What canIdo if Igot hit by another car in a parking lot and they have no insurance and are not willing to pay for the damage?

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Accident Law, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have uninsured motorist coverage in your auto insurance policy, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company.  This will enable you to have your car repaired.  You should also ask your insurance company if it will pay for a rental car while your car is being repaired.

If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage, then you will need to sue the other driver for negligence.  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 by selecting an auto repair shop whose charges are comparable to other auto 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 in your lawsuit against the other driver would also include the cost of a rental car.  Again, you will need to mitigate damages by selecting a rental car with a reasonable rental rate.  If you were to select a very expensive rental car, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

Depending on the amount of your damages, you may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  In addition to the above items under damages, your damages should include court costs which would be the court filing fee and process server fee.

If you miss time from work due to lack of transportation, etc. resulting from the accident, you could include documentation of wage loss in the damages you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit against the uninsured driver.

 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that you believe the other driver was at fault--that is, he either deliberately hit you, or was driving carelessly (negligently)--you would sue him to seek recovery of your losses. (Remember: you can only recover for actual losses, so actual cost to fix your car, medical costs, lost wages, or--for serious injuries--some amount for pain and suffering.) If he had insurance, his insurer would step in to defend in and, if he lost, pay (or alternately, to settle the claim). Without insurance, you would have to recover the money directly from the other driver. That means that if you believe he has little or no income or assets, it may not be worthwhile suing him--you could spend money on the lawsuit, but then be unable to get anything.


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