Visitor Question

Damaged front fender and tire; do I have to use their body shop?

Submitted By: DD (New Hampshire)

As I entered a 4 way stop, after waiting for the car that was there already to go through, the car on my left pulled through and plowed into me. They hit me just in front of my door, striking my tire and fender, pushing me out of the intersection sideways. There were no injuries or fire.

The driver and passenger began to complain that I was making them late for breakfast, and why couldn’t they have used the truck. I was very upset to hear this.

When I contacted their insurance, I was told to bring MY vehicle to THEIR shop for inspection, as no liability or any information had been filed. My own mechanic is not registered with their company, therefore I am incurring more fees to tow my car there and back for their estimate.

I’m also losing work time, as this is slated to take at least 24 to 48 hours to bring it back to have it repaired. Does this sound like they are trying to scam me by forcing me to go to THEIR prescribed body shop? Is this a requirement? What can I do about it? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear DD,

You are not being “scammed.” The driver’s insurance company is well within their rights to require you to take your car to their authorized body shop. This is based on the unavailability of a determination of liability for the crash.

Unfortunately, at this time it’s your word against the other driver’s. Unless the driver admitted he was wrong, or if he told his insurance company he was at fault, you may have to wait until his insurance company decides who is liable.

By requiring you to take your car to their authorized body shop, the insurance company may be leaning toward accepting liability, but that isn’t a guarantee.

Contact your own insurance company and report the collision. Doing so is likely required under your policy. By doing so, your insurance commonly may intervene, especially if they believe the other driver was liable. Your company would rather not have to pay to have your car repaired, they want the other driver’s insurance company to pay.

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

Best of luck,

Published: August 4, 2014

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