The Phaeton has these individual headlamp washers that pop out to clean the lights every time you pull the windshield washer stalk. The other day, the driver’s-side washer became stuck in the extended position. I figured the motor had died, so I left the car with my mechanic on my way to work.

An hour later he called to ask when I’d been in an accident. I told him I hadn’t. He said, “Well, either this car hit something or something hit it.” The mount for the headlamp washer was entirely gone, broken off by an impact. The bumper was cracked in several places, as well as the trim pieces below the headlight. I hadn’t looked close enough to notice.

My best guess is that somebody backed into the car while I was parked nose-out in my apartment’s parking garage. Now the bumper is badly cracked in five places, and the cracks appear to be growing.

What should I do? Call my insurance company and explain what happened? I just dropped nearly a grand on maintenance and can’t stomach the cost of an entire bumper replacement right now.