I've been in the exact same situation and got screwed trying to help the other person out. Never did get all my money back. There was always an excuse for delay in payment and such a hassle to constantly call them asking for money.
Follow what most are saying here...go through insurance!
Oh, and from what I hear Carfax will get info from insurance and from police reports so since a report was filed, Carfax will show an accident regardless if you use insurance.