What are my rights if a drunk driver damaged the well on my property?

He blew a .22, was arrested and was carted off to hospital/jail. My question is, I’ve been unable to drink the well water for almost 2 weeks, I’ve had to pay $1000 for my deductible out of my own pocket and dealing with insurance and all the contractors eats into my time While insurance paid out, my biggest frustration is I’ve had to burn thru numerous hours fixing issues he created. What steps should I look at taking? Contact the kid or father asking for my deductible to be paid? contact a lawyer and let them deal with it? much appreciated

Asked on August 4, 2015 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Whether you contact an attorney to help you or act as own lawyer is fundamentally an economic question: are you reasonably entitled (if you win; and remember, even in strong cases, like yours, you cannot 100% count on winning) to enough money to justify the cost of an attorney and make it worthwhile to engage one to increase your chance of winning? As a quick rule of thumb, if the amount at stake is less than the maximum limit for your small claims court, you should probably file in smalls claims court, acting as your own attorney (pro se); if more than that, you should probably speak with an attorney.

In terms of what you could reasonable  expect to recover, you cannot recover for your own time spent dealing with the issues: the law does not provide compensation for the waste of your own time (or for frustration). You can recover your out of pocket (not reimbursed by insurance) costs, which apparently is your $1,000 deductible for repairs as well as any costs from not having a  well (buying bottled water; bringing clothing to a laundromat instead of washing it at home; etc.).


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