Will a small claims court decision for my property damage affect my ability to later litigate my bodily injury if need be?

I have around $9,000 in property damage after a car accident for which the other party is 100% at fault. Insurer of the other driver has sent me a release form with the $5,000 PD policy limit, which I have not signed because it releases both the insured and insurer. The insurer refuses to allow me to release only them and not the insured. I would like to take the other driver to small claims court for the

$9,000. Which I can because my state’s small claims courts allows for $10,000. Will taking the other driver to court bar me from settling my BI or possibly litigating it? The insurer has been giving me separate numbers for PD and BI, so I am assuming I too can treat them as separate.

Asked on March 12, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The property damage and personal injury claims are separate.
If the property damage is not settled, you can sue the at-fault party for negligence.  This is completely separate from your bodily injury / personal injury claim.
The property damage is usually settled early in the case and it does not affect the personal injury claim.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The property damage and personal injury claims are separate.
If the property damage is not settled, you can sue the at-fault party for negligence.  This is completely separate from your bodily injury / personal injury claim.
The property damage is usually settled early in the case and it does not affect the personal injury claim.


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