What to do if aperson backed into my car in a parking lot and now they want to pay for damages out of pocket and not file an insurance claim?

A person backed into the front of my car in a shopping mall parking lot. A police report was filed. The person does not want to turn into insurance but is willing to pay for repairs out of pocket as long as they meet me at the repair shop and review repairs being done to the vehicle. How do I handle this? should I insist in filing insurance or do I have to go along with them to pay the auto body shop themselves? and who then would be liable if there is something wrong with the repair or need further repair? And because he damaged my personal asset, can he just write me a check for the damage?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Accident Law, Tennessee


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Although the other driver can pay for the repairs out of his own pocket, you do NOT have to agree to this.  If I were you, I would not get involved with this and would file a claim with his insurance company for a number of reasons.  How do you know he will pay for the repairs?  He wants to be present to review the repairs.  Suppose he doesn't agree with the repairs or the cost of repairs. Will that be an excuse to back out of paying for the repairs?  Even a small amount of damage can be very expensive in terms of parts and labor to repair.  Is he going to pay for a rental car while your car is in the repair shop?  As you mentioned, if additional repairs are needed, is he going to pay for those repairs?  Is he going to insist that substandard parts are used to reduce the cost of repairs?

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