Have the vehicle appraised and get an estimate of the cost to repair. Pay her the fair amount. Depending on the vehicle 2,000 might not be to bad. Make sure you get everything in writing including her releasing you from a future law suit based on this accident. Also, get insurance, you never know when an accident may happen.
-Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org Mike@jslaw.org This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different jurisdictions.
You owe them the repair amount if the estimate is less than 70% of the cars "actual cash value (ACV)." If the cost to repair is more than 70% of the ACV then you owe them the ACV of the car. Sounds like the car is worth roughly $2k, and because it was leaking fluids, I'll bet it is totaled. I'd try to come up with an agreed upon price for the car and pay them that. Of course, if they don't agree they can always take you to small claims court, and a Judge can decide.
This communication is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.
If you decide to pay money to the other driver, you need to make sure that you get proof this settles all claims or you may get to pay a second time.
This answer does not create a attorney client relationship and cannot be relied upon as a legal opinion as there are too many unknown facts to this matter to render an opinion at this time. Campbell & Grooms, PLLC http://www.campbellgrooms.com
I also suggest that you have an appraisal and pay a fair settlement, but I also believe it would be worth you consulting an attorney to draft a comprehensive settlement agreement. you need to be certain all the bases are covered.
In the United States, automotive insurance covering liability for injuries and property damage is compulsory in most states, but different states enforce the insurance requirement differently. In Virginia, where insurance is not compulsory, residents must pay the state a $500 annual fee per vehicle if they choose not to buy liability insurance. Penalties for not purchasing insurance vary by state, but often include a substantial fine, license and/or registration suspension or revocation, and possible jail time. Usually, the minimum required by law is third party insurance to protect third parties against the financial consequences of loss, damage or injury caused by a vehicle.
California and New Jersey have enacted "Personal Responsibility Acts" which put further pressure on all drivers to carry liability insurance by preventing uninsured drivers from recovering non economic damages (e.g. compensation for "pain and suffering") if they are injured in any way while operating a motor vehicle.
Some states, such as North Carolina, require that a driver hold liability insurance before a license can be issued.
Some states require that proof of insurance be carried in the car at all times, while others do not. For example, North Carolina does not specify that proof of insurance must be carried in the vehicle; it does, however, require that a driver have that information to trade with another driver in the event of an accident.
Arizona Department of Transportation Research Project Manager John Semmens has recommended that car insurers issue license plates and be held responsible for the full cost of injuries and property damage caused by their licensees under the Disneyland model. Plates would expire at the end of the insurance coverage period, and licensees would need to return their plates to their insurance office to receive a refund on their premiums. Vehicles driving without insurance would thus be easy to spot because they would not have license plates, or the plates would be past the marked expiration date.
 The compulsory insurance debate
 A brief history of car insurance
With the invention of the automobile in the late 19th century came the inevitable side effect of automobile accidents. As automotive accidents increased in frequency, it became clear that, unlike other torts, which relied on personal responsibility, there was a possibility that automobiles would need to be governed by laws because "[t]here was no way of assuring that even though fault was assessed the victim of an automobile accident would be able to collect from the tortfeasor."
This led Massachusetts and Connecticut to create the first financial responsibility and compulsory insurance laws. Connecticut's 1925 financial responsibility law required any vehicle owner involved in an accident with damages over $100 to prove "financial responsibility to satisfy any claim for damages, by reason of personal injury, to, or death of, any person, of at least $10,000." This early financial responsibility requirement only required vehicle owners to prove financial responsibility after their first accident. Massachusetts also introduced a law to address the problem of accidents, but theirs was a compulsory insurance, not financial responsibility law. It required automotive liability insurance as a prerequisite to vehicle registration.
Until 1956, when the New York legislature passed their compulsory insurance law, Massachusetts was the only state in the U.S. that required drivers to get insurance before registration. North Carolina followed suit in 1957 and then in the 1960s and 1970s numerous other states passed similar compulsory insurance laws. Since the genesis of automotive insurance schemes in 1925 nearly every state has adopted a compulsory insurance scheme.
 Arguments in favor of compulsory auto insurance
Advocates of compulsory auto insurance rely on th
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