Crashed Into My Sister's Car in My Driveway...

by Anna
(Denton, TX)

I had just gotten out of the hospital after falling and spraining my neck due to a bad fight with my husband. My sister drove me home and another fight ensued with my husband. I was still under the effects of medications from the hospital.

I wasn't thinking right and I just wanted to leave the house. I felt everyone was against me, including my children. I was crying and yelling, I just wanted out of the house. It had been an awful ordeal at the hospital.

I got in my car to leave and completely forgot that my sister had parked in my driveway. No one ever parks there. We never have any visitors so I'm not used to anyone ever being in the driveway. I backed into her Honda Accord.

I don't have insurance and now, she wants me to pay for the damages. I totally agree it's my fault and I should pay for it, but the quote she got from the dealership is for $2,400 dollars. That's a whole month's salary for me.

I have two kids and can't afford the repair bill. I don't know what to do. I know she is not going to want to file with her insurance, she is very "by the book / only the dealership" type of person.

I'm in a neck brace for two weeks, my marriage is falling apart and now I have this hanging over me, please help. The damage to her car didn't even look like it was extensive, the hood was lifted and maybe the grill would have to replaced. Is there any way I can get the repairs done without having to pay for them out of pocket?

Any ideas would be helpful, thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Crashed Into My Sister's Car in My Driveway...":

Anna (Denton, TX):

You can't force your sister to take her car to a less expensive automobile body repair shop, but everyone in the universe knows automobile dealers almost always charge a significantly higher amount to effect repairs to a person's car.

There are numerous body shops in the Denton, Lewisville, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, and even the Dallas area. Those body shops use the same OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured) parts as do dealers. The same body shops take apart and put together car replacement parts just as dealers do.

All you can do is hope to convince your sister to explore the possibility of using another body shop. That would involve taking her car to one or more of them. Although I would be misleading you to say any body shop would accept a payment plan, it wouldn't hurt to contact several to see if they might.

Finally, you might to take out a loan, either from a loan or pawn shop, or if that's not feasible, from one or more family members.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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