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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Some questions pertaining to an incident I was involved in.

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Some questions pertaining to an incident I was involved in. In getting out of the pasenger door of my friends car (which she had parked), I banged the door into a pole. I felt really bad, and told & then texted her that I would cover the costs. Three months later she sent me the estimate which at $800 was more than I expected (or can afford). I have offered $400 to cover 80% of her deductable to go through her insurance. She refused. She does not want to go through her insurance & wants me to cover it all. Do I have to pay the whole thing because it was me getting out of the car? or does my text constitute a contact (I didn't know how much it would be at the time though)? I want to do the right/legal thing.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that this situation took place.

While the text does not exactly constitute a contract (you are not getting anything out of it), it can be admissible in court as a "statement against interest" as you admitted to causing the damage and subsequently are liable for the vehicle loss. Since you admitted fault, you have to set the person to the same place as if the damage did not take place, meaning that if the estimate is larger than you expected, you still remain liable. However you can offer to get additional estimates and take the person to other shops where you may get cheaper labor.

hope that helps.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 7/1/2010 at 5:07 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Does the fact she did not get back to me/produce an estimate for 3 months affect the situation at all?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Not really, as she has 2 years under California law to get an estimate and try to file against you for repairs.

However you CAN try to claim that in that time period the damage got worse as it was not repaired right away, and you are no longer responsible for the additional damage, if any, to the vehicle.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 7/1/2010 at 5:12 AM EST
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