Almost two months ago a co-worker of mine was leaving work for the day and backed into the side of my parked car. She realized her error and left a note with her name and number (I work for a large company and have never met her before).

I contacted her and we agreed that I'd get an estimate for how much the damage would cost to repair, and then I'd send the estimate to her. About a week later, I got the estimate (~$1150) and sent it to her via a text message and waited for her response. After a few days I hadn't heard anything, so I sent another text asking for a response. Another week went by and I hadn't heard anything, so I scanned the estimate and emailed it to her and asked for a response. Nothing. A few weeks later I sent another reminder email, but didn't hear anything from her.

What should I do next? She never gave me her insurance information, so I can't contact them. I want to involve HR next, but I don't know what they can/can't do. I thought about finding her desk at work and confronting her there (in a polite way, of course), but I don't know if that's wise or not. Any advice will be appreciated.

Update: Persistence paid off. She finally responded to my efforts to contact her. Turns out she was driving uninsured at the time, and her insurance denied the claim. My threats to take her to court eventually provided enough leverage to get her to agree to a monthly payment model. I made sure to explicitly define the terms of the payments (dates of payment, method of payment, amount, etc.). Took almost seven months, but the incident is finally resolved.

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    Did you file a police report? Depending on your location, this is required by law. – Neo Apr 28 '17 at 16:35
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because This is not about navigating the workplace. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 28 '17 at 16:42
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    You work for the same company, but not together. Your company has no dog in this fight and should not even be involved. File a report with your insurance and let them pursue her. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 28 '17 at 16:43
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    It might be a workplace issue if the damage occurred on company (i.e. private) ground. However, talk to a lawyer may be advised here. – Captain Emacs Apr 28 '17 at 16:54
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    @IDrinkandIKnowThings I disagree. Anything that happens on company property between two employees of that company is a workplace issue by definition. That fact that I didn't know this person up until now is not relevant. – ARich Apr 28 '17 at 17:10

Not sure what country you are referring to, but since you didn't alert the police when the accident happened, but rather entered into a verbal agreement that she would pay for the damage, you might have to contact a lawyer or take her to small claims court. The fact that she left you a note saying she damaged your car and you have text messages referring to her paying for the damages, a judge will likely rule in your favor.

Of course, you could also tell her that you are prepared to involve the court system and see if she responds to that.

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    Save the note. Screenshot the text messages and print them. File in Small Claims Court. Don't forget to include court costs and collection costs in your claim. Even if you win in court, you will have to enforce the judgment, which can cost you more. – Wesley Long Apr 28 '17 at 17:02
  • On top, leaving contact information in many jurisdictions is a violation of laws - she has to wait or get a report filed. She basically left the place of an accident. Possible criminal charge. – TomTom Apr 30 '17 at 9:00
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    In the end, threatening to take her to court provided the most leverage. Thanks for the advice! – ARich Jan 9 '18 at 20:35

You know who she is, her name, and a way to contact her. You know the name and address of the owner of the property where the damage happened, and the date and time approximately that it happened. Contact your insurer and ask them how to proceed, explaining the delay was because the person promised to cooperate but then has stopped. They deal with this stuff all the time. My guess is they'll contact your company, or your co-worker, about the damage that happened and will get action pretty quickly.


You need to call her, or find out where her desk is. Then go and ask for her insurance information.

Lesson learned. Nobody ever pays. Always get the insurance info, and always file a claim.

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