If the at-fault policy holders insurance doesn’t find him at fault but my insurer, does what can I do next?

A truck ran over the front of my vehicle. His back passenger side tire ran over the front of my driver’s side front light. My insurance said they are at fault and his insurer said because of the police report they can’t find him 100% at fault. I gave pictures and the police report of what happened and my car was barely out of the parking spot before I noticed him take off after I started. So, I stopped to avoid hitting him but he kept going and ran his tire over my car.

Asked on May 20, 2017 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since the at-fault party's insurance won't cover the damage to your vehicle, your only recourse is to sue the at-fault party for negligence.
Depending on the amount of your property damage (cost of repairs), you might be able to file your lawsuit in small claims court.
In addition to compensation for your property damage, upon prevailing in the  case, you can recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.
You can enforce the court judgment with a wage garnishment.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

What that means is that his insurer will not voluntarily compensate you--that could be due to a legitimate difference of opinion (e.g. they think he is sufficiently at fault) or it could be a greedy and cynical decision to not offer you anything because they think they can get away with it (i.e. that you won't sue). 
But the insurer's determination is NOT the last word: you can sue the at-fault driver (you sue the driver, not the insurer; you would also sue the vehicle's owner, if it's different from the driver, since an owner can be liable for accidents caused by those who are allowed or permitted to drive the vehicle). If you can prove in court, by a "preponderance of the evidence" (or that it is "more likely than not") that the driver was at fault, you would get a court order requiring the payment of compensation, no matter what his insurer thinks. If the amount at stake is less than the limit for small claims court, suing in small claims on a "pro se" basis (as your own attorney) is a very cost-effective option.


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