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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
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Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
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I hit a car while backing out. this happened in the morning,

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I hit a car while backing out. this happened in the morning, she had to go to work. Around 6pm she called the cops. The police officer did not write a report. We made a verbal agreement in looking for 3 auto body shops each. The same week we went to a shop I chose. Now she changed her mind and she wants to take her car to a shop that will cost me over 3,000 dollars. Her car is a 2003 jetta. She is not answering my text messages. I'm not sure what to do now.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation.

What is the difference in estimate between the shops?

Do you have insurance coverage on your vehicle?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It's more of a scratched from the passenger door all the way through the rear bumper. The difference is that the two shops I've gone are friends of people I know and they are giving me a discount. one charges me 400 and the other one 350. Yes I do have insurance but because I was driving a rental car that is not under my name. My insurance will not cover. I have called them already. The other person told me it didn't matter where I take her car as long as I fix it. But she changed her mind. I don't know if this matters but I was backing out my apartment parking lot to the street. My car was between the parking lot and street when I hit her.

Dear Lali,

Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, the owner of the car that was damaged does have the right to choose a shop which would repair any damages that you have caused.

So basically, if the owner of the damaged vehicle does not want to use the shop that you have suggested and does not want to negotiate the resolution / settlement any further, then there would be just two choices, either for you to pay for the cost of repairs in the shop that was chosen by the owner of the car or if you refuse to pay for the costs that the shop has claimed, then the owner of the damaged car can report this accident to the police and you could be issued an uninsured citation, as well as, she will be able to file a lawsuit against you personally to revover the cost of repairs.

I wish you the best of luck and please let me know if you have any related follow up questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Even if we had a verbal agreement in choosing the least expensive shop? I looked on the blue book and her car costs less than what the repairs are. If she does file a lawsuit. What can I do for my defense?

Thank you for your follow up.

Generally, verbal agreements do not hold well in court when they related to damages resulting from a car accident.

Have you taken photos of the damaged car and did you obtain any written estimates showing lower cost of repairs?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have taken pictures but unfortunately the shops I've gone need to see the car to give any estimate. I've text her about it but she's not responding

Why is your personal car insurance refusing to cover this rental car? Generally they should be covering it.

Also, did you check with the credit card which you used to pay for this rental to see if there is some type of liability insurance that is offered by the credit card when you use it to rent a car?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the rental car was under my sister's name only. I was only going to move the car from parking lot to street park.

Well, are you willing to risk getting cited for driving without insurance?

Unfortunately, if you do not settle this situation with the person whose car you have damaged, it is likely that she will report it to the police and police will cite you for driving uninsured vehicle involved in an accident and this type of citation will cause for your driver license to be suspended for a minimum of 1 year to maximum of 4 years, not to mention the fines, court costs and increased insurance costs.

So, basically this is a situation where generally it would be very wise to settle the claim and not let it go to being reported and legally pursues, as risks and costs by far would outweigh $3,000 that this person is demanding.

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The car did had insurance but under my sister's name. I have my own car insurance.

The issue would be whether there was insurance coverage that would cover you as the driver and that is the potential possibility for being citied for driving without proper insurance.
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