Other Party Claims Damages One Month after Accident. How to Proceed?

My daughter ran into a front car. There were no visible damages on either car so they just exchanged phone numbers. Because there were no damages my daughter did not notify her insurance.

In about one month the other party called and claimed that her car was extensively damaged in that accident and she has to do an expensive repair. My daughter didn't agree. A few weeks later (a few days back) she received a letter from other party insurance (which happened to be the same insurance company my daughter uses) with a claim for a considerable amount. We don't agree with such outcome.

I see two options: either to ignore the letter or pass it to our insurer. What's your suggestion how to proceed?

Comments

  • I presume your daughter took photos of the cars? can you get the insurance to provide the details of the repairs and chexk against your photos?

    Granted, if they claimed damage inside the panel, then there is no much you can do. Lodge a claim with your insurance.

    Could have been worse. At least you have insurance.

  • My daughter ran into a front car.
    my daughter did not notify her insurance.

    Always notify the insurer when rear ending someone. They may have it on record when the other party wants to file a claim.

  • Might well be true. The plastic bumper can rebound despite inner frame damage. One month is reasonable. If you suspect the damage is new that is a different matter, but it doesn't sound unreasonable yet. The price for a standard rear ender starts at $1000-1500 for a jalopy just due to labour. Are you claiming she didn't do the damage listed or that the fix is excessive?

  • There were no photos made :(

    Our position is that because there were no damages done/noticed after the accident the serious damage that were claimed by other party could be done in a separate accident that could happen after 'ours'. We can't prove this but the other party didn't prove the opposite either. Does this matter?

    • You could ask to see the photos of the damage when they took it in. I'm thinking that it's most likely structural damage to the car that you can't really tell at first glance.

    • because there were no damages done/noticed after the accident the serious damage that were claimed by other party could be done in a separate accident

      If you don’t have any photos how do you intend to prove this? Also no damages showing doesn’t mean there are no damages. How much was the bill?

  • +1 vote

    "she received a letter from other party insurance (which happened to be the same insurance company my daughter uses)"
    and
    "I see two options: either to ignore the letter or pass it to our insurer."

    So essentially your insurance company already has the letter?

    • No that letter states that they could not contact our insurer (I don't have the letter with me so can't tell exact wording). I think that's because they did not exchange insurance details after the accident (only phone numbers).

      • +1 vote

        "she received a letter from other party insurance (which happened to be the same insurance company my daughter uses)"

        So the insurance company states that they couldn't contact themselves?

        • Yes looks like it :) I think the other part doesn't know who is the insurer of my daughter car because they did not exchange this info.

  • In my opinion, you should immediately forward this material to your insurer. This is why you pay them. They are much more efficient at dealing with this kind of thing than you are, and have in all likelihood seen this kind of thing before.

    • I think a problem is that both parties share the same insurer so the insurer is going to be half-assed and just with whoever is more convincing.

  • Ignoring the letter will make you look guilty and they will continue chasing you. They are allowed to pursue you for 6 years, and the insurer will do so - they want someone to pay.

    Tell your insurer

    The Financial Rights legal centre is also a good advice service, including for if you end up in dispute with your insurer
    https://mva.financialrights.org.au/dtop/i-dont-agree-with-th...

  • Can you give a list of the extensive damage?

    A new bumper, reversing sensors and camera plus paint work could easily hit $5k.

    • A new bumper, reversing sensors and camera plus paint work could easily hit $5k.

      Yeah - if you're driving a merc. There's no way an insurance company is giving you new sensors and a new camera. You'd be lucky to get a new bumper, more likely end up with a used one from their stockpile of write-offs. Yes, insurance (at least IAG) companies have started keeping write-offs for parts.

  • I once had a similar situation. Slight rear ender, barely scratched their bumper and it seemed like they didn't care, but it was a company car so not up to them. But our car bonnet was messed up and needed repair. Unfortunately, our insurance mileage estimate was too low, so our insurance refused and we paid our repairs out of pocket and knew not to deal with them later.

    Around 6 months later I got a claim from the other car's insurance, for around $600 I think. Which seemed excessive to me, so I inquired and got details of the repair etc, and disputed how much was repair was actually required at the time of the accident, and whether it was possible something else had happened since then etc because my photos didn't seem to justify what I was being told.

    At some point the insurance co lady asked "how much do you think you should pay?" and I said $200, and that's what I paid.
    So, these things can be negotiable I guess. Can't hurt to ask

    • Unfortunately, our insurance mileage estimate was too low, so our insurance refused and we paid our repairs out of pocket and knew not to deal with them later.

      How far off was your milage estimate for them to deny a claim? What happens if you have an accident at the start of the year? Do they annualize the milage reading or something?

      • Can't remember exactly, but it was probably something like the last few months of the year, and we had done 13k with a limit of 10k. Something like that.

        Bit crap, but I guess you could say we had time to fix it up? Wasn't an expensive accident or anything, probably paid about the excess amount anyway. Call it a cheap lesson I guess, could have been a nightmare.

  • 1st option is to contact your insurer and discuss with them without starting the claim process. Tell them you think the other car may have been damaged after the incident. Then see what they recommend.

  • I see two options: either to ignore the letter or pass it to our insurer.

    There's really only one option there and it's not ignoring it. ;)

    If you decide to keep your insurer out of it do not proceed without a lawyer representing you.

  • The damage may be legit.

    I've been rear ended waiting at traffic lights and there wasn't any visible damage. It wasn't until my FIL looked over the car did we discover the 'internal' damage….the metal under the carpet in the boot had buckled/creased. I don't think you can dismiss the authenticity of their claim going on the info you've provided.

  • Jesus Christ you have insurance. Stop making your life unnecessarily difficult.

  • Write back and deny the claim. Deny the incident. Deny any damage was done.
    Ask for proof

  • You're screwed. Insurance doesn't give two sh*** about you or the truth, we were scammed by a false claim which had no evidence and no damage on our vehicle to suggest being involved in any kind of accident, spent over a year fighting it but in the end we couldn't do anything about it as we couldn't afford to lawyer up.

  • Highly unlikely your daughters car front end would have less damage than the rear of their car, front ends are designed to take impact and crumble (unless there was a bullbar). So they may be trying to get one up on you. If that's the case take photos of daughters car and provide them to the insurer with insurance details and deny any damage occured. When the insurer realises they insure both parties, they'll likely wear the claim or follow-up with the claimant.