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Recent Accident Question

Evil Empire

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Hi all,

The other day an old lady smashed into the back of my car while I was stationery at the stop lights. Accidently took her foot of the brake apparently. Luckily my tow bar took most the impact but as her number plate crumbled around my tow bar, the edges of her plate dug into both sides of my bumper and caused two deep chip/scratches. On first inspection I didn't think it was much but later found that the bumper will need a complete respray at the very least. Haven't had it professionally inspected yet, but may be worse as the number plate looks to have cut in pretty deep.

I told the old lady that if it wasn't too bad I could get a cash quote to save her added expenses going through her insurance. My brother-inlaw is a well respected crash repairer, and without looking at it he reckons a full bumper respray would be around the $400-$450 mark. I spoke to the old ladies husband and he said while he isn't disputing his wife's at fault, he wants a painter mate of his to inspect the damage and quote the repairs to see if he can get it done cheaper.

I told him I have no issue with taking the car to him and his if he wants to see the damage but I don't really want anyone other than my brother-inlaw to fix my car, as I know I can trust him and he'll do a top job.

My question is, what are my rights in this situation regarding being able to choose my preferred repairer? Do I only have this option if it is done through the other parties insurance?

I'm not trying to extort extra money out of them cause that's not my style, so the cost of repairs will be the cost of repairs plain and simple. I initially offered an agreed settlement outside of their insurance as a courtesy to maybe save them some money, but if her husband demands to use his own repairer am I better off just getting them to put it through the insurance so I can use my choice of repairer?

I haven't had an accident in over 10 years so not sure how it all works. Any help would be great, thanks.
 

VRSenator065

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Its not really about your "rights" as you are choosing to go outside your insurance company, i.e. negotiate with the people direct, so its just a straight out agreement. My advice, just go to your insurer, get it fixed, pay the excess, and let the insurance company sort the dollars out, I always go through the insurer, its just too much hassle otherwise, everyone is all sweet and dandy until the money starts to get involved, what if when they pull the bumper they find more to fix, what then, you will looking at a grand pretty quickly.
 

Evil Empire

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Thanks mate.

I shouldn't have to pay the excess if I'm not at fault though, right?
 

monkeys437

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Give them two options. Either pay the cost for your brother in law to fix it, or sort it out through their insurance. You're being more than fair in giving them a cash option to save them money, there's no reason why you should be using their repairer instead of yours
 

_R_J_K_

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Your way or the highway. Tell him if he's not happy to pay that you'll take it to the insurer/police. Also mention the accident gets attached to her driving record (may increase premiums etc...) if he's unhappy with it. As above, you shouldn't have to use his insurer and have no obligation to go down that route.
 

Not_An_Abba_Fan

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It depends on who claims. In a perfect world, she will claim your damage through her insurance and they get it fixed and you are not out of pocket at all, and you don't have a claim against you on your insurance. If you claim through your insurance, then you pay the excess, or have an agreement that she pays it, but then it may affect your no claim bonus.
 

Pollushon

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Almost identical thing happened to me, I wouldn't proceed any other way than insurance, it's official, formal and legal, you're protected. I got all her details, filed a police report, called her insurer (CGU) and asked when they would fix it. Short story is it's just on a month since it happened and it's getting sorted next week.

I just emailed my insurance with an FYI and the details (AAMI), they said if I'm happy with the outcome they won't get involved aside a report.
 

Calaber

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Another point to remember is that you can only see the external damage. Modern "bumpers" are only plastic facias and the real impact absorption takes place behind the facia. Whilst the damage might not look bad at present, you might find that there is hidden damage once the facia is removed.

As you are the innocent party, you have the right to call it whichever way you want. He may have a mate who might quote a lower price, but you can tell him that you want your choice of repairer. That is your legal right and he can bark at the moon if he doesn't like it. If you went through insurance, he wouldn't be able to have his mate quote, so why should it be any different now?
 

Calaber

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It depends on who claims. In a perfect world, she will claim your damage through her insurance and they get it fixed and you are not out of pocket at all, and you don't have a claim against you on your insurance. If you claim through your insurance, then you pay the excess, or have an agreement that she pays it, but then it may affect your no claim bonus.
If you have comprehensive insurance, and can nominate the "at fault" driver, they repair your car and chase her or her company for the payment. Your insurance isn't affected at all and you have no "at fault" record as a consequence.
 

Evil Empire

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Thanks for all the great advice.

I do have full comprehensive insurance including unlimited car hire so I'll give them a buzz and ask a few questions I reckon.
 
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