What to do if my car was hit in a hit and run and I only have collision coverage but the person who hit me has non at all?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if my car was hit in a hit and run and I only have collision coverage but the person who hit me has non at all?

I plan to take him to small claims court to get money for my car. First I need to know how much I should sue him for, my car is worth between $3200-$4300. I got two estimates on the damage for $3200-$4000. Should I just write off my car and get maybe $3700? Also, if I temporarily repair my car just so it drivable for about $300 will the courts only allow me to get $300 from this guy? Once I take this to court how long will it take for me to get my money? If this guy doesn’t have enough money for me how do I get it? How do I get him to show up to court?

Asked on May 19, 2014 under Accident Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) Sue for the cost to repair the car (full cost), if that cost is less than the then-current fair market (blue book) value of the car; if the cost to repair exceeds that, all you can get is the blue book value. (You can't get more than the current value of the property.)

2) You can also recover incidental out-of-pocket costs, like if you had to have the car towed, had to rent a car, etc., to the extent such costs have not been otherwise reimbursed.

3) If you sue him in small claims court (which is the fastest court), you can probably get a trial in a few months, and if you win, will have a judgment against him at that point.

4) If he doesn't voluntarily pay at that point, however, you'd have to take collections actions against him, such as trying to garnish wages or execute on a bank account (or put a lien on property, etc.). If it comes to that, it could take many months to collect--and will cost you additional money to do. Those collections actions are not easy--you'd likely need an attorney to do them.

5) If he doesn't show up in court, you would win by default (like winning a ball game because the other team doesn't show up).

6) Note that if the other party truly doesn't not have much in the way of income or assets--and he may not; usually people who have income or assets have insurance--then you might never get money from him, even if you win: all the legal judgments in the world cannot create money where none exists.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption