What can I do if I bumped the back of a car with my vehicle and the driver and I agreed on $1000 and she agreed to meet me to take the money but now she wants $2000 instead?

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What can I do if I bumped the back of a car with my vehicle and the driver and I agreed on $1000 and she agreed to meet me to take the money but now she wants $2000 instead?

If we go to small claims will I have to pay her the $2000 or possibly more?

Asked on September 15, 2015 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You'd only have to pay if 1 she sues you 2 she proves in court that you were at fault in damaging her car--which, however, is likely if you bumped the back of her car the law generally presumes that the rear driver in a collission like this is at fault, since you should have maintained a safe following distance and stopped in time and 3 she can prove the amount or extent of the damage. In regards to 3, she can't simply get whatever amount she wants, but can only recover the amount of damages she can prove i.e. to recover $2,000, she'd have to prove $2,000 in damage, or a cost of $2,000 to repair her car. If you believe that she can likely do this e.g. that you did $2,000 of damage, then yes, you will likely have to pay $2,000 if you do to small claims court.


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