Car accident without insurance No report was taken. Do we have to pay?

Last week, My niece 19 rear ended a man. Both drivers did not have insurance , He admitted it was his fault he dodged in front of her to get a a parking space. She gave him her info not realizing it lapsed .He did not give her anything and told her not to call the police it was no big deal. . No police, no report. . He calls today wanting money, He says his car is totalled and he knows her INS lapsed. This man drove away after the accident. We took her car to a Body shop. They want 11,000 to fix it. We decided to scrap her car for 1,500. Are we liable? should we pay him?

Asked on June 9, 2009 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If he admitted it was his fault, why does he think you'll pay him anything?  Had you called the police, and had he told the police the truth, there would be no way he'd get anything from you. That's probably why he didn't want your neice to call!   But I have to say that in the typical rearender, the driver in the back is found to be at fault.  He could sue your neice and lie in court, but if he has no insurance, I'm guessing he also has no money to hire a lawyer.  I would call his bluff.  Remind him that he said the accident was his fault at the scene, and tell him you have $11K in damages to your car.  I think he'll drop it when you take a tough stand.  If he still pursues it, I'm afraid it will be your neice's word against his.  I wouldn't volunteer any money until you have to.


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