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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 month ago

When to make a settlement offer?

I attempted what should have been a simple repair job in my apartment but messed up badly and it caused a leak down into a student’s apartment below. It caused quite a lot of damage to equipment she owned, mainly a macbook and other electronic gear. It was something that should have been done by the apartment’s maintenance so I shouldn’t have even attempted it so my insurance denied my claim.

 It turns out the student below didn’t have any renters insurance so as my insurance denied the claim she is now suing me through the small claims court. As I know I’m at fault and she has provided proof of the current value of the damaged items, I’m looking to offer a settlement. I haven’t previously been involved in any kind of civil procedures so I’m not knowledgeable on judgements and settlements. Will it be best to make a settlement offer while she is suing me or is it best to do this at a court hearing?

8 Answers

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  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    She is legally entitled to the value of the property on the date it was damaged.  That may not be replacement value, and it DEFINITELY isn't original value.  I see NO way around your liability issue, and I truly admire you for admitting so.  I see too many people who blame anyone and everyone and don't take responsibility for their actions.  Do you have a "feel" for how she feels?  Does she want "revenge," does she want a quick settlement, how hostile is she?  In general settlement offers come in at about 80%.  That gives you room to negotiate, it gives her room to negotiate, and it's not a insulting offer.  People end up in Court because they counter with ridiculously small and insulting offers, people get offended, game on!  And, again, you have my ultimate respect!

  • 1 month ago

    Even if the student had insurance, YOU would be liable. You SHOULD have offered to settle the day you received the evidence of the amount of damages. In fact, waiting until she actually filed the lawsuit has ALREADY cost you the filing fee.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    She has provided the current value of the items damaged or the replacement values?  There is a big difference.  If she has offered the replacement value, I suggest taking a look at the damaged items to see if they can be repaired or look up the value of what the used item are sold for (used) today.  If you have no defense it is best to make a settlement offer, just don't over offer.  The goal is to not go to court and also have to pay for her filing fees.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If I was in this situation, I would do whatever possible to avoid a court hearing.   Make an offer and proceed from there.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Don’t settle.  Go to court then sue the Apartment complex for monies owed.  Get everything documented, phone calls, emails, request for repair.  Did your Landlord know of the problem and failed to fix?  Did your neighbor notify you of any problem?  Where do you live?  The landlord or neighbors negligence could alleviate your liability.  Also, don’t admit anything “I know it was my fault” “I messed up, ect”.  I would never give a blanket settlement for something my Landlord should be responsible for.  Not unless my hands are tied and you are far from it. Plenty of Attorneys like myself will be happy to help.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It would be best to offer a settlement before the hearing. Think about it. If you make an offer she can do one of three things 1) she can accept your offer 2) make a counter offer or 3) refuse and go to court. If she does one of the first two it will cost you less then the total amount. If she takes you to court nothing has changed with the exception that you can tell the court you made an offer of a settlement, which indicates you are trying to come to an agreement, which can't hurt.

  • 1 month ago

    Make an offer now.  If she takes it then you don't have to go to court.

    She gets the used price, not the price it cost new.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    write a check and knock on her door right now . offer the settlement . the worse that could happen is she says no . then you got to up the offer . 

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