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When not at fault in car accident, and I agree to let them pay out of pocket...who gets to choose where the repairs are done?

Orlando, FL |

I was hit by a teenager and agreed to let parents pay out of pocket. They are demanding to go with lowest estimate. I only had time to get 2 estimates so far, and they are local auto body shops. My husband says since my car is 2009 (newer car), I should get fixed by a reputable "dealership" with warranties or at minimal, I should get to choose where to take my car.Also they are paying for rental, but they want me to use my personal insurance instead of the rental car agencies..Is this fair? If I use my insurance and something happens to the rental will I then be the one on the loosing end, or is this a fair request that they only pay for the rental, and I use my insurance. I am the victim and I'm starting to feel bullied when I'm doing them a favor by not contacting their insurance.

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If you got the estimates, and they want you to go to the lower of the two, then that is reasonable for them to want you to use that one. Why would you get an estimate from a place that you woul not use ?! On the other hand, if it is one that they sent you to for the estimate, a counter-consideration is that you should not be forced to use a strange facility that they sent you to. As for the rental, their demand is strange and likely unworkable. Presumably, if you go through your "personal" insurance (it is assumed they mean your personal auto) they are thinking that you will get a "special rate" from the rental company; but to do that it would likely require you to file a collision claim through your carrier. If that is the case, the carrier would be doing a repair appraisal. Instead of jumping through their hoops, you do one of two things. File the claim through your carrier, who will do the appraisal and pay for the repair at your chosen shop, minus a deductible, etc.,; pay for the repair and let the carrier recoup it from them, or just take them to court.



To clarify, did not get estimate on one that I wouldn't want to use, however since getting estimates, I've spoken to several co workers about their experiences and the experiences of those they know...the body shop that was more, appears to have the best reputation of the two. I would want the best person working on my car, as I assume would they. Regarding the rental, if there is not a difference in me using my personal auto insurance and taking the rental agencies, I don't mind using my own. Trying to be fair. Would think at minimal, they would allow me to choose the shop since I didn't expose them to their insurance. The difference is a little over $100.00...sheesh. Thanks for your help!


In all settlements out of Court, the at fault party and the injured party must come to an agreement. If requesting not to contact the insurer, but problems arising in getting the car accident claim settled, notify the insurance company immediately and call an attorney. Practically, everyone says they will pay out of pocket but never do.

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It would make more sense to use their insurance. If they're going to give you a hard time and insist that you go a cheap route then insist upon using the body shop of your choice or going through their insurance.

Samuel A. Coffey, Esq. ABRAMOWITZ, POMERANTZ & COFFEY, P.A. Belle Terre of Sunrise, Suite 101 7800 W. Oakland Park Boulevard Sunrise, FL 33351 Phone: (954) 572-7200 Fax: (954) 748-6488 Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Sam Coffey is licensed to practice law in Florida. This response 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. Coffey strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.


You should not feel bullied to do or not to do anything -- you are right, you are doing the negligent party a favor by handling this matter informally. Since you are starting to doubt whether the other party is genuine in their promise to pay, I'd turn this matter over to your own insurance company, pay your deductible upfront and let your insurance carrier recoup the deductible and repair costs from the other party at a later date. You have insurance exactly for this reason! Best of luck to you.

The above information does not constitute legal advice and does not form the basis of an attorney-client relationship. Lisa M. Blasser, Esq. and Blasser Law do not represent you and are not responsible for any actions or inactions that you decide to pursue in lieu of the above information.


Always report every accident to your insurance company to resolve, otherwise, you could violate the terms of your policy and not be covered for a subsequent accident.


If they refuse to use the body shop of your choice you should file a claim asap with there insurance company as well as yours. If you need assistance of how to go about this process you should speak an experienced personal injury attorney first before doing anything.

In regards to the rental insurance, if your personal insurance covers you and the rental vehicle when in a rental car there is really no reason to get rental insurance, but before making that decision you need to verify what your personal policy will cover. It is also best to speak with an attorney about this issue as well should you be unsure of what to do.

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