What’s the best way to handle out-of-pocket expenses?

I nipped a parked car while pulling into a parking space which resulted into a scratch to their driver’s rear bumper panel (plastic) and cracked lighting. I left a note on their car stating my phone number. They called and said they would see if they wanted to get it fixed and let me know. A week later they ask for my email address, email me an estimate from a body repair shop for $650. In the body of the email they also stated they want $120 for a 3-day car rental. What are my rights based on statelaw? If I decide to pay the $770 out of pocket, what’s the best way to handle this?

Asked on October 26, 2011 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are at fault--which seems to be the case--you are liable for all the direct costs or damages flowing out of  your accident, which includes the out-of-pocket expenses; so asking for them is reasonable. If you find the quoted price unreasonable, you could certainly ask them for back up to prove it.

If you want to handle this yourself, without an attorney, draft a simple separation agreement stating that in exchange for the payment of [whatever final amount you come to], they release you from all liability, past, present, and future, of any kind whatsoever, arising out of the incident in which your car stuck their car in a parking lot on whatever the date was.

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