What to do if I was at fault for just a fender bender and now the other’s driver’s auto insurer sent me a claim of $2800?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I was at fault for just a fender bender and now the other’s driver’s auto insurer sent me a claim of $2800?

The police were not called because my insurance had lapsed and I told him I would pay to have it fixed, I later got a call from the police department asking if I was in an accident. Now, 5 months later, I am getting a subrogation claim from his insurance saying I owe $2800 for a fender bender that in no way should have cost this much. Can I dispute this?

Asked on September 23, 2016 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you were at fault and believe it can be shown you were at fault, then you could only dispute the cost to repair. You can ask to be shown the invoices or estimates, then get some quotes yourself; if the quotes are close, it's probably best to pay, but if there is a significant difference, you could offer to pay only a lesser amount. Put the offer in writing with copies of your estimates, sent some way you can prove delivery, so you can prove it later, if need be. If the insurer will not accept that, you can refuse to pay and let them sue you, then in court, try to prove that the cost to repair is less. (This is also where you'd show that you'd made a good faith offer; you want to show the court you tried to resolve this fairly.) But you would likely need to have an auto repair person or insurance adjuster testify for you in court, as to the cost to repair; your testimony, as a layperson, will not be good enough, and you can't introduce written estimates without having the person who made them there to testify. Therefore, it could be more trouble (and cost, if you have to pay your witness to appear) than it's worth contesting this...it is in your interest to try to settle the matter without litigation.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption