Livermore, CA asked in Car Accidents for California

Q: What should I do if someone agrees to settle without insurance but is now threatening to take you to court.

I got into a small fender bender and he agreed to settling without dealing with insurance, I just got new insurance because my new rate was so high due to an accident I got into in September of 2019. There was no major damage just a little indent there was no paint transfer or any damage to my vehicle. I just touched his rear bumper. We took photos and I exchanged information with him and he was gonna get an estimate for his car and get back to me. When he final got back to me he sent me an estimate from Honda and it indicate that they needed to run a test to see if the bumper needed to be replaced or just pulled out and repainted. And a note saying that the trunk had some difficulty closing but there was no way that that bump caused damage to the trunk, and then sent me bills for his medical visits. I sent him an offer of 1450 and he wants 1900. The 1450 I feel is more than fair but he is telling me he will take me to court. I told him I’m not working due to the pandemic.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more info needed.

your not working, is not an excuse, nor is the verbal representation he would settle out of court. I assume there is nothing in writing?

based on what you are saying he can go to small claims court and sue for up to $10k though the case doesn't have much value.

you would normally turn it over to your ins co on the car at the time. However, they can decline since you are supposed to turn over to them right away, and as I understand it you are no longer insured with them.

the new ins was based on your DMV record and since you didn't disclose this they quoted you a rate less than they should ....the bottom line is that if they are sincere in pursuing, you are better off paying your $2 dollars than the consequences.

however the advice might be different if there are more facts or different facts from those shared.

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your feelings about what is fair are not important, nor is your work status. You are liable for the amount of damages you caused. If his repair estimate for property damage caused in the collision, and his medical expenses for injuries caused in the collision add up to $1,900, you should agree to pay it. If you believe that the property damages is overly generous, then ask for an independent inspection or have another body shop evaluate the photos and/or the estimate for another opinion. When you get sued in Small Claims, you will need that person to come to court and testify as an expert. That will probably cost you.

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Don't give anyone any money without receiving a simultaneous signed Settlement Agreement and Release of All Claims. Otherwise, there is nothing to prevent them from coming back for more money later.

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