to think this woman is trying to screw me?

(66 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 18:35:43

Okay, so on the weekend I very stupidly reversed into someone's car in a parking lot. The bumper, or just above, was cracked. It was my fault, I felt dreadful as I would have been gutted if it had been my car. I left an apologetic message with my full name and phone number.

Two days passed and I heard nothing. Then I had a text to ask for my full name (?) and registration. I immediately rang back and chatted to the woman. At first, she was rather stiff ('I fail to understand how you hit me...').

Understandable, that. I apologised, signified I was happy to pay damages, but would also understand if she wanted to go through insurance. She would take the car to the garage and see what they said.

Two days after this, nothing. Tonight I texted as nicely as possible, and asked if she had heard, reiterating I was happy to try and make amends.

Her reply: 'My mechanic is concerned due to the age of the car and the fact that the whole back wing has to be replaced that the car is a write off'.

Me: 'Really?! It did not look that bad, but then I am no mechanic. I take it you'd prefer to go the insurance route.'

Her: 'I will decide overnight as I will be out of pocket. I have to decide whether to let u get away with hitting me. I may ask to see the camera footage from XXX car park.'

Now, I felt terrible at first and would happily have paid any halfway reasonable repair bill. I said so several times. But I feel like she is upping the ante and kind of.... playing with me.

For some reason that text has really fucked me off and I am minded to go straight to the insurers myself and accept losing my no claims bonus. AIBU?

daisychain01 Sat 12-Oct-13 20:00:32

Revolting, brilliant outcome, good text!! I was awake at stupid-oclock the other morning and just had to post to you because it can be very stressful, having a car accident, even a bump is horrid, but you have done all the right things. I'm in England although Id love to be in Oz now its nearly winter!

Its only a bit of metal at the end of the day, albeit your means of transport, what I mean is at least nobody was hurt and it will all soon be sorted flowers

Drive safe!

2tiredtocare Fri 11-Oct-13 12:43:31

YANBU, well done for leaving a note in the first place loads of people don't and its so frustrating

DeWe Fri 11-Oct-13 12:40:40

Before you get cross with her, that may be exactly what she was told.

Someone came into me at low speed last year. There was a small dent (tennis ball size) at the bottom of the back door and the bumper clips were broken.
First garage I took it to declared it a write off from 10 yards away. shock

I phoned her straight away in shock-it's not a really cheap car (worth between £1k and £1.5k) although it's 10 years old. And I didn't want to lose the car either. I think we both sat on the phone in tears and completely speechless for about 10 minutes.
Then I said I would try somewhere else, and if she could recommend somewhere of her choice, not too far away I'd try them too, to confirm it.
Her place quoted about £1k, and I found a nice independant chap who did it for £500, so off insurance.

But I'd always had good recommendations of the first place so might well have just gone for them. I've since heard that they tend to replace rather than mend, and probably wanted to replace most of the back of the car. The job we had done was a mend, but you'd never know it happened and we were very happy.

But she's not necessarily trying to screw you.

Good message OP.

classifiedinformation Fri 11-Oct-13 12:07:52

My Dad is a mechanic and through experience (of damaging my own car myself...idiot) I can tell you that sometimes what seems like minor damage can be expensive to fix, so she's not necessarily lying.

However, she is being rude and childishly stroppy. Go through your insurer to ensure that she doesn't try her luck.

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 11:59:42

I do live in Australia, yes grin but my incident was in the uk. Glad you've told your insurance co.

Tiredmumno1 Fri 11-Oct-13 09:18:42

Good for you smile

I wonder if she'll respond to that?

RevoltingPeasant Fri 11-Oct-13 08:40:18

And I am so grateful for the advice, but amazed at all the people who were on this thread at like 4 or 5am. I sincerely hope you all live in Australia and were not actually up at that time...... wink

RevoltingPeasant Fri 11-Oct-13 08:38:43

Brief update - I spoke to insurance this morning and reported it as an incident which may give rise to a claim. They were lovely and pragmatic and got all the details quickly.

They logged it and gave me a reference no., which they said I could text to her. And an email address for me to send the photos to.

