My wife backed one of our cars into the other car. Should we contact our insurance company or repair the damage ourselves?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: May 3, 2013

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Insurance Question from Clifton Park, NY

Asked on 05/03/2013

My wife backed one of our cars into the other car. Should we contact our insurance company or repair the damage ourselves? One car has minimal damage but the 2nd car, which is a 2008, has one door pushed in and a 2nd door dented.

Answer given on August 04, 2013

If your wife backed into another car, then she is responsible to repair the other car. If there was no one in the other car, you can consider paying for the repairs to the other car. However, handle this carefully – get a written estimate from the repair shop the other driver chooses. Agree to pay for the repairs and make sure they agree with this solution. If the damage is extensive, you may want to reconsider and let your insurance company handle the settlement of the claim.If the other driver was in the car at the time of the accident, you should submit the claim to your insurance company. The other party could decide at a later date that they were injured. If you try to settle the claim on your own, and they decide they were injured, your insurance company will decline to settle the injury since you would have already jeopardized their standing in the incident.

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