If I was involved in an accident that was not my fault, if the other driver doesn’t pay my damages what is my recourse?

I felt bad for the guy and let him go, no police report was filed and no insurance claim was made. We have been in regular contact about him paying the money for my damages which he said he would. I understand this was stupid of me but does he face any legal recourse if he doesn’t pay me?

Asked on July 23, 2015 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

He will only face legal recourse if you sue him--there is no automatic mechanism, or anyone else (e.g. the police or any government agency) who will make sure you get your money...rather, you have to take action to recover it. If you believe that he was at fault, then you should sue him for the damage to your car (and any other costs you incured; e.g. towing). For amounts less than the maximum for your small claims court, a good  option is to sue in small claims "pro se" (as your own attorney), to save legal fees. If you wish to go that route, you can find instructions and possibly forms/templates from your small claims court--check out their website and/or go in person to the clerk's office.

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