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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 100033
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I was involved in a minor car accident yesterday. I was making

Customer Question

I was involved in a minor car accident yesterday. I was making a right on red and a woman went though a light that was yellow. Technically we were both at fault. She didn't want to call the police or insurance companies because she was afraid that her insuance would go up and she couldn't afford her deductible ( she spoke limited English) I said ok because I had an accident last year myself and didn't want to see my premiums raised either. I took my car to be fixed today. (Paying out of pocket. ) they called me and asked for money to hrlp pay. Very nice people. I do believe that I should pay them something. If they decide after the fact to go though insurance what will I face due to the fact that I already had my repairs started? What will my insurance company say to that? I might ad that she said she had just had an accident 2 weeks earlier and had not reported that either. I'd like to think that they are decent people. They called my today and said they errrr going to take the car for an estimate. I'm now worried about the fact that u got my car repaired without reporting it to insuance. Advice?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello friend. My name is Ely, and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me what happened exactly to cause the accident - how are both at fault, please?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I went right on red and she came though yellow light. I believe. I didn't see her at all. I do know the light was yellow from the other direction.
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. I am going to type out the answer and it may take a little bit of time because I want to be thorough; apologies in advance for the momentary wait.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That's ok
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
INSURANCE - HOW THIS WORKS
If you hit someone and you have insurance, the insurance is liable for the judgment that they'd get against you if they sue you (in limited amount, but usually pretty high). Ergo, to avoid paying out huge sums from a judgment where their driver (i.e. you) is likely responsible, your insurance company likes to settle the claim to avoid litigation. Once an agreement is reached, they sign a release and waive your rights to sue in exchange for the payout.

POLICE REPORT - SMOKING GUN, OR LACK THEREOF
When someone gets into an auto-accident, the police often make out a report. The report itself does not arbitrarily decide who is at fault in Court, however, the police officer's initial determination and any criminal court's decision thereafter works as a "smoking gun" in CIVIL court, strongly influencing the evidence in the favor of the party who was not at fault.

Here, there was no police report, ergo, the matter has no such evidence - it is her word against yours.

Also, both of you have insurances. So if either of you made a claim, then the insurances would butt heads and decide who is MORE LIKELY to win if this went to court, and then the other insurance party pays out to avoid litigation.

YOUR SITUATION
If they decide after the fact to go though insurance what will I face due to the fact that I already had my repairs started?

Nothing really. The insurances will battle it out amongst themselves to decide who is likely to be more liable and then one company will decide to either pay the damages to the other, or, some other amicable solution will be decided.

What will my insurance company say to that? I might ad that she said she had just had an accident 2 weeks earlier and had not reported that either.

This happens all the time. Your insurance company will likely make your report out as though they are at fault, and may deny them the claim. Then, it would be up to them (or their insurance company) to hash out a deal.... it would be out of your hands.

I'd like to think that they are decent people. They called my today and said they errrr going to take the car for an estimate. I'm now worried about the fact that u got my car repaired without reporting it to insuance. Advice?

I strongly state that you may wish to let your insurance know of this and allow them to do what they do best. But, if it understandable from what you state that you may not wish to - raising deductible, etc.

Ergo, you may wish to contact them directly and bargain with them to make payment - but in exchange - for them to DROP any and all claims and never pursue any matter. See release below:

Release

(PARTY ONE) and (PARTY TWO) agree:

WHEREAS, certain disputes and financial transactions have occurred between the parties hereto, and, WHEREAS, they desire to amicably resolve these disputes and acknowledge the extinguishment of any and all debts, obligations, and liabilities of any kind between the parties, IT IS AGREED:

That in consideration of this agreement, the parties mutually release one another from all claims of any kind whatsoever with regards to _________________ from the beginning of time to the date of the execution of this agreement including but not limited to civil action, criminal complaint, and/or an insurance claim with either party’s auto insurance, and that this mutual release shall be valid and binding and insure for the benefit of the heirs, successors and assigns of both parties.

This release shall only become considered binding upon (1) the transfer if $___ from PARTY TWO to PARTY ONE and (2) both parties signing the agreement.

Dated: _________________


________________________________________________________________
PARTY ONE
________________________________________________________________
PARTY TWO


If they agree to this, and an amount is reached, then you can simply pay them and the whole matter would be dropped; they would be barred from ever bringing this up in any way.

I hope this helps and clarifies.

Gentle Reminder: Again, surely you prefer that I be honest in my answer – please remember that rating negatively due to receiving bad news still hurts the expert – it is simply the way that the system is set up. Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)

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