I hit my neighbors parked car and gave her my insurance info. Since I did not want to have it on my driving record, I told her that I would consider paying the damages since it was an old car . Afterwards, I was notified that my insurance had lapsed (we had just moved and things were hectic and I thought we still had insurance) and that it woudn't be covered which is fine since I had agreed to pay for the damages.
However, the neighbor comes back with a repair cost on of $3700. Blue book value on the car in excellent condition is 1700 to fair at 1000. She insists she wants it fixed otherwise she will take us to small claims. Can she do this to recover damages in excess of what the car is actually worth by almost 3x's? This seems like extortion. As soon as I found out the insurance had lapsed, we went in the next day to renew. I am admitting to it being my fault but just don't think it is right for her to gouge us. Why repair a vehicle for 3700 if it is only worth 1500 at best? Even insurance companies will just total her car and give her ACV. She even has the option of filing an uninsured motorist claim with her insurance but she doesn't want to...Im assuming because she knows they would just total the car and she could extort more from us.
What are my options? Chances of a fair judgement in small claims? Is it a lost case and I should just pay her? I'm not opposed to paying her...it just seems a lil unfair that she is doing this although I am aware I should have had insurance....the principle of it....getting sued for more than what it is worth seems a lil greedy.
Any comments (however blunt) would be appreciated!