If I caused a minor fender bender in a public parking lot and paid for the damages out-of-pocket, what can I do if the other driver filed against my insurance anyway?

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If I caused a minor fender bender in a public parking lot and paid for the damages out-of-pocket, what can I do if the other driver filed against my insurance anyway?

There was about $775 in damages. The other driver was driving his parents’ car. I paid him the amount of the damages out-of-pocket. He took the money but he did not get the car fixed. His parents filed a claim against my insurance company which was paid. So he stole $775 from me. Any recourse?

Asked on July 27, 2014 under Accident Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since your insurance company is involved, provide them with a statement of what happened and proof of payment--hopefully, you paid by check, and so can prove it; if you paid by cash and did not get a receipt, you will have serious difficulty proving this happened. Your insurance company may  take action on this situation for you.

If your insurer does not directly address the situation, then wait to see what the total settlement or judgment (if you are sued) amount is--then you'll know if this is theft or not. E.g. if there was more damage than you'd thought, and the total claim is $2,000, if your insurer gives them $1,225, then that, plus the $775, equals the correct amount--they were paid what they should have been paid, just in two installments. On the other hand, if the total claim is $2,000 and they receive $2,000 from your insurer and $775 from you, then they illegally took an extra $775; in that case, you may have grounds to sue (such as in small claims) to get the money back, and possibly also to report this to the police.


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