Today I rear ended someone. I wasn't speeding, texting or anything else, but suddenly traffic was at a standstill and I slammed on my brakes, and felt impact. I've never had anything like this in many years of driving! I pulled over and so did the car in front of me. His bumper looked scratched, but not dented. I'm not sure if it was scratched prior; seemed an older car. My car wasn't smashed but definitely damaged -- the hood is jarred slightly out of place and is scratched in front.
So thinking that it must be my fault if I rear-ended him - even though I'm pretty sure he slammed on his brakes - I figured we'd be either calling police, or exchanging insurance info. I just dreaded the whole process, was also anxious to go pick up my son waiting at camp, and was just rather stunned at the whole thing which happened so fast (still not really sure how it happened). I have car insurance (through my ex as part of our divorce agreement) but was just dreading the whole production. The guy and I didn't say much, just stood looking and said, "Are you okay" (we both were, very thankfully) - we did not discuss what happened at all. Then he said his car seems pretty okay, and looking at mine, he said that reporting it will just make my insurance go up. I silently looked at him -- and he said something like how it's fine with him if we just leave it alone. He asked again if I'm okay, and I asked him too. We stood silently another moment, then he shrugged and went slowly to his car - sort of as if he'd stop if I wanted to pursue anything, but as though he's prefer not to make a big deal out of it. So I got back in my car. He drove off. Then I did too (it drives okay, just looks bad). No doubt we were supposed to file a report, or exchange info or something. But if he didn't care (I'm thinking he probably didn't have car insurance so didn't want to call the police or anything!) then I had no incentive to file anything, as it probably technically would be my fault. I did silently note his licence plate # however, and wrote it once I was back in my car.
So I'm not sure if I just got really lucky that he was so low-key about it, or if I was stupid, or what. At any rate, I have to get my car fixed and even if we'd reported the whole thing, I'm pretty dang sure the insurance company wouldn't pay for my car repair costs anyhow (seeing as I was the one who rear-ended someone). So I'm thinking all they would do is jack up my rates, yay. So:
- In this circumstance, would you bother reporting it to your car insurance company? There is no police report and I don't see how the guy could report something if he never took my info or even exchanged names.
- So next step is I have to have my car repaired, I'm sure that will be fun. So I'll get estimates. Will an auto-body shop think it's weird or suspicious if I want to pay out of pocket and keep insurance out of it? I'm sure they don't care but don't want them asking me if I filed a report and all that stuff. I just want the darn thing fixed.
- And if any of you had to have the front of your cars repaired after small collision... what did it cost you? (I know it varies widely.)
Sigh. I know this was long, thanks for reading!