Do I have to accept after-market parts from the at-fault driver’s insurance company?

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2011

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Do I have to accept after-market parts from the at-fault driver’s insurance company?

I just bought a car a little less than a month ago and it was hit while parked. Now I’ve already had the at-fault driver’s insurer give an estimate and an uncashed check. The estimate is for after-market like parts. Do I have to settle for these or can I fight for original parts? If so, how? My car is an 08.

Asked on June 4, 2011 under Accident Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The insurer's obligation is to repair the car--to put it back into good working order, and ideally repair it so that  it's as close to its pre-accident value as possible. (A repaired car is never worth quite as much.) It may do so with after-market parts, IF such parts will do the job; i.e. they will adaquately repair the vehicle. There is no specific law or requirement for original parts.

If you don't think that you car will be repaired adequately, which is the real issue, you may try to appeal using the insurer's own in-house appeals process and/or by hiring a lawyer to, if necessary, sue the insurer. (You may also sue yourself, but this is not recommended.) You should review your policy to see what it says about disputes, appeals, etc. Note that if the policy says somewhere that only original parts will be used, then that would have to be honored.

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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