Need to get neighbor to pay for damage to my car.

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Need to get neighbor to pay for damage to my car.

My neighbor backed into my car last month. She admitted it right away and told us she would work with me however I wanted to deal with it through insurance or not. She then changed her tune and said she would need to pay directly because she had too much on her insurance right now 4 cars plus a current accident and asked me to use her body shop, I told her I would not use her shop because my car is only 1year old and I wanted to bring it to Ford so my work would be guaranteed. She balked at that but eventually agreed because she could not go through insurance. I gave her the number to the service guy at ford so she could deal with him directly. I wanted her to be comfortable knowing she was getting the cost of repairs directly from the shop. She wasn’t happy with the cost of repairs but I drive a fairly expensive car so parts are not cheap. The car is finally ready and I texted her to let her know so she could get the check ready and she is now looking like she’s going to back out. I can’t get her to answer her door or the phone so I can only leave messages. What recourse do I have if she won’t pay?

Asked on August 25, 2017 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your neighbor for negligence since she was at fault in the accident. 
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the property damage (cost of repairs) to your car. 
After obtaining a court judgment against her, you can enforce the judgment with a wage garnishment.  You can also recover court costs upon prevailing in the case.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.
Depending on the amount of your damages, you might be able to file your lawsuit in small claims court.


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