should I file a claim or pay the damage myself

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should I file a claim or pay the damage myself

I backed into a parked car and dented the rear quarter panel. car is a 1970 road runner in VERY bad shape. 1 estimate is $1800.00 to fix. I don’t think the car is worth that much.

Asked on April 21, 2009 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I assume you damaged the 1970 road runner.

In general (and I am NOT a Texas lawyer) if you are negligent you are liable to pay the lesser of the fair market value of the car you damaged or the cost to repair it. Unless the 1970 car was an antique with extra value, or used in movie sets, my guess is it would cost far more to fix than it is worth.

That does NOT mean the other owner will accept the FMV willingly. So you may want to report the matter to your liability carrier and let them deal with the owner.

Yes, it then becomes a chargeable accident for you, and your rates go up. But they won't pay more than FMV and total the other guy's car and take title and sell it for scrap or salvage. so yo could compromise and tell the other guy his choice is to take FMV and you'll let him keep the car, or you'll have your company deal with him, he'd be lucky to get FMV and would have to turn over title to the car.


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