Who is responsible to pay for the repairs?
This will depend on who was at-fault for the accident. If you were at fault, then you are responsible to pay for the damage to all cars that were damaged by you. If you were at fault, you have two options: You can pay for the cost of repairs or you can have your insurance company pay for the repairs. If the repairs are relatively minor, you may be better off paying directly for the repairs. Making an insurance claim will cause your insurance rates to increase when you re-new your annual insurance policy. Either way, you should still report the accident to your insurance company, even if you are not making a claim.
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How do I get the Money?
If you have comprehensive collision coverage, then your insurance company will arrange for a an appraisal of the damage and will tell you where to take the car for repairs. If the insurance company is paying, you may not have the right to decide where your car is repaired.
If you don’t have comprehensive collision coverage, then your money will come form one of these sources — you, the other driver or the other driver’s insurance company. Before you make any repairs, it is essential that you allow the opportunity for the other driver’s insurance company to have their representative view your car. Once that is done, you can wait for the insurance company to get back to you with a cheque for the cost of repairs. Sometimes they will only pay it directly to the garage that does the repairs, in any event, you have the right to choose where the repairs are completed.
It is not uncommon for there to be disagreement between you and the other driver’s insurance company over the appropriate cost of the repairs and/or what needs to be repaired. If that happens then your best bet is to pay for the repairs yourself (after allowing the insurance company to do an appraisal) and then consider taking the insurance company to small claims court. If you can’t afford the repairs, and can’t agree with the insurance company, you should consult a lawyer and go to small claims court. You do not need a lawyer to go to small claims court, but you should get legal advice before going. If you also will make claims for personal injuries, then you may not want to go to small claims court, as the finding of who was at-fault can have a negative result for your injury claim.