is this verbal contract binding?

Over a year and a half ago, a friend and I got into a minor fender bender outside a friend’s house. I offered to give her my insurance and call my parents to see what we could arrange to pay for it. She told me not to worry about it. No insurance, no police report, nothing. She went home, showed her parents the car and they agreed to fix the dent. She then told me not to worry about it and that her parents were taking care of it. Now, almost 2 years later, she calls me saying that I owe her 2 grand for the damages I caused to her car. She claims she wants to have it detailed and she can’t because I damaged the headlight, and the repairs will cost $2,000. To my knowledge the damage I caused on her car was strictly on the hood. Though there’s no way of knowing for sure because there’s no pictures or even a police report. there’s no photos of what happened and no record that it even happened. Can she file this late? And is the verbal contract binding?

Asked on June 1, 2017 under Accident Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There was no oral (that's the better term) than verbal contract: you did not give her anything (any "consideration") for her promise to not seek money from you, and when there is no consideration, there is no contract, just a "gratuitious" (freely given) promise--and gratuitous promises are not legally binding or enforceable. 
In your state, the statute of limitations, or time to file a lawsuit, for property (e.g. car) damage is 2 years, so based on what you write, she is still in time to sue you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.