Question

If the cost to repair a vehicle I hit is more than the car is worth, can I just pay for the value of the car?

I was involved in an accident with a driver that doesn't have insurance but I am at fault. I agreed to pay for his damage out of pocket to try and avoid a hit to my insurance rate, but his vehicle is a 2003 model and the body work is likely to be very expensive. I'm worried that the cost to fix his vehicle will be more than his entire vehicle. He agreed to get repair estimates, but I don't want to pay him any more than his car is worth if the repairs exceed $3,000 since that is the bluebook value of his car.

Apr 9, 2017 Oakland, CA

Answer
Neil Richardson

Apr 9, 2017

If you aren't going to be filing a claim for the accident then the two of you will have to settle on a final dollar amount. Unfortunately, the other driver's insurance status does not impact fault in the accident so he could potentially file a claim with your insurance company if you can't come to a resolution. You may want to consider the possibility of contacting your insurance company if the two of you can't come to an agreement. Wait to hear back from the other driver about the repair estimate first before you make a decision.

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