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How do I report an accident to be safe just in case they report me?

Asked by user in California.

I was reversing and was about to turn my wheel right to get out to the left. Halfway through, a car from the right decides to pass me from behind. While we were reversing slowly, we didn’t see them in our camera. The car was moving really fast in a parking lot like they were in a rush. They honked and we stopped reversing so they could go around using the half lot that was left before we finished reversing.

We stopped for them to go but they just stayed there. We thought they were gonna wait for us so we reversed. Then, they honked again and the front of their car was right behind us. They got out of their car to see if we had hit them.

We did not hit them because we did not feel anything. We also got out to see that their car was fine. They were talking in a different language checking the front of the car. They are the ones who moved so fast and we were already reversing.

I can’t stop thinking that they wanted us to hit them so they can get money from us. We obviously were reversing, but instead of waiting for us they decided to try to go around us. I found it weird that the front of their car was right behind us. They literally came out of nowhere and drove so fast in a parking lot. I took a picture of their license plate number just in case they took a picture of ours.

I have a feeling that if this was their game, they would be reporting this to their insurance and I would need to pay even though it is their plan to play victim. How should I prepare if they do file a claim against me? I feel that if I prepare ahead of time, I can show that I know they are faking and are trying to scam people out of money.

They didn’t tell us that we hit their car. They didn’t ask us for our driver’s license or anything. I’m more worried that they report that I hit and ran when I didn’t. I don’t want to report a claim, but I just want to prepare a report if they do file a report against me.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

You’re correct that insurance fraud does happen sometimes. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely clear to me from your question whether your car and the other car actually collided. If there was no contact between the two, then it would seem that there’s nothing to worry about.

If you did make contact with their car, you’d want to be sure to protect yourself against a hit and run charge. California is strict when it comes to hit-and-run penalties. (You can read more here about California hit-and-run accidents.)

Unfortunately, it seems like some time has passed since this incident happened. If someone is going to make a claim against you, they would have to demonstrate that there was damage to their car. If there was no contact and no damage, it would be hard for them to file a claim.

If you’re concerned, you can call your local police department and make a report. That way, there’s at least a “paper trail” if the other driver decides to pursue this in any way. You can also make a report to your insurance company without making a claim. The insurance company might be skeptical because you don’t think there was an actual collision, but you would be doing your own due diligence in case the other person does decide to move forward with a claim. It would seem as though if they didn’t ask for your contact information, photograph your license plate (as far as you know) or take any other information, they likely aren’t intending to pursue a claim.

Best of luck.

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