My car was totaled by a driver without insurance, how do I ensure they pay the bill?
- Wednesday, 27 May 2015 13:59
You could be involved in an accident at any time with someone who is not properly insured. You may attempt to get insurance information from the other driver, but they will have nothing to give. The driver could pull away from the scene before the authorities arrive, or they may claim to have insurance that is not valid. You have legal options in a case like this, but you must go through the proper channels first.
#1: Contact Your Attorney
Your attorney is bound ethically to research your case before taking the other driver to court. It is possible the other driver was cited for driving without insurance. Their court appearance may include a discussion about restitution to you for the accident. A court-ordered repayment of damages for your car will cover what their insurance did not cover. You should not proceed with a lawsuit if you are receiving payments through a court order.
#2: Small Claims Court
Your attorney will take your matter to small claims court for a settlement. Your brief will be filed with the court clerk, and the other driver must respond to your claim. You may settle out of court, or your attorney may choose to take the case before a judge. Many small claims court cases can be wrapped up in a day, and your attorney will receive a court order for repayment of damages.
#3: Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company has legal options of its own. It is conceivable that your insurance company could sue the other driver for repayment of damages that should not have been covered by your policy. Your attorney should contact your insurance company to coordinate, and you may not need a lawyer of your own in such a case.
Every auto accident is hard to deal with, but accidents where the other driver has no insurance can be problematic. Consider all your legal options before taking action, and ask your attorney how to proceed. You may not need to do much to receive payment, but you must do something to avoid paying for damages out of your own pocket.