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One, the other driver is clearly liable for your son's damages. Even if your son's car was illegally parked and unoccupied, he'd still be liable.

Two, attempting to handle auto claims out-of-pocket when insurance is available is a big mistake. Insurance companies have the "muscle" to work with shops to make sure repairs are done correctly and correspond with the actual damages. Also, when a vehicle goes in for repairs and is torn down, supplemental damages are often found. People who pay out-of-pocket for damages often don't want to pay those supplements.

Three, the at-fault driver cannot "require" you to use the body shop he picks. That is a decision you get to make as the vehicle owner.

If you know the at-fault party's insurance carrier, contact them right away. You can find their number in the phone book or on the web. The carrier will set up a claim even if it wasn't called in by their insured.

Just so you know, "no-fault" refers to the medical coverage that is required on automobile insurance policies by state statute. It has nothing to do with legal liability as far as physical damage to a vehicle goes. If someone backs into your parked car, he's at-fault, period. He owes you for your damages.

If the at-fault driver won't give you his insurance information, you could: 1. Get help from a willing police officer, who can approach the other driver and get the info; or, 2. File in small claims. Most people, when presented with a summons, scurry very quickly to contact their insurance carrier.

And, too, court may be your only recourse if the at-fault driver doesn't carry insurance and continues to stall.

Regarding the claim by the answerer that no-fault only applies to injuries and not to property, the author is mostly correct. However, in the State of Michigan property damages are also "no-fault" and handled as such.

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Q: What rights do you have if you didn't report an accident to the insurance company right away?
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