General chatter - need advice re car door dinging situation




rubidoux
07-26-2011, 02:05 AM
I have no idea what the etiquette is with this... I had my hair cut at a place with a strip mall-type set up with the cars parked right in front of the place. I go to get my kids in the back seat and I opened the door really carefully (I was quite conscious of being careful at the time), but there was not enough room there to not have my door touching the car next to me. It was definitely touching. But I definitely did not bang my door against the car. So, I'm sitting there in the back seat getting my kids in and then I sat there and played with them for a few minutes (boy am I ever regretting that now), and this woman comes running out of the hair place saying my car door is touching her car, and she's right, it is. And guess what... there is this tiny mark on her car *right* where my car door was touching! It was a tiny mark that would more than be covered by half the end of a pencil eraser. It looked like maybe the paint was damaged there, but both cars are silver (exactly the same) and if her paint was chipped then whatever was under was also silver, so it was kind of hard to tell. There was a little somethin' there though.

So, she tells me she's gonna buy a patch kit for $50 and she wants me to pay for it. I don't know what to think. I don't even know if I really did the damage. It was in the exact spot where my door was touching, so I guess I think there's a good chance. But then, I kinda think if your car is so fragile, maybe you shouldn't drive it out of your garage or something. If I had slammed my door into her car, that would be pretty different. I was so careful! But maybe I'm just rationalizing.

Is there some unspoken rule that I don't know of that you can't let your car door touch? I can imagine there might be. I guess I need to be following that. It just seems so impossible to get my kids in and out of the back seat (one on each side, which makes it worse) without touching. I don't know if this is true everywhere, but where I live the spots in parking lots are so narrow compared to the current size of cars. Mine is a normal sized car, btw, hers was a big honkin (expensive looking) SUV. Sigh...

I gave her all my info and she says she's gonna do this patch thing and then she's going to submit a claim to my insurance if I won't pay for it. Will that fly? Will my insurance pay out just because she says it happened? And then penalize me for it?


VegDay
07-26-2011, 03:45 AM
Someone put a scrape on the drivers side back end of my car. I have no idea where it happened. No one put a note on my car. I'm grateful there was no dent. The transfer paint was white, so I know it was not my neighbor at my complex.

I had a little container of touch up paint I bought for a couple of small hood rock dings and after cleaning the area and using the paint, it's hardly noticeable. And believe me the little thing of paint was NOT $50.00!

I have no legal advice, but this doesn't sound like an insurance claim. I'm sorry you are dealing with this difficulty. I try to park away from the congested area. It's easier, safer and I don't mind walking. I know that is harder with kids. I think my incident happened at work or perhaps parking in a cluster of cars seeking shade.

I'd suggest a touch up paint from any auto store. She sounds difficult. I wouldn't be happy if I were her either, but I certainly wouldn't be so difficult.

Lovely
07-26-2011, 04:57 AM
Unfortunately, your car door was touching hers, and it is possible that it caused some damage to the paint (regardless of how minimal).

Take responsibility for it.

Go looking, and you might be able to find a cheaper alternative than what she claims will cost $50 (which does seem just a bit steep for what amounts to a tiny paint scratch), but it is ultimately your responsibility to repair the paint.


fitness4life
07-26-2011, 06:10 AM
Interesting to me that right off the top of her head, she knew that the repair kit cost $50.

It's possible you made the mark. It's possible you didn't. You gave her your info - good for you for doing the right thing.

After you've had time to mull it over, look into the cost of that stuff. Pay her half and tell her to get over it.

nelie
07-26-2011, 08:19 AM
I'd say pay half because if she was so concerned, she would've parked somewhere with more room.

I was slightly horrified when I was recently visiting my friend in NY and she was bumping the cars in front and back of her while parking and she said bumping is fairly common. Well I think slight car dings are fairly common.

sumire
07-26-2011, 09:52 AM
It seems clear to me that your door did cause the damage, however slight. $50 seems like a bit much for the cost of the patch kit, but I don't think it's outrageous. I would pay it and be thankful that she isn't demanding to have a body shop do it--even the smallest chip could easily cost you (or your insurance company) a few hundred dollars. I also wouldn't want this as a claim on my insurance.

