Do you think I can win in civil court if I have an estimated $6,500 worth of damage to my car?

I don’t have car insurance. Was hit by someone who does. The accident is her fault. It was raining hard and there were puddles on the highway. She lost control right as she was coming up on my left. I figure she hit a puddle because she says WE splashed her and then she lost control. Her car then struck my car twice. I left the scene with her name, phone number and address. She didn’t want to give me her insurance because it was not her car and i agreed to avoid insurance companies because she promised me a body shop where her cousin works. She is giving me the runaround. I want to go after her.

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The other driver is liable for the accident.  I woiuld not get involved with going to her cousin's repair shop to avoid filing a claim with her insurance company.  Since the other driver caused the accident, the fact that you did not have insurance will not affect your claim.

If there was a police report, the police report should provide the insurance information for the other driver.  If there wasn't any police report and you are unable to obtain the other driver's insurance information due to her not providing it, file a lawsuit against her for negligence since she was at fault in the accident.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your car.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages which means having the car repaired at a place whose charges are comparable to other repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  Your damages could also include the cost of a rental car while your car is in the repair shop.  Again, to mitigate damages, you would not be able to select the most expensive rental car you can find or your damages will be reduced accordingly. Your damages should also include court costs.  Court costs include the court filing fee and process server fee.  Although it is not possible to predict the outcome of a particular case, you have a strong probability of prevailing in the lawsuit because the other driver was at fault and is liable for the damage to your car.


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