I have now texted her:

'Following your message last night, I have reported this to my insurance. They are XXX and the ref no. is XXX. You can make a claim by ringing XXX. I have sent them photos of your car. as the insurance is now dealing with this, it is best if we have no further personal contact. Best of luck with your claim. - RevoltingPeasant.'

That way if she really is on the level and just genuinely can't decide what to do, then it's not nasty, but it makes it clear that I have evidence of what happened and it's all official now.

Phew, thanks everyone smile

daisychain01 Fri 11-Oct-13 04:58:57

Revolting, it is critical you go through your insurance company. The process is simple

1. You provide a truthful, accurate account of the incident

2 the other driver shoukd also have reported it to her insurance co, irrespective of who was to blame. She can choose whether to or not, but she is well advised to, in order to protect her own interests.

3. your insurance co will appoint an assessor to inspect your vehicle and her vehicle.

4. Based on the evidence, your insurance company will pay for the damage to her car.

If you only ever deal through insurance, it is not down to opinion or conjecture, it is down to the law. For example, the law is clearcut that anyone in a reversing manoevre is always in the wrong if they hit someone. No ifs or buts. Even if a car speeds round the corner in a carpark, if you are reversing at point of impact, no argument, the law is black and white, it is your fault (just saying, I know you said in your post you agreed it was your fault, so that is understood)

Some advice

1. Never ever admit liability under any circumstance. Dont say sorry, dont say anything. You are not legally obliged to. It is good practice not to. Only say "here are my details, please may I have your details. Thank you". Never discuss what happened. If they engage in dialogue, dont be forced to engage. Stay polite friendly, to the point. Dont pre-judge anything. Just try to remember in your own mind what happened and dont be influenced by their version of events.

2. Your only legal obligation is to exchange insurance details. So is the other party obliged to.

3. ALWAYS take a quick photo of damage to other vehicle. Normally people wont stop you, they may get funny but do it anyway. Nowadays it is good practice. It helps insurance cos if they have back up evidence

4. ALWAYS make a note of the vehicle registration. In case someone plays silly bs and gives you false details or withholds their details, your ins co can trace the vehicle on their computer system and can immedicately know their insurance details, so would proactively get in touch ins co to ins co.

5. By doing everything through insurance, it may be expensive but you cannot be fleeced, it is out of everyones individual hands and they do the job professionally. It also gives the other person the message you wont be messed with. This is only in the case of a dispute of course. Normally people are decent not all, but most. Sometimes initial shock can change peoples behaviour but then they see reason.

6. Finally NEVER engage in text conversations with the person afterwards. If they try to, just a polite response saying everything is now in the hands of insurance, please contact your own insurance company should be enough to stop it. You are under no legal obligation ever to talk to the person again. Dont be friendly, dont feel guilty, detach. It was an accident -you didnt mean to do it.

Good luck

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 04:44:20

Go through your insurance and inform them now.
If she doesn't contact them then it won't matter - but if she uses her insurance company (if she has one) and they find yours through your registration number, then they will not be happy if you haven't contacted them yourself.

THis happened to me once - I offered to pay for the slight scratch (as I thought) to the car I slid into in the snow, to avoid my insurance company - but the people who I hit called their insurance company, who found mine, etc etc. Net result, the company agreed to pay the cost but terminated my insurance contract with them for failure to tell them about it within 30 days, so I had to start with a new company and lost my NCB anyway.

BraveMerida Fri 11-Oct-13 04:28:03

I wouldn't trust her at all by the sound of it.

I had a very similar incident couple of weeks ago here in a foreign country, as an expat who the locals obviously think are made of money and is there for the fleecing, it created a lot of stress thinking of the worst case scenarios in my head....OMG they are able to find me on FB from my name, things about where I live, where my child goes to school etc....they suggested meeting me in some garage way out to get the quote/estimate and I was thinking kidnap/no way....all sounds a bit dramatic I know but It's just horrible feeling when you feel you cannot trust someone.

Fortunately, I corresponded by emails and was able to draw a line under it within a few days after depositing the agreed money into her bank account.

superstarheartbreaker Fri 11-Oct-13 03:59:38

My car was written off by a minor dent...airbag popped. If it is more expensive to replace something than the value of the car then its a write off. New airbag for eg = £2000. Old car = £1000. Might be the same for this.

