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Are you liable for another person's car if they refused to call the police to the scene and left and you didn't know you had to make a report?

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Wiki User
2006-08-28 18:16:29

==Complex question== There are a lot of unknowns in your

question. One is left to wonder why you wouldn't eagerly call the

police and/or file a report yourself after the other party (call

him Party B) fled the scene, whether you were required to or not.

One can only assume that there was little or no damage to your

vehicle. We can also assume that the configuration of the accident

was not favorable to Party B, which is why he was in a hurry to

scram. (Or perhaps he wasn't where he was supposed to be at the

time of the fender-bender and didn't want an official police report

to document his location.) Whatever the case, if there was visible

damage to Party B's vehicle, then you should have been concerned

about potential reports and claims -- false or accurate -- he could

make against you. But to try to answer your question, you may still

be liable for the damage you caused to Party B's vehicle, but his

fleeing the scene may mitigate substantially his claim against you

because, by leaving, he assumed the risk of something happening to

his car -- and intervening event that would break the

proximate-causation chain. Further, leaving the scene of an

accident with visible damage is a criminal act in some states and

is, per se, negligent, which may also militate against him.

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