what steps do i need to take if they intend to take it to court?

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what steps do i need to take if they intend to take it to court?

I’m a car detailer and I recently detailed a customers car and her driver side window had a chip and crack in it. when I got done detailing it I showed her the chip and crack, but it wasn’t till that afternoon that she messaged me saying that it was me that cracked her window because she claims it wasn’t like that before. so she wants me to pay for it and I’m not paying for something I didn’t do. what should I do? since I have no proof that I didn’t do it?

Asked on September 13, 2016 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If she does not sue you, you don't have to do anything: only if she sues and wins can you be forced to pay. If she does sue you, you can decide whether to pay, to avoid having to spend a day (or more) in court or whether to fight. Bear in mind that to win, she has to prove her case--the burden of proof is on her--but only by a "preponderance of the evidence," or that it is more likely than not. You may have no evidence you did not do it, but she likely has no hard evidence that you did--in practice, it will come down, in a lawsuit, to her testimony (and that of any family members of hers who are familiar with the car) that the chip did not exist until you worked on it, vs. your testimony (and that of any coworkers or employees) that the window cam in pre-chipped and that you did not do it. Essentially, it will come down to who the court believes more, with you having a very *slight* advantage since the burden of proof is on her: she needs to be more believable, even fractionally, than you, and if the two of you are exactly equally credible to the judge, you win.


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