How do I proceed after my insurance claim is denied?

A semi truck scraped the side of my car while driving and after the incident the
driver swerved back into his lane and sped off. We were still able to move so we
followed the truck to an exit. After we followed him onto an exit lane, he swerved
back onto the interstate and continued to drive off. We called the state troopers at
that point and they caught the driver and made a police report of the incident.
The driver then told the insurance he did not hit my car and my claim was denied.
There’s over 1,300 worth of damage and I plan on taking it to small claims court
however, I have never seen the inside of a court room or taken anyone to court
so I’d like some advice. Also, there was 2 of us in the car.

Asked on August 25, 2016 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your only recourse is to sue the trucking company and the driver for negligence. You have the police report which I assume attributes the cause of the accident to the truck driver.  That is important evidence to present in your case.
There is a small claims court advisor, who can help you to complete the appropriate forms and file them with the court.  Your summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit) are served on the at-fault parties (company and driver). You can find process servers online or in the Yellow Pages under attorney services.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) should include the cost of repairs (property damage) to your vehicle.  Upon prevailing in the case, you can also recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.
If the passenger in your car was NOT injured, the passenger doesn't have a claim since the accident was property damage only to your vehicle.


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