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Minor Car Accident

Colin wrote:

I am an elementary teacher who left work today feeling overwhelmed about my new role and responsibilities. I was just hired in June for this teaching position which will begin in September.

When I reversed or pulled out of the parking space, I accidentally collided with a car parked on the next row behind me. I panicked because I wondered if I hit the principal's car. Fortunately, it wasn't his car when I got out to ask who the car belonged to. The teacher who walked out of the building with a huge pile of books saw me hit her car. I realized why this accident happened when I thought carefully through it. I was distracted and wasn't paying attention to what was around me as I was looking at the teacher who was carrying a load of books to her car. I thought that I should get out and help her while the car was moving.

I told my colleague who I just met for the second time that I am embarrassed and feel awful and if there's anything I can do for her to let me know. I just leased and picked up this new car last week. On top of the payments I've made and the upcoming payments I have to make, I'll end up paying $300 to repair the minor damage.

I noticed that her car didn't appear to have any major damage, just scratches on the rear of her car. My car has a dent and the rear needs a little alignment. I feel that I have been struck with bad luck, and this is definitely not a good way to start the school year. I will be working with her and other colleagues in my school, and will have this in mind for a while.

I asked her if we should file a complaint or whatever it's called. She said no. I haven't been in a car accident since my early 20's, and I've only had one accident that was my fault. I've always been a careful driver. Will this accident affect our professional relationship at work? Should I report this to my principal or will he think I'm insane for telling?

Dear Colin

Unless there's something you haven't told me, I really cannot see why you are even thinking about this.

  • You had a minor collision.
  • No-one was hurt.
  • You have apologised.
  • You have paid for the damage to the other party.
  • She does not want to take it further.
  • (I assume) You've learned from the error and will drive more carefully!

No-one - except you - is making an issue out of this, so why are you? The only risk to your future is you not letting it drop!

Leave it! Move on!

Disclaimer: I don't know your local laws. As the accident was off the road, and both parties are happy, I'm assuming no laws were broken. If laws were broken - then you have a problem.

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