Accident - Dilemma? - Warning

I need some help and I don't know what to do.

Basically, I returned home at night, and our residential car park is a mess, because there are more cars then space, so people park their second cars, behind their first. Some people park on the grass (which is n't allowed). Basically chaos.

When I was reversing my car to park, it was tight all these cars and trying to avoid everything. and I heard the sound of the undercarriage hitting the ground. because in the car park, there something which I can only describe as a stone mound. So if people drive over it, they it will scratch the bottom of the car's undercarriage.

As far as I am aware, this is what happened, my car undercarriage hit this stone mound. I checked my mirror, I don't think I hit the car. However, when I moved forwards and managed to avoid the mound and reverse correctly, I noticed my neighbhoors car had a dent. It felt 90% the sound was from the undercarriage, but 10% of me, wonders if I am responsible for this dent. He was parked in the wrong place, so if he had observed parking regulation, it would never had his the car, but their house has four cars!.

I checked by back bumper and there is no scratch on my car.

I don't know what to do. If I go and ask him, I don't want to fall into a trap where I get blamed for a dent, which I did not cause, which may have already been there.

Both our cars are over 13 years, so I doubt worth repairing his or claiming on insurance, but I don't know if I should just offer some cash as compensation (but he was parked in th wrong place.... so not entirely my fault!).

The dent was about 2" in, but I was driving slowly, could this happen when driving slow parking speed in reverse gear?

Should I knock on the door of my neighbhoor? (I am an honest person).

Edited by Avant on 15/12/2017 at 23:32

Accident - Dilema? - alan1302

Both our cars are over 13 years, so I doubt worth repairing his or claiming on insurance, but I don't know if I should just offer some cash as compensation (but he was parked in th wrong place.... so not entirely my fault!).

It is 100% your fault if you drove into their car - even if it should not be there doesn't mean it's not your fault if you drove into it.

Accident - Dilema? - Warning

That is my dilema - I don't know if I did or did n't hit that car.

Edited by Warning on 15/12/2017 at 22:20

Accident - Dilema? - KB.

As replies to your question are, to date, limited to the one then I'll add a couple of observations.

To me it comes across as a mish-mash of uncertainty, incapability and less than ideal circumstances.

The area in which you all park sounds like it's poorly organised, maintained and policed.

But you know that.

But despite knowing that you haven't gained mastery of maneuvering your vehicles in confined spaces and can't judge, with certainty, where your vehicle's extremities are. Admittedly not so easy if it's, say, dark and wet and the car windows are misting up and you don't have reversing sensors fitted (and working).

You sound fairly relaxed that the underside of the car is prone to damage by the " mound" ... which, to me, is a strange thing.

Maybe you lack experience ... it sounds that way...coz, generally speaking an experienced driver knows when he's backed into another car or a low post or suchlike and would likely be able to differentiate between that sort of collision and driving over a raised obstruction that scraped the underside.

If your car is 13 years old and is parked where it's parked it's a mystery to me that your rear bumper has no scratches on it ... which is what you've said. Further more if you back into a flat panel (such as a door or wing) with thecorner of a bumper then the panel is likely to come off a lot worse than the corner of your bumper - so, to me, it sounds possible to have caused a smallish dent in your neighbour's car without sustaining much of a mark (at least enough of a mark to stand out from all the other marks ... and I simply don't believe that it doesn't have a few marks on it already.

To summarise then ... if your parking situation where you live is as haphazard as it sounds, and if your revesring skills aren't honed to perfection (which, to me it sounds like) and given that you're honest but uncertain what to do, then, clearly, you have no option other than to put all these circumstances to your neighbour in the hope that he/she is as honest as you (which they may well be) and you may well find they know about the dent already and you have a clear conscience - OR they say the dent wasn't there and you then have to come to an arrangement between yourselves.

The fact of the matter is... you suspect you may have caused damage to another vehicle in a public place and to neglect to make it known to the owner could come back to bite you in coming days (or possibly weeks). Furthermore you do, actually, have an obligation to inform your insurers because an incident is suspected and they ask (demand) to be told of any occurrence which may influence their assessment of risk. Even if your car was hit whilst stationary and unattended, you still have an obligation to inform them. Having said that the likelihood is that insurers need not be involved (which, in itself will save you hundreds of pounds coz even if they didn't pay a penny to anyone they may well up your premium next year for all the reasons that we all know).

But, the ball's in your court and you'll do what you or your conscience tells you what to do.

In the meantime get reversing sensors fitted and up your reversing skills.

