If I was in a minor car collision with a co-worker last night and we didn’t report it but they now claims about $2500 in damage to their car, What would be the next step to take?

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If I was in a minor car collision with a co-worker last night and we didn’t report it but they now claims about $2500 in damage to their car, What would be the next step to take?

I had very little damage done to my trucks bumper and the other driver stated her car was “fine” at the scene. We didn’t call the police or exchange insurance information since there was little damage, so we both left the scene. Later she contacted me stating her vehicle had at least $2,500 worth of damage. I didn’t want to file a claim with insurance since there was little damage on my truck where I can buy the parts and fix myself, but now she wants to file a claim.

Asked on September 18, 2015 under Accident Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you and she can't agree on an amount which you can pay and feel is fair, you can refuse to pay. That then makes the next move hers she can then decide whether or not to sue you for the money. You cannot be forced or required to pay any money to her unless she sues you and wins. To win, she'd need to 1 prove you were at fault in the accident e.g. you were the one driving carelessly when you hit her--only an at fault driver is liable, and if you were not at fault, you would not have to pay and 2 prove the true cost of her damage, since she can't just make up numbers she needs to prove the damage you did and the actual or reasonable cost to fix it.
If she sues, you can put on your contrary evidence or testimony such as that she, not you, was at  fault to oppose her case. And if you believe that she was at fault, if she sues you, you could countersue for you own damage.


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