Rear ended by a hospital golf cart...

by Shannan
(Denver, Colorado)

I was rear ended by a golf cart which was being driven by a hospital employee. The incident report indicated the employee was at fault. I was asked to obtain 2 estimates for the damage to my car, which I sent to the incident coordinator. She then said that they would pay either the repair shop or me once I have the completed invoice.

However, I don't want to fix the car at this time. I would expect them to pay the claim amount to me anyway. May I insist they pay the claim amount to me regardless of if I get the car fixed? Or do I have to get the car fixed in order to get the claim paid? Is there a law about this? Thanks for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Rear ended by a hospital golf cart...":

Shannan (Denver, Colorado):

The hospital or its insurance company may pay you directly for the amount for the repairs to your car, or they may pay the repair shop. In any event, the hospital or its insurance company will certainly require you to execute a full release for the damage to your car and for any personal injuries you might have sustained, especially those that might appear over time.

There is no law in the State of Colorado requiring employers to pay you in cash or check for the amount of repairs or damaged property. It is entirely up to the hospital.

There are two basic types of damage claims:

The first is called a First Party Claim. Read more about filing a first-party claim here.

In a first party claim, if you cause an accident and have collision insurance, your insurer will pay the repair bill after you've paid your deductible. It will pay the amount up to up to your policy limits. With first-party claims the insurance company has the right to pay the victim or the body shop.

The second is a Third Party Claim. This is the type of claim you are dealing with. In a third party claim when someone collides with your car, causing property damage, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays for the repairs. The at-fault driver’s insurance company does not have a contractual obligation with you. Therefore, it can pay you or the repair shop.

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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