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I am the defendant in a case where I cycled my bike into an oncoming car. The claimant is asking me to pay him an estimate of the costs he required to fix the car (carried out by an expert witness-a consultant motor engineer). Why can't I just pay the actual amount the repairs came to as evidenced by receipts etc. How do I go about challenging this?

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You are under no legal obligation to pay undetermined costs for repair, even if you accept liability for the accident. You have to pay for the repair, but you will pay once there is a quote for the repair / when the repairs are carried out.

What usually happens (if this case goes to court) is that the claimant, (or more likely, his insurers), would sue you (and your insurers would then defend this action), for the damage you caused. Although they can sue you before they have actually repaired the vehicle, a judge will generally award this kind of damages (called special damages) once the amount has been finalized.

What this means is: you can choose to wait until an invoice for the repairs has been sent, and you then pay the invoice.

There are other considerations as well, such as you only needing to pay the reasonable costs of repair (the repairs have to be at a fair market price, etc.). Because of this it is always best to contact a solicitor.

  • Can I just wait for an invoice of the repairs to be sent or do I have to make an application to the court informing the judge that I am happy to pay actual rather than estimated costs? – lemony9201 Aug 5 '19 at 19:25
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    Just tell the claimant that you are willing to pay after they get charged for repairs. If they agree then your dispute is settled and you then make an application to stay proceedings. If the claimant still wants you to pay whatever estimated costs they ask for (and if you think those estimates are unreasonable), then you may have to stick it out till trial, where the judge will decide the extent of damages you will have to pay. How much is the claimant asking for? – Shazamo Morebucks Aug 6 '19 at 8:17

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