CrystalZ10
07-26-2011, 11:30 AM
I have no idea what the etiquette is with this... I had my hair cut at a place with a strip mall-type set up with the cars parked right in front of the place. I go to get my kids in the back seat and I opened the door really carefully (I was quite conscious of being careful at the time), but there was not enough room there to not have my door touching the car next to me. It was definitely touching. But I definitely did not bang my door against the car. So, I'm sitting there in the back seat getting my kids in and then I sat there and played with them for a few minutes (boy am I ever regretting that now), and this woman comes running out of the hair place saying my car door is touching her car, and she's right, it is. And guess what... there is this tiny mark on her car *right* where my car door was touching! It was a tiny mark that would more than be covered by half the end of a pencil eraser. It looked like maybe the paint was damaged there, but both cars are silver (exactly the same) and if her paint was chipped then whatever was under was also silver, so it was kind of hard to tell. There was a little somethin' there though.

So, she tells me she's gonna buy a patch kit for $50 and she wants me to pay for it. I don't know what to think. I don't even know if I really did the damage. It was in the exact spot where my door was touching, so I guess I think there's a good chance. But then, I kinda think if your car is so fragile, maybe you shouldn't drive it out of your garage or something. If I had slammed my door into her car, that would be pretty different. I was so careful! But maybe I'm just rationalizing.

Is there some unspoken rule that I don't know of that you can't let your car door touch? I can imagine there might be. I guess I need to be following that. It just seems so impossible to get my kids in and out of the back seat (one on each side, which makes it worse) without touching. I don't know if this is true everywhere, but where I live the spots in parking lots are so narrow compared to the current size of cars. Mine is a normal sized car, btw, hers was a big honkin (expensive looking) SUV. Sigh...

I gave her all my info and she says she's gonna do this patch thing and then she's going to submit a claim to my insurance if I won't pay for it. Will that fly? Will my insurance pay out just because she says it happened? And then penalize me for it?

There is NO way a paint kit cost $50...she's trying to fleece you. 1 option ism I'd call my insurance agency with her info and let an adjuster take a look at it. This way, its all legal and you've got a paper trail to protect you.
2ond option is, offering to buy the kit of her choice and bring it to her.

And yes, it is bad form to let your car door touch another car. Scrapes happen that way even when you don't mean for it to happen. :hug:

rubidoux
07-26-2011, 01:45 PM
And yes, it is bad form to let your car door touch another car. Scrapes happen that way even when you don't mean for it to happen. :hug:

Someone I talked to pointed out that maybe the car moved around a bit after I *carefully* opened the door. And that's quite plausible. I guess I just wouldn't have thought that car paint would be so fragile.

I am thinking that because our cars are exactly the same color, I will offer to either buy a kit and let her use it or pay for half the price of the kit. I have a feeling that she will vastly enjoy her kit and find lots of great ways to use it. :cool: Truth be told, I think if she cares *that* much, she should have one, anyway.

Right now I am driving about the best looking car I have ever had -- one of those 2001 silver Volvo station wagons that seem to be everywhere (I think maybe they only came in silver) -- and I enjoy that it looks nice and well kept up (since my previous cars have been a little, let's say, counter culturey, lol, like my last volvo wagon that was 21 years old and super beat up but running like a champ when it got crunched by a drunk driver) but if anyone had left a mark on it like this one, I would not have thought for a moment of making an issue out of it. I have actually talked to my therapist about how I feel like I don't fit in this world because I don't care what my car looks like. :lol: I miss the fact that when I was a kid (1970s) it seemed fine and reasonable to drive around in an old beat up car. Now everyone's in these immaculate expensive things that must make them lose sleep at night, since anyone can open their car door into them at any time. I don't want to care that much about my car. I do, though, understand that most people do care that much about their cars, so I will be going out of my way to not let my door touch. Sigh...

nikkinouille
07-26-2011, 03:04 PM
I work at a car dealership & sumire is right... a body shop would charge something outrageous. I honestly would try to keep it between the two of you & settle it that way. Getting the insurance companies involved will be a big P.I.T.A.! It probably was your car that did it but like many others have said, $50 sounds a little steep. I'd price-check some spot-repair kits at your local auto part shops. Get one. Save the receipt. That way if she tries something silly, you have proof you "compensated" her. That is my $.02.

Scarlett
07-28-2011, 09:26 AM
I think she's being really uptight but your probably responsible.

