If I get a scratch on a car door and I am compensated, do I have to repair or can I just keep the money and live with the dent or scratch?

(This may be a similar question but I am unsure so I made this one a separate question.)

1 Answer 1


The question's "I am paid for repairs" may be misleading: I seem to recall that you're paid for the difference between the market value of the car before it was damaged and its value damaged: that the payment has nothing to do with repairs. (This differs from assault on a person, where one pays for the difference in value (as above, nezek), repairs (ripuy), lost wages (sheves), and pain and suffering (boshes and tzaar).) Therefore, I can't see why the owner would need to repair his car. But I have no source.

  • 2
    correct; the absolute requirement is "car's value before" minus "car's value afterwards"; however the Shach writes that within reason, you should pay for reasonable repairs. Regardless, property is property, and you're free to do with the money as you like.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 14:10

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