If I damage someone’s fence in an auto accident, can they repair the fence without my approval and insist I pay the charges?

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If I damage someone’s fence in an auto accident, can they repair the fence without my approval and insist I pay the charges?

Asked on July 2, 2015 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The owner of the fence does not need your approval to repair the fence.  You are liable for the damage to the fence and the cost of repairs.  The owner of the fence does have a duty to mitigate (minimize) damages by repairing it so that it is comparable to what it was before the accident.  If the owner of the fence used the most expensive materials or had someone repair the fence whose fee was not comparable to other fence repairers in the area, the owner has failed to mitigate damages and you can argue that the damages (cost of repairs) should be reduced accordingly.


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