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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