Always report every accident to the police and always go through their insurance to obtain proper compensation.
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The reason we all pay the big bucks for our insurance coverage is to protect ourselves if and when there is a claim. When there is a claim for damage to a vehicle, this is what the insurance companies are geared up to do with licensed appraisers and adjusters who oversee the process. It is always a bad idea, especially if there is coverage, to go "outside" the insurance. Present an insurance claim. If it is too late, then your option is small claims court.
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This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.
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