Who should pay? And if they refuse, should I sue?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 14, 2012

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Insurance Question from