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2 Bumps

Advice Needed: Minor Car Accident and Liability

About a month ago, my husband backed up out of our driveway and got the bumper of a parked car. There was only about 5 feet distance, and he was going about 5 MPH. But, it took off some paint, left scratches, and put a dent in th license plate.
It was dark, about 6 AM. SO, we left a note on the car with our contact info.
The owner (young girl) called. We had her come over to exchange info. She didn't bring any, but we were at fault, so we gave her ours. We have really good insurance, but $1000 deductable, so we would be paying in full. We figured since it was a parked car, noone in it, and it was minor damage, we would just give her money to fix it. We had her go and get a quote, which she got. We plan to give her the money (via cashiers check) for the repair plus 18 for a new license plate.
So, we are setting up a time for her to come and get the cashiers check. I tell her that I really need to see her registration, so that I can be sure that I am dealing with the legal owner (in case it is her parents). She says, "Oh, I plan on renewing that soon." So, I am pretty sure I am dealing with someone who doesn't have good registration, and probably no insurance. Which, I don't really care about, except, I worry about her character, and need to cover my liability bases.
When she comes to pick up the check, I am going to have a contract for her to sign stating that she was compensated for damages and given payment in full to fix her bumper.
What else should I have in there? I just want to make sure that I am legally covered if she tries to pull anything.


Asked by ImaginationMama at 2:37 PM on Apr. 14, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 28 (33,380 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • I would put in there that there is no further future liability as well. Stops from coming back and saying she found out you knocked her car out of alignment or something similar.

    Personally I would want to see a current registration on the car. Its bad to think this way but what if she sold the car or something and then that person comes after you saying she wasn't the legal owner and therefore had no legal right.  You could probably take it to court with the above docs but more of a headache then you need.


    Answer by Charis76 at 2:53 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I would wait until she can produce the proper paperwork. Knowing me when I was 18 I'd cash it and go shopping.

    Answer by yesmaam at 2:39 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I wouldn't exchange anything more with her until she produced some kind of documentation that the car belongs to her. If she is planning on renewing the registration soon then insist she show you the expired one. JMO

    Answer by meooma at 2:39 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • You can have her sign it, but it won't be a legal binding document in most states as it won't be notarized.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 2:40 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • write a note on the cashiers check that says EXACTLY THAT... THE MOMENT SHE CASHES IT... SHE'S ACCEPTED YOUR PAYMENT AS PAYMENT IN FULL. any court will uphold that.

    Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 2:42 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • With the check have your contract and also state that she agrees to the terms of payment and that you are now held harmless from any further damages, have a notary present if possible, and then should she try to take this further you will have a 3rd party witness that she agreed and signed.

    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 2:43 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • And generally the bank manager at your branch is a notary, and will notarize for free for customers. At least at my bank (Wachovia) and my old bank (BB&T) that was true!

    Answer by KateDinVA at 2:44 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Hang on though, if this vehicle is not even hers then I would think you would still be responsible. Even if it's her parents car. I'm just thinking judge judy here or something lol. Yes it'd be a brat thing for her to do, but you'd still be legally responsible. Oh and good for you and your DH for owning up to it, most people wouldn't :)

    Answer by yesmaam at 3:06 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Now, if she signs that she was compensated already, would that release our liability, though? I don't really care whether she uses the money to fix it or not . . .just that we paid for the damage.

    Comment by ImaginationMama (original poster) at 2:40 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Thanks shelby!

    Comment by ImaginationMama (original poster) at 2:43 PM on Apr. 14, 2011