What do I do if they are trying to make me pay more for damage? 17 Answers as of April 15, 2013

I was involved in a car accident. Someone hit me and it turns out that it was my fault since my car was still crossing the intersection. Their insurance sent me a bill for around five thousand dollars of damage, although the damage was just minor. I agreed to set up a payment plan and they asked to get back to me. When they finally got back to me the bill was jacked up to over 11 thousand dollars saying that they junked the car. I want to know if I have to pay for all this. I thought at least I would only be responsible for just the damages?

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Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
Your only other real option is to not pay for the additional damages and then make them sue you. That way, you will be able to get more information about their claimed damages.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/15/2013
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
I take it you don't have insurance. If you do, turn this over to them. Technically, you are not bound by your previous agreement as they have changed the terms. You are liable only for the cost of repair (plus diminished in value) or the reasonable value of the vehicle, whichever is lesser. And, you are only liable for the damage you did. If there is any question about the cost of the damages you did, get someone who is qualified and willing to go to court for you to look at the damages and give you an estimate.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/15/2013
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
You need to retain an attorney to help you. Do not agree to anything.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/15/2013
Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law
Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Alison Elle Aleman
Do you also have auto insurance? Your insurance should cover the costs of the damages to the other car, and you have to contact them to open a claim so that they can help you. You may have to hire an attorney to take care of this, if your insurer does not defend you in this incident.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2013
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
Several things to consider (I am assuming you are in SC). If you had insurance on your vehicle, your insurance should handle this. If you did not, you are responsible only for damages you caused. By responsible, I mean they can sue you and get a judgment against you for damages. You do not have to pay the judgment, but they can ask the court to attach your assets and sell them to satisfy the judgment. This is almost impossible to get done unless you own a home with equity in your home exceeding 50,000.00 (the first 50,000 is exempt from attachment on a judgment, or have any equity in other real estate (or stocks and bonds or large bank accounts). If the car was totaled, you owe the fair market value of the car. Ask to see statements of their market value and repair estimates. Then, offer to make payments on what amount you think is fair for repairs or FMV if it is totaled. If they do not accept our offer, let them sue you. All they can get is a judgment for whatever damages they can prove.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 4/15/2013
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    You have to pay if a court orders you to pay. If you have other debts you may want to consider a bankruptcy. Talk with an attorney, there may be other avenues available to you. It sounds like the insurance company is trying to push you around.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/15/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You owe for whatever damages you caused. There is so much difference between "minor" and 11000 that someone is not telling the truth. Get you a lawyer and let him appraise the situation for you.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/15/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    Think about what you did, to save a 1k a year for liability insurance that you did not obviously have you will now be on the hook for 11k, sounds like they ended up totaling the vehicle which is their right, and you will not escape this because the state will put on lien on your driver licenses if they have not already done so, here in my jurisdiction it is 25k, which means you have no licenses until you pay, and second the insurance company will get a judgement against you at some point if you do not enter into an agreement to pay, and if you do enter into the agreement with them, then do not pay, you just saved them a bunch of steps in getting a judgement against you, so in the future when and if you ever get past this mess always have insurance, because as you can see it cost much more not to have it, then to have it.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 4/15/2013
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Notify your insurance company and let them handle it.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/15/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    First, you should submit the matter to your car insurance company to defend. You or the insurance company should check into the discrepancies between the $5,000 and $11,000 bills.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/15/2013
    The Law Offices of Ajay Kwatra | Ajay Kwatra
    You should report this to your insurance company. If you do not have an insurance policy that covers this accident, then you may counter- offer, settle, sue or be sued.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2013
    Sarrail, Castillo & Hall, LLP | Monica Castillo
    Damages is the term for the losses, and it includes medical, wage/income, property and "pain and suffering". In your matter it sounds like the property damages were the total loss of the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    If you had auto insurance at the time of the loss, as you should have as same is mandatory in Michigan, you can NOT be sued for collision damage. However, it you failed to carry car insurance, then you may be sued for damage, but they must prove you were at fault and the amount of damage directly related to this crash. You may defend the case to try and show any comparative fault of the other vehicle and that the damages are not what they claim. You may need pictures or estimates of the damage to the other vehicle and/or the testimony of a collision estimator and/or valuation guides and/or the testimony of someone who knows the value of cars in order to support your defenses.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/14/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    I hope that you were smart enough to notify your auto insurance about the accident. If not, do it NOW. Give them the stuff from the other party's insurance and let your company deal with it. If no insurance, then you need a lawyer yesterday.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/14/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Assuming the accident is your fault, and that is not entirely clear even though they say it is, you are responsible for the reasonable cost of repair or the reasonable value of the car.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/14/2013
    David P. Slater, esq.
    David P. Slater, esq. | David P. Slater
    If the damages cost more that the value of the car, they can claim a total loss.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/14/2013
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