Visitor Question

Do I Have to Use the Insurance Payment for Car Damage?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Oregon)

Another party hit the rear fender and part of the door on my car when he was merging into traffic. I am getting a check for the damage, but feel the estimates are extremely high for the amount of damage, and feel it could possibly be repaired another way.

Am I required to have the damages repaired by the auto repair shop that provided the estimate to the insurance company, since they paid the claim based on that amount?

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.


Dear Anonymous,

The short answer to your question is “no” you are not required to use the shop whose estimate formed the basis of the settlement.

You are being compensated for the damage that occurred to your vehicle and with that compensation, you are free to:

1. Fix it with the same auto body repair shop;

2. Select another shop that is cheaper, more convenient, or that you simply like better or

3. Leave your car exactly as it is provided it is drivable and use the money for some other need.

The bottom line is that someone damaged your property and you are entitled to compensation.

What you do with the money is completely up to you (provided it’s legal).

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: May 17, 2010

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