I was involved in a car accident a few months ago, and I was at fault. Both of our cars seem to have the same amount of damage, and I've only spent $700 at the repair shop to get it fixed. However, the other party spent more than $12,000, not including car rentals. My insurance only covers $10,000 for the other party's car damage, but this big gap in car repair seems unreasonable. The case has not ended but the other party's insurance has already requested me to pay the amount that my insurance will not pay. What should I do in this case? Also, do I have to pay for the other party's car rental?
If it's your fault, then you're liable for all damages proximately caused in this accident, including the other driver's rental charges and repair costs. Yes, they spent more than you did, because they weren't paying for it, and maybe they had a more expensive car with more expensive parts and labor.
Did you report this to your insuranace company, so they could hire you a lawyer to defend you?You have a duty to do this ASAP after the accident, and they have a duty to defend you and can challenge the other driver's repair bills.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
You would need to pay for any reasonable damages which you caused, including the reasonable rental costs. You notice that I use the word reasonable. If the car repair shop charges $12,000 for a job that could have been done for $1000, that is not reasonable. I suggest that you contact your insurance company and find out what their estimate of the damages to the other vehicle are. I am sure that they have had their adjusters look at it and you should get a copy of it.
As you can see, you are very seriously underinsured. A number of SUV's and similar vehicles are selling for $50,000 or more and if you strike a vehicle like that, $10,000 is a mere pittance. Speak with your insurance broker and obtain adequate coverage.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.