Can I sue for hit and run on private property?

I was at my parents’ house, just arrived, parked my car, was still in it and my sister back into me on purpose. I will need to replace my bumper. She is on my parents insurance, so if I file a claim, it will make their insurance go up. She has told e she will not pay for the damage. What can I do?

Asked on July 7, 2016 under Accident Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Although you can file a property damage claim with your parents' insurance company, the insurance company will deny the claim if it learns that your sister intentionally hit your car because auto insurance claims are based on negligence; not intentional acts.
Since your sister intentionally hit your car, you can sue her for trespass to chattel which is the intentional taking or damaging of the personal property of another.  After you obtain a court judgment against her, you can enforce the judgment with a wage garnishment.  She will also be liable for your court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.
You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.


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