Dear Urban Diplomat: Should I report the guy who hit me with his car door to the police?
I bike to and from work every day and, not too long ago, I got doored. I didn’t break any bones, but my $700 bike was badly damaged. The driver apologized profusely, and we exchanged information and phone numbers. The next day, he texted me to ask me not to report the accident, so it doesn’t affect his insurance, and basically told me to name my price. Should I play along?
—Door Prize, Little Italy
Your fastest road to compensation is to simply take the cash. But, because I’m hesitant to trust someone who can’t even be relied on to look around before opening his car door, I’d recommend getting a quote from a repair shop and registering the accident at the local police station—they’ll document the damage without affecting his insurance. That way, if he balks when you tell him just how much your bike, time and trouble are worth, you’ll have everything you need to file an official report immediately. You may not get your money quite as quickly, but his premiums will skyrocket, which will make you feel better and might make him think twice before flinging open his car door without looking again.
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