In a car accident scenario, can the other driver demand a cash settlement instead of having the at-fault driver pay to fixthe car?

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In a car accident scenario, can the other driver demand a cash settlement instead of having the at-fault driver pay to fixthe car?

Both parties agreed not to get insurance involved. Police officer did not file report or issued tickets. Other driver has submitted several estimates. We have spoken with the body shop and have agreed to pay for the repairs. Now the other driver no longer wants to take his car in to get it fixed, but instead wants us to cut him a check for the amount of the estimate. Are we legally obligated to cut him the check or can we insist on paying his auto body shop as first agreed?

Asked on December 17, 2010 under Accident Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you had an actual agreement that you would arrange for  the repairs, that agreement would be enforceable. (Of course, if it was an oral or verbal agreement and you and the other party disagree as to the terms, it may be very difficult to prove what the agreement was.) If there was no actual agreement, just expecations on your part that you'd arrange repairs, that is not enforceable. In that case, if the other party isn't willing to accept what you are offering, he option is to take you to court and sue you to try to get the money he thinks he deserves. If he does this, you then can decide whether to defend the case or try to settle.


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