What to do if my car was vandalized?

There was a guy that started jumping on top of my car hood and roof causing visible dents. I called the police and he was arrested down the street as he was doing the same to other cars. I requested a police report but I haven’t heard from the DA. What should I do next? I have full coverage but I don’t want this to increase my premium. What are the procedures? Do I sue him for damages?

Asked on November 16, 2012 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can sue him for damages; one easy and inexpensive way to do this is to file a suit in small claims court, acting as your own attorney. You can get forms and instructions from your local court, either in person or often on their website. You will need evidence he did the damage--such as pictures or video of the attack; witness testimony, including your own (note: all witness will have to actually come to court)--and also evidence of the cost to repair. Of course, if he has little or no income or assets, you may not be able to collect; it can also be difficult and time-consuming to collect from someone who simply doesn't care about his record or credit rating, or his legal obligations, and is willing to ignore the court's judgment. (You *can* ultimately collect from people like this--just expect it will take more time, more effort, and more cost on your part.)


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