Mimishimi Fri 11-Oct-13 02:18:45

My husband had a prang a couple of months ago. It just looked like a dent in the drivers door and near the front wheel but apparently it damaged the post section which is welded in and it could not be repaired for less than the car was worth so a write-off. She might be right about the damage even if it looks minor. If it's damaged a structural welded part, rather than just an easily replacable component, the cost of labour is such that it doesn't make repairs worthwhile.

volestair Fri 11-Oct-13 02:06:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

volestair Fri 11-Oct-13 02:01:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tropicalfish Thu 10-Oct-13 23:49:53

perhaps someone has already said this but car damage is very expensive to repair. She is probably not trying to fleece you but is frustrated through no fault of her own she is in this position.
You think it is only a crack but that crack could cost £2000 to repair. Her car might only be worth £1000 , which is what she was referring to.
Certainly I would go through the insurance as that way you will not have to deal with her directly.

microserf Thu 10-Oct-13 23:08:30

Definitely deal with your insurers only from now on. My nanny had someone lightly graze her car and then try to claim for all sorts, and started personally harassing her. Both employers had to get involved to make it stop, which it did because basically it was fraud. Your insurers will put her to proof, sit back and let them sort it out.

Lora1982 Thu 10-Oct-13 23:02:19

Id wait and see what she decides. I couldn't afford to lose out with higher premiums. She might not have meant it how its come across in the text

"'My mechanic is concerned due to the age of the car and the fact that the whole back wing has to be replaced that the car is a write off'."
My understanding is that a car is considered a write-off if the cost of the repairs exceeds the value of the car post-repair. So I would interpret that text as a snottily-worded 'my car is so old the garage laughed out loud at the mere idea of repairing it.'

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 10-Oct-13 21:56:28

This happened to me a few months ago. I caught a car in a car park. Scraped down two doors and just caught the wing. Took pictures and left my number.

Lady rang a couple of days later. Was a bit snotty about it but couldn't blame her, wasn't her fault and she now had to run about getting quotes, making phone calls and getting her car repaired. Gave her my insurance details and she said she'd ring me and let me know what she was doing.

Insurance company wrote to me a week later. I rang and they just wanted to confirm that a claim made against me was genuine. I said sorry but it was and would this invalidate my policy? She said no they just needed the details. I emailed them the pictures and never heard anything back. She never got back to me to tell me she was definitely going through the insurance. They didn't seem to mind that I hadn't told them.

Luckily I've got protected no claims. I paid a mate with a bodyshop twenty quid to touch up the small scuff on my bumper and that was it.

You might not be so lucky if your no claims isn't protected, it might cost you next year when you renew your insurance.

Grotbagstwin Thu 10-Oct-13 21:47:03

It could well be a write off, Someone reversed into my car 3 weeks ago, the car is worth £1000 - new door resprayed and fitted is £1200.
I gave the lady the option of if she wanted to go through insurance or through a garage and she chose insurance, if its £50 or £5000 claimed on your insurance the premium will go up the same amount.
My advice is ask her for a written quote from the garage (all garages offer this for free, I got two quotes for mine) then if she wants to get it fixed away from insurance you pay the garage directly not through her, then there is no way she can pocket some of the money. Or just call your insurance and give them her name, reg and number and let them deal with her and if she messages you say the imsurance is dealing with it.

HarryPotterMadMum Thu 10-Oct-13 21:36:15

A similar thing happened to my MIL,I luckily,was able to to take pictures and verify the whereabouts of the lady that hit her and where I saw her when she had come to a stop. The other lady scraped down the side of MIL car and wasn't going to stop til MIL got out and made her. Then she tried to claim it was the MIL fault (even though she was stationary) and made up a load of rubbish about her car! Some people will try to get away with so much. They are just idiots.

Tiredmumno1 Thu 10-Oct-13 20:57:34

Good Luck Peasant, I am sure it'll all be fine once you get the ball rolling with your insurers. At least you won't need to have anymore contact with her.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 20:52:37

Forty that did also cross my mind.....

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