I’ve been known to be particular about my car. I’m the guy that parks in the back of a parking lot to keep my car from getting dinged and maybe have even lost my mind when I see a new dent on the side of my car.
But accidents do happen.
So what do you do if you door ding someone’s car and someone is inside it? The answer is not that much different than if someone wasn’t inside it.
My tip, stay calm and take responsibility for it.
A door ding can cost anywhere from $30.00 to repair to several hundred dollars depending on the severity, placement of the dent (flat surfaces are easier to fix), and the type of vehicle you just blemished.
“But it was an accident and this nutcase is demanding my insurance information!”
Then you should give it to them. You goofed up, snowflake! There is nothing to say that you can not pay for the damage out of your pocket, and in fact, everyone involved would probably prefer that. When you give your insurance information, also remember to gather their information as well in case you need to contact them for any reason. Taking pictures of the damage with a smartphone is an excellent idea too because we’ve seen claims start as a door dent and end up reported as a door ding plus a broken window. At the end of the day, it will be their decision to file a claim or go through you for payment.
“But what if they run off with my money and still file a claim?”
Great question and I’m proud of you for thinking ahead. This scenario could happen, but some preparation will go a long way. Send them the money in either a check or a certified check/cashier’s check with “door dent repayment” in the descriptor. Have them also sign a document called a “liability release” which just states “(name) no longer holds (your name) liable for auto damages incurred on (date) to (description of the vehicle) in exchange for payment of (amount).” Then makes copies of EVERYTHING. Now if the insurance company were to contact you, you could say that you took responsibility for that already and here is the proof.
Also, if you door ding a car and the owner is nowhere to be found, do the right thing and leave a note with your contact information. As our motto at CoVerica states, treat others as yourself. People do not like surprises!
We hope this helps you get out of an awkward situation and please, be careful next time.