Am I responsible for paying an unreasonably high estimate?

UPDATED: Apr 10, 2012

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Am I responsible for paying an unreasonably high estimate?

My son was involved in a minor car accident. He was driving a friends car. We have an estimate from his friends mechanic which is unreasonably high. We were planning to get our own estimate. However their mechanic already started working on the car . We were never notified about this. Do we have to pay their mechanics price for the repairs?

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


Robert Slim / Robert C. Slim - Attorney at Law

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your son would be responsible for the "reasonable" cost of repairs, not the "cheapest" cost of repairs.  If you can get the estimate and photographs, take them to a repair facility that you trust and see if there is something out of the ordinary or inflated about the estimate.  Otherwise, your son would be responsible to pay for the repairs by the mechanic of their choice.  

Of course, your son's responsibility for the accident depends on whether or not he was at fault.  Additionally, since your son was entrusted with the vehicle from his friend, then you (as the parents) would not be legally liable for the damages.  You can play hard ball by making them go after your son (who probably doesn't have any money).  Make sure you notify your son's insurance company of the claim so that they can eveluate it and defend the claim on your son's behalf.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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