Legal Question in Traffic Law in North Carolina

My wife bumped the back of a man at a stop light. Police report was made officer said she was going less then 5 mph. Now the owner of the car is telling her that there was just under $5oo dollars worth of damage, which I don't believe. What can we do to get to how much damage was actual done?

Asked on 10/23/13, 1:35 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

John O'Neal O'Neal Law Office

You and your wife should demand (subtly, of course) that the owner provide you with a written estimate of repairs needed to his vehicle. Also you should ask him to provide pictures of the damage so you can assess if it was consistent with the apparently minor wreck in which the parties were involved. If the owner refuses to provide any written documentation or pictures I would only pay money if the owner is willing to sign a release of all claims arising from the accident. Otherwise I would wait to see what he is going to do. One other thought is to report the accident to your wife's insurance company but if it truly is a minor accident I realize the concern of even apprising the ins co of a potential claim and what that may do to your wife's insurance rate. In the end you may want to consult with an attorney in person and obtain advice as to how to proceed.

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Answered on 10/23/13, 4:56 pm
Amanda Houser The Houser Law Firm, P.C.

If you are attempting to settle the matter out of court, simply ask the other driver to get 2 to 3 estimates from reputable repair shops. Generally, a fair settlement will be an amount between the lowest and highest estimate. If the other driver doesn't want to cooperate and you believe $500 is too much simply don't do anything - it will then be on the other driver to file suit and prove damages in court (assuming your insurance company doesn't make the decision for you). BTW $500 in damage is virtually nothing, you could hit a squirrel and do $500 or more in damage.

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Answered on 10/23/13, 5:10 pm

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