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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 91126
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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my neice was in a wreck on 11/23/2010, she was at a red light

Customer Question

my neice was in a wreck on 11/23/2010, she was at a red light the car in front of her pulled off and then stopped she ran into the back of the vehicle in front of her. She didn't have any insurance and now Alfa insurance is sueing her to pay the damages to the other car. They are suing for$5887.26. The vehicle she hit went to the body shop on 12/6/2010 and was picked up on 12/17/2010. We were given the Estimate Print from Alfa which has Estimate Date of 12/21/2010 which is 4 days after the car was repaired and picked up. I think that this means that the car was repaired 4 days before the estimate was done. If this is true does my neice have to pay for the damages?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, your neice was indeed at fault in the accident since she is liable to be paying full attention to these matters and as such she should have observed the light. The reason I say that is because this means she is liable for all damages she caused. You are entitled to proof of the damages, but the date on the estimate you received does not indicate when the work was done. She has a right to verify the work was done and she can contact the body shop directly to verify that. Either way, however, she is liable for paying for the damages but she WOULD NOT go to jail for not paying and the attorney had no right to tell her that. What would happen is they would file their judgment with the DMV and her license would be suspended and also she could be fined for not having insurance at the time of the accident. She does have a personal exemption if the attorney seeks to garnish or seize her property, but this does not mean they cannot garnish her wages if she is employed. At this point, the best bet for her is to work out some repayment plan with the other party.


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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

as i told you in the first email the vehicle was taken to the shop on 12/6/2010/and was repaired and picked up on 12/17/2010/ the estimate is dated 12/17/2010. how could the repair shop do the work before getting the estimate?The work was done 4 days before the estimate was done, how did the shop know what to repair?

Also the repair shop took the $500.00 deductible off of thier bill, but the lawyer says that the plaintif paid the bill. I say if she owes anyone for the $500.00 deductible it would be the repair shop thet paid the $500.00 and not the insurance company.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
The date on the estimate, which you said actually was 12/21/2010, is not as relevant to this matter as you would hope it to be. If the insurance company can demonstrate that the amount on that estimate is accurate as to what was paid, then the date on the estimate does not matter. As far as the deductible, you are partially right, your daughter would owe that to the driver of the vehicle who paid the deductible if they paid it. However, if there is no proof the deductible was paid, then you would not owe the $500 and have grounds to demand proof and not pay it if proof is not provided. You have a right to demand and seek out proof on your own, but with that proof she is liable.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
what if they cannot prove that the estimate is accurate. I have pictures of the vehicle that was wrecked and a lot of what they repaired shows no damage also they charged 12 hours painting time and all that they had to paint was the lift gate (rear door). The lift gate measures no more than 4 X5 feet.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
If they cannot prove the estimate is correct and cannot provide you proof of payment then you can let them sue her in court where they would have to prove to the court exactly what they paid, which would be what she is liable to repay. Send them a letter and demand proof that the work was done and specifically state your concerns and demand proof in the form of proof of payment to the body shop and tell them that until they provide actual accurate proof your neice denies owing anything.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

already done that. When I joined the unlimited Just answer plan I was told that the first 30 days was free. I loined on 1/24/2012.

 

Will I owe for this session?

 

 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
If you are a subscription member, than all accepts during the 30 days are included in the subscription plan price.

If you have already done the written demand, then call the attorney back again and tell him you are waiting on his proof and are not refusing to pay, but you are entitled to proof which he has yet to provide and hold your ground with him.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 91126
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
Law Educator, Esq. and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
why not wait until the court date and ask him in court where he does not have time to prepare an asnwer for why it took 12 hours to paint the lift gate, why does the picture show that the taillight that they replaced was not broken, why did they replace the window in the liftgate, picture shows it was not broken ect,ect, ect.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
You need to ask for this information in discovery before the court date. Trials are not conducted by ambush, so you should have all of this information before any such trial takes place.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

in my reply to the insurance company I told them that my neice denies any and all alligations set foth in the complant that they sent and that she demanded strict proof of the alligations.The complant said she owed for the repairs, the deductible and the rental car. They had her car for 11 days and rented a car for 16 days.

 

Why can't she wait until the court date to ask him these questions, She told him that she demanded strict proof.

 

Also she tried to work out some kind of payment plan with the insurance lawyer and he said pay it all or loose your house(she is renting)

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
If they have filed suit you need to file an answer in the court as well denying the allegations in a letter to the insurance company. Sending the insurance company a "Request for production of Documents" is the proper legal procedural way to do this not just saying in a general denial letter to the insurance company that she "demands strict proof of the allegations." I am just giving you the proper legal process as to how these cases are conducted.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

have filed with the court and have asked the lawer for proof of his claim he sent the estimate,& where the car rental was paid, the summons and a copy of the complaint that he filed with the court.

I know that what you are telling me is the correct way to do things but repairing something that wasen't damaged in the wreck and then asking my neice to pay for it is not right either. I want to blindside him. Will the Judge let my neice ask these questions even though she hasn't done the discovery.

 

If I give him everything that she can claim is wrong then he will have time to come up with some kind of an answer.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Again, and this is a quote by various courts, "litigation is not conducted by ambush." However, that being said, you said you asked for proof and all he provided was this estimate and where the car rental was paid, so now when you get to court and question the proof, you would have to the rely on that as your request for discovery and she will have to argue that 1) since the only thing they provided in response to her demand for proof was the estimate and car rental information, that the plaintiff should be stopped from introducing anything else into evidence and 2) because this evidence is insufficient to prove they paid this claim and the exact amount of the payment, they have not met their burden of proof. If you want to question anything on that estimate, then you would have to question the body shop if the plaintiff calls them as a witness. If the plaintiff does not call the body shop, you should not because the testimony from the body shop could end up proving their claim and you do not want to do that for them. What you MUST do, if she plans on doing this without an attorney, to make sure she knows the proper legal procedure to introduce evidence and question witnesses is that you MUST make sure she is familiar with the Code of Civil Procedure and Code of Evidence because the court will not consider anything that is not submitted following those rules no matter how good of proof it is in her defense.

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