Insurance settlement to the other party

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Insurance settlement to the other party

I hit a parked car and I offered to fix it but the owner wanted to deal with the insurance. We exchanged numbers but haven’t heard from him since then even after calling them. I reported the incident to my insurance company and that was last time I heard from them. Fast forward 3 months later, I found out through a background check that they settled the case with the other party. For how much? More than 3 thousands more than what the car was worth. It was a dent on the door but they told me that the other driver brought in a claim for his own mechanic. How can they settle without checking on my car? Without checking my damages to make sure that it was not serious. I feel like that they overpaid for expenses and they will penalized me for that. What are my rights, if any at this point? They have never communicated with me since that initial report.

Asked on December 24, 2016 under Accident Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The insurer does not need to contact you or get your approval to settle a case if they are settling for less than the policy limits--i.e. if you will not be left liable for any amounts, because the settlement fully takes care of the claim, which this one evidently did. They did their job--what you pay them for--of settling a claim against you and paying for it, so that you don't have to pay; having fulfilled their responsibiltiies, they did not need your approval. If they chose to "overpay" for the claim to get it settled without the cost of defending a lawsuit, that is their choie and their cost.


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