What are my rights if my car received damage after a truckers re-tread came off?

I also believe that his metal tie down ratchet came of. He commented to me and a witness that maybe one day they will stop using re-treads. He also commented to the witness (another trucker), “Did you see my tie down ratchet?” He could not find it. Now however, he denies that. He refused to admit fault claiming it was road hazzard. I filed claim and they are now saying that he ran over something that cut his tire and they are denying the claim. Do I have a right to the pictures they say they have (and also of my car) and/or any supporting documents? Do you think I may have any rights at all as to a claim? I only had liability insurance.

Asked on November 9, 2013 under Accident Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The fact that you only had liability insurance won't have any effect on your claim.

Since the trucker's insurance carrier is denying liability, your only recourse is to sue the trucking company for negligence and also name the trucker as a defendant in your lawsuit.

As for the photos and supporting documents, during the course of litigation, you can request those items by filing a request for production of documents.  If you are represented by an attorney, the attorney can subpoena those items.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence) would be the cost of repairs to your car.  If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, the cost of the rental car should also be included in your damages.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.

You will also need to mitigate damages when selecting an auto body repair shop by selecting a place whose rates are reasonable.  If you were to select the most expensive auto body repair shop you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.


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