I live in TN. Less than 48 hours ago I was involved in an auto accident. I am not at fault. I was at an intersection waiting for the light to turn green when my car was hit from behind. The other driver quickly got out of her car and and apologized and begged me not to call the police or to contact her insurance. I felt sorry for her and almost agreed not to until she told me she was only 17 and that she had been in 3 similar accidents that were all her fault. I was shocked and felt that this person does not belong behind the wheel of a car. I was also concerned because I was the only occupant in my car and I had no witness, she had three, all young girls. I felt that if a report wasn't made then that she could tell any story she wanted and even deny the accident occured all together.
We moved our vehicles from the road and I called the police from a pay phone. When the police officer arrived the young lady was crying and explained to him about her prior accidents and that one more point on her record would result in her license being suspended. The officer then listened to our accounts of the accident and then urged me not to file a report and stated that the damage to my car was minimal. The young lady admitted her fault. I insisted and he reluctanly took the report. The damage to my car was apparent to me, but it was dark and the officer didn't believe there was any damage. He did not even give the other driver a citation because in his words the damage was minimal. Well, the next morning in the daylight the damage was clear and I even noticed more damage. I took my car to the dealer and got an estimate for repairs. This minimal damage will cost over $1700 to repair. I'm outraged that this young irresponsible driver was not given a citation. It is also clear to me that she doesn't belong on the road.
Her insurance company contacted me today and asked to come by and see the car. We arranged a time for them to come to my home and they inspected the car. Without question they began taking pictures inside and out. Then they gave me an estimate for repairs which totaled $350 and asked when I would like the car repaired and that there were two locations I could chose from. I then explained about the estimate I had received from the dealer. They insulted me, asking why I chose the dealer to fix my car and then told me they would not pay anymore than the amount in their estimate. They told me it didn't matter how many estimates I got, they would not pay anymore. They also commented on the age of my car. Yes, it is an older model, but it is no piece of junk. It is exactly the year and model of car I want to drive. It is an 87 Cadilac Fleetwood Brougham in perfect condition and worth far more than the $1700 estimate I recieved. They agreed to contact the dealer and try and get the dealers estimate lower, but I would have to pay the difference if I chose to have it fixed there. Can they do this? I am not at fault. Why am I being treated like I shouldn't have even been on the road that night. What are my rights? Can I insist on having the repairs made by the qualified dealer or do I have to accept their estimate and have my car fixed at their butcher shop. Also, I have neck pain and back pain that has kept me up for the second night and I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. What should I do. I think they will force me to settle and I will be left with a busted car and medical bills and it will be no fault of my own?