If I’m paying out of pocket for auto repairs, can I make check payable to repair shop or do I have to make check payable to other driver?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m paying out of pocket for auto repairs, can I make check payable to repair shop or do I have to make check payable to other driver?

I was at fault; damage is just over my deductible. I told the other driver that I will pay for damages to her car. She got 2 estimates as I requested. Can I just go to the repair shop and pay the bill when she takes car to be fixed or do I have to pay her based off the estimat? She wants check in her name but I feel she won’t get the car fixed.

Asked on April 15, 2016 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The law is silent on--does not address or specify an outcome to--this issue. Since you paying her voluntarily (rather than refusing to pay and making her sue), it comes down to what do the two of you agree to: whatever you agree is legal.
It really doesn't matter to you if she repairs the car or uses the money to go to Disney World, does it? You just want to pay an amount you can live with and then be done with this matter, and not have to worry about being sued or other legal action. So it really shouldn't matter to you if she gets the car fixed or not. Just get a written agreement from her that whatever you pay is in full satisfaction of any and all claims arising out of the accident and that she cannot sue you, and then it's her concern what happens with the money.

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