. Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting in a left turn lane at a red light, waiting to turn. I was the second car from the crosswalk. I was completely stopped. A few seconds later, a Honda Accord comes up behinds me and I feel my car shift. The car didn't move because my foot was on the brake. So the first thing I think is the car behind me stopped too late. There wasn't a crash (loud noise, debris). Instead it was like someone pushed you in line.

Anyway, I was pretty sure I was hit but I was not positive. I looked behind my rear view to see if I could see a reaction on their faces like an "oh shit" but both the driver and passenger were oblivious. The intersection is a very busy one and there were probably two dozen cars in the two left turn lanes. So I didn't do anything.

I got on the freeway and so did the Accord and I made a note of the make and model, color, and license plate. When I got to the destination, I saw that I was indeed hit. My rear bumper has an imprint (like a stamp in clay), of where his front license plate pressed against my rear bumper. So some screw tops and some of the text from the license plate frame. No scratches actually.

I am insured.

I know I should have stopped and probably asked for a police report but honestly, really busy intersection with loads of cars behind. I also don't know what I could have done if he refused. The guy didn't look like the most upstanding citizen. Total judgement on my part but hey.

The only way to fix my bumper, I suspect, is to replace the whole thing. I remember bumpers costing about $500 and I am pretty sure that's what my deductible is. I am not sure if that matters. Anyway, what options do I have? Should I report it to my own insurance?

Thanks.
post #2 of 7
Report it to the cops as a hit-and-run so you have something to pass along to insurance. They'll go after him.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by random-adam View Post

Report it to the cops as a hit-and-run so you have something to pass along to insurance. They'll go after him.

+1, you need a police report.
post #4 of 7
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Edited by Louis XIV - 10/12/11 at 2:13pm
post #5 of 7
It's not too late to file a police report. Not sure where you're located, but I was hit from behind (while at a red light also) and I filed a police report the next day. I did it online, so it was super easy. I don't think there's a time limit to when you need to file by. If your'e in california, getting rear-ended is typically a no-fault situation. Report it to your insurance and you won't have to pay for anything out of pocket. It won't make your premium or anything go higher.
post #6 of 7
My state requires accidents to be reported to the authorities only if the combined damage exceeds $1000.
post #7 of 7
Same thing happened to me recently in my Audi. Some young girl in a junker truck. We stopped and got out and looked at our cars, same thing that happened to your car happened to mine, except I guess the bumper skin was a bit heartier and didn't dent, it just got a small scuff and the kind of ripple that you can only see at a certain angle.

1) The bumper still met with the back quarter panels well enough, didn't shift the bolt points or anything, 2) car is not particularly worth much anymore, under $10K for sure, it's an A4 from several years ago, and 3) my car is a blue pearl color that has probably some amount of natural fading over the years - I figured it'd be pretty impossible to match paint that very well. I'd notice a repainted panel more often than a scuff.... so in the end, I said fuck it, and just let it be. I guess in your case, it'd hinge more on #2, the value of your car, and maybe #3 if you're in that situation with pearloid paint.

I did yell at the girl because she was being dumb and almost hit me twice right before that, I don't know if she was texting while driving or whatever, but I was purposely being a dick and said something about her hitting in my Audi with her piece of shit car, knowing that I wasn't really gonna claim on any insurance or anything, just in hopes that she'd not get into anymore accidents.
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