Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 23, 2013

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Insurance Question from Frog Pond, NC

Asked on 10/23/2013

What do we do if we feel like we are being ripped off My wife bumped the back of a man's car. The police officer came out made a report in the report it says she was going less then five miles and hour, the officer said the was a minor scratch on the car. A week later the man with the car calls and says that three auto body shops said it would cost just under $500 worth of damage. We find it hard to believe that a bump would cost that much. So what are our options we will pay if that is true, but I have a strong feeling there was not $450 worth of damage.

Answer given on October 24, 2013

If you struck another car, and the police report confirms the cause of the accident, then you are legally responsible to repair the car for the other party.You can report the claim to your insurance company. They will investigate the damages and work with the other person to make the repairs. Some insurance companies do not charge an accident if the damage is under a certain limit. You should find out if $500 is below that limit. If so, just let the insurance company handle the claim.If you do not want to report the damage to your insurance company, you can settle the claim, but since the other party has three estimates showing the damage to be $500, you would be hard pressed to try to pay less. It sounds as if the other party is not trying to gouge you in the repair costs. Any repair to a car can easily run $500 with labor to take out a scratch as well as repaint where necessary. You sound as if you are complaining about a possible difference of $50 ($450 vs $500). You should let this go and pay for the repairs or call your insurance company.


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