How to handle minor unreported auto accident?
About 2 weeks ago I had a minor car accident, no injuries and only minimal damage to both cars. The other driver stated he did not want to pursue a claim through the insurance because the damage was minimal and he did not want his rates to go up. We exchanged information, but no police report was made (no officer was called on to the scene). 2 days after he contacted me expecting me to pay $650 for damage done to his car. I contacted him back saying I could not and would not do that and stated I can give you $250 for damage done just to settle this (as my own damage I fixed myself). He declined this offer and stated that we should now go through the insurance and that he would contact his broker then get back in touch. 1 week later, he contacted me asking for the name and number of my insurance broker. I do not have a broker and I had already gave him my insurance information so I did not call him back. A week after that contact he called me again. What should I do legally?
The issue is who was at fault. Whenever you have an accident with another car it is always wise to have the police called no matter what the other driver says as this is exactly the situation that you want to avoid. The other drvier in this case is now taking advantage of you and trying to get money from you becasue they believe that it will cost more than expected to fix the damages to their car. Furthermore, you have shown the other driver that you are willing to pay to get rid of this so he believes that you think that you are at fault here. I suggest that you do nothing and force the driver to file a claim with your carrier. You can deny fault and still him with the bill.
You should always contact your insurance company after even the most minor accident, as this apparently was. As you have seen, you can't trust the statements of people after accidents. People speak to their family and friends and get all kinds of ideas about extracting money from the other driver. If they talk to some classes of attorneys, they may even consider filing an injury lawsuit even if they're not apparently injured in the accident. In this case, fortunately, no one was injured so the potential damages are not large.
Although it's late you should now contact your insurance company and explain that you didn't call them because the accident was so minor, you fixed your own damage, and you didn't think the other guy was interested in making a claim but now appears ready to do so.
Your insurance policy requires you to notify your insurance company as soon as is practical after any accident. Because you have not reported this accident in a timely way, your insurance company could "disclaim" coverage, that is, leave you without coverage for this event, though hopefully they will not do that. Since you gave the other driver your insurance information, your insurance company most likely has already learned about this accident. At this point you have nothing to lose by reporting it; the worst case scenario is your company will deny coverage which is the position you're in now not having notified them yourself.
If your company does deny coverage, then you should do nothing and wait until the other driver brings a claim against you, based on what you've reported, in small claims court which has limits up to $5000., or $3,000. in town and village courts. He will have to prove that the accident was your fault in court. Without a police report, the situation is a classic "he said - she said". The small claims court judge will only have the testimony of the other driver and of yourself and will have to decide who is telling the truth about how the accident happened.
The other driver will also have to prove his damages - how much it cost for him to have his car fixed or how much it is estimated to cost to have his car fixed by bringing in a repair bill or a garage's estimate.
When you speak to your insurance company, you should also request that they send you an MV-104 form, an official New York form for the involved person to report a motor vehicle accident. You are also required by law to report your involvement in any motor vehicle accident which is the purpose of the MV-104 form.