Accident - Dilema? - Avant

Surely the sound of your car's undercarriage hitting a stone mound would be quite different from your bumper hitting another car?

Accident - Dilema? - veloceman
Why don’t you offer your car up to the dent on the other car.
If the height, position and shape of the dent matches your bumper then you probably caused it, if not you have a clear mind.
Accident - Dilema? - Andrew-T
Why don’t you offer your car up to the dent on the other car. If the height, position and shape of the dent matches your bumper then you probably caused it, if not you have a clear mind.

And see if there is any matching paint on your 'unmarked' bumper ....

Accident - Dilema? - Warning

> Surely the sound of your car's undercarriage hitting a stone mound would be quite different from your bumper hitting another car?

At the time, I was 100% sure it was the undercarriage hitting the stone mound. It did not seem like a bumper hit. I did check my mirror, the car seemed far away. But when I reversed pass and saw the dent, I had 5% doubt. In hindsight, I should have got out of the car, but that opportunity is lost.... Part of me is thinking, am I talking myself into an accident that never happened....

Edited by Warning on 16/12/2017 at 14:19

Accident - Dilemma? - SLO76
Do the right thing and knock on your neighbours door. Tell them you think you may have caused a dent and if it was already there and they’re a decent human being they’ll put you out of your misery. Secondly as it’s an old car they might not care either way. Don’t let the fear get to you, come clean and you can relax.
Accident - Dilemma? - Andrew-T
Do the right thing and knock on your neighbours door. Tell them you think you may have caused a dent and if it was already there and they’re a decent human being they’ll put you out of your misery.

But if they're not, they could grab the chance for a cheap repair ... That's your dilemma.

Accident - Dilemma? - argybargy

If you can look at the face in the mirror and tell it in absolute honesty that you don't believe you hit that other car because you neither heard nor felt any impact that might suggest you DID hit it, and nor were you at any point close enough to have done so, then don't go knocking on doors and admitting to something you might not have done.

If, on the other hand you DO believe you might have hit that other car, and simply want endorsement of your decision not to cough to the blame because you can't make that decision on your own without feeling guilty, you've come to the wrong place.

If any of that sounds harsh, I've been there myself so I know how it feels.

Accident - Dilemma? - Warning

> If, on the other hand you DO believe you might have hit that other car, and simply want endorsement of your decision not to cough to the blame

If I was 100% sure, that would be easy. I would have knocked on my neighbhoors door!

Accident - Dilemma? - KB.

You've been good enought to come back ... that, in itself, is a bonus ... but it doesn't sound as though any of the responses have aided in your decision making.

I would have thought that the more time that passes since the incident occurred (or didn't occur, as the case may be) the more incongruous it will appear if you knock or the neighbours door. It would ordinarily have been expected that you'd have contacted him/her straight away (or as soon as was reasonably practicable) but it's been a while (how long has it been?) and if you are actually going to make the approach the longer you leave it the stranger it's going to look to the neighbour.

I think this has gone as far as it's likely to go ... unless you come back again to advise your most recent line of thinking....which would be good.

Edited by KB. on 16/12/2017 at 14:44

Accident - Dilemma? - Theophilus

You say you've checked your bumper and can't see any sign of damage, have you looked underneath your car to see whether there is any sign that it has recently scraped on the obstruction?

Edited by Theophilus on 16/12/2017 at 15:05

Accident - Dilemma? - John Boy

Only 5% doubt? In those circumstances I'd only knock on the neighbour's door if I knew him to be a reasonable person. If he isn't, then he's likely to spot that you're a "nervy" person and take advantage. As KB suggests, I think it's too late to do anything now. Just forget about it. I would.

Accident - Dilemma? - argybargy

> If, on the other hand you DO believe you might have hit that other car, and simply want endorsement of your decision not to cough to the blame

If I was 100% sure, that would be easy. I would have knocked on my neighbhoors door!

Fair enough. Just wanted to be sure you weren't hoping for comments which you could interpret as encouraging and excusing non-disclosure, when disclosure would be the right course.

Accident - Dilemma? - KB.

Another day passed, and presumably the OP is still deliberating on the matter ....

Why do I suspect we're not going to hear much more?

Accident - Dilemma? - Warning

Another day passed, and presumably the OP is still deliberating on the matter ....

Why do I suspect we're not going to hear much more?

I went close up to the damage and noticed there were brush marks, so this is historial damage. It was n't so obvious until I got up close.

Lesson for me, if I hear a noise, get out of the car and check!

Edited by Warning on 18/12/2017 at 15:54

Accident - Dilemma? - scot22

Well done Warning and an incident with a message

 

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