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Claim Reimbursement Argument

by Tara

I have a 95 toyota camry le and recently was turning left on a green turn arrow while a gentlemen across the intersection was turning right on a red arrow and ran right into me. He hit my passenger side back door and according to my estimates the damage is around $2k. I

live in WA and am debating about keeping the money from the accident instead of getting it fixed because I am planning on using this car until it dies. Is there a law against doing this?


Hi Tara,

No, there is no law against you keeping your car in WA. It depends of what path you want to follow.

However, if you have a total loss things can be a little different.

The insurance company (if the person that hit you is not paying you out of pocket) will want to inspect the car and determine the damage. Some insurance companies will tell you whether your car is a total or not in the spot, and this could change things a bit.

It really depends of who you are dealing the total loss. So I am going to give you both scenarios.

If you are dealing with your own insurance company, they will probably have to let them total the car and then chose to retain the salvage. This means that they will give you the value of your car mines what the vehicle is worth as scraps (usually not much). The only down side here is that you have a deductible and the title will be salvage title (which may not matter since you want to keep driving the car).

If you are dealing with the other person's insurance company, then you can ask for a flat payment for the repairs. if the car is a totaled, then they will also take the title and salvage it. There would be not deductible which is better.

If the car is not a total, your insurance company can give you a check directly unless you have a loan (in which case they would name the bank in the check). The other person's insurance company will give you a check regardless whether you have a loan or not.

I am sorry for jumping all over the place. I just wanted to answer your question from all angles so you know what to expect.

Good Luck,

Follow up Question:

Thank you so much for your answer.

The person who hit me has State Farm insurance, which is the same insurance that I have. They have claimed fault and said they are more than happy to pay for all the repairs.

I will not have to pay any deductible since it was his fault. I do not have a loan or anything on the car and the car is not totaled.

What I am trying to get at is this, I would like to just pocket the money and decide down the road whether I want to fix it or not (if I do fix it, it might just be with a door from a junkyard) I am not picky since right now I'm trying to save money and plan on driving this car until it dies.

So how would I go about asking for just a check made out to ME? Thank you again and sorry for all the questions.


Hi Tara,

You can simply let them inspect the vehicle and write an estimate and ask that they give you a check. The only set back is that they will want to go by their estimate if they pay you directly, meaning you cannot go and look for a mechanic that is more expensive then the estimate they gave you to simply get more money.

This is a common situation and you are doing nothing wrong. Just explain that you rather have the money and fix it when you get around it.

I hope this helps,

Good Luck,

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