This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I live in an area that requires alot of parking lots, parking garages, congestion and paralell parking. Minor dings happen. I've had 2 minor incidents where I've dented people and 2 incidents where people have dented me.

In both incidents where I was dented my attitude was "I'm driving a 97 saturn that I paid $2500 for. I'll take down your info but it's a small dent, the car isn't worth that much lets just forget it. If I was driving a brand new car my attitude would be different.

Last year I dinged someone in a parking garage. I pulled into a tight spot and my low car bumper knicked the lower corner of someones bumper, pushing it in. The dent was really small and couldn't be seen standing up. Noone saw me do it, I was REALLY broke and considered walking away but just couldn't. I left a note. I hoped the owner would appreciate that I was honest and let the dent slide. Nope. The car I hit was a 99 and the dent did not affect the value of the car. She definately was not going to have it fixed and just wanted money. Yes I damaged her car and should have to pay for the damage, but it seems everyone is just trying to jump on any opportunity they have to get some money out of someone.

FrouFrou
07-28-2011, 06:35 PM
I love that you said you have no idea what the etiquette is...this is one of my pet peeves and I feel people just don't respect others or their things. I would never do it to someone else and expect the same in return but...it just doesn't happen. I don't park close to others to avoid this but it doesn't always happen...avoiding it that is. Sometimes you can't park away from others.

I was sitting at the mall once with my daughter and this older couple pulled next to me and he slammed the door open into my vehicle. Well, I rolled my window down and said something and the guy had the nerve to say he didn't do anything. I showed him where he opened his door he still argued with me and I told him maybe I should do it to your car and see how you like it. Security just happened t be driving by and he waved them down, yeah. Then I guess got scared and moved his car. I had this happen three times with 3 different people. And another time someone rammed a shopping cart into my car. I just don't understand why some just throw their door open with no regard to the people parked next to them.

ferretgirl
07-29-2011, 05:11 PM
If she's only asking for a $50 patch kit, I'd buy it for her and be done with the whole matter. Much cheaper and less hassle for you both if she can fix it with the kit. The main thing would be to protect yourself. Keep your paperwork (contact info, receipts) and make notes so you have a paper trail of any verbal agreements made.

About not letting your car doors touch other cars, I'd call that a rule of thumb out of mutual respect for other motorists, regardless of their vehicles' value. I used to have a $1600 Escort and if someone doored me, it wouldn't have been worth the time/money/hassle to patch paint on that cheap/old car, but now that I have a $5000 sports car, if someone doored me and I saw it/noticed marks, I'd speak up and want them to fix it. Along those same lines, nowadays I try to park away from other cars.. If I have to squeeze in a parking where I'd probably get doored, I'll keep driving and just park further away.

It would be much better for you to buy her patch kit and keep the receipt than for her to file a claim that you doored her car. Not sure what your company would pay out, but if she can make a claim on it, you would be penalized.

$50 seems like a bit much for the cost of the patch kit, but I don't think it's outrageous. I would pay it and be thankful that she isn't demanding to have a body shop do it--even the smallest chip could easily cost you (or your insurance company) a few hundred dollars. I also wouldn't want this as a claim on my insurance.
1 option ism I'd call my insurance agency with her info and let an adjuster take a look at it. This way, its all legal and you've got a paper trail to protect you. 2ond option is, offering to buy the kit of her choice and bring it to her.


sumire is right... a body shop would charge something outrageous. I honestly would try to keep it between the two of you & settle it that way. Getting the insurance companies involved will be a big P.I.T.A.! Save the receipt. That way if she tries something silly, you have proof you "compensated" her.

^^Totally agree with these. I would hate to involve the insurance company, but I'd also worry that if she wasn't happy with her patch kit results, then she might make a claim. I'd want to be sure before buying her the kit, that if you do, she'll leave you alone.

Someone I talked to pointed out that maybe the car moved around a bit after I *carefully* opened the door.


^^This is also true, especially if you lean into or sit in your car with the door still touching the suv. Then when your car sinks by 1/4-1/2" (when you sit down in it), your door is rubbing against her car that whole time. That would leave a little mark.

Wish you luck.. I'd vote for buying her the patch kit (ride separately and meet at the store, so she can pick the kit, then you pay for it and keep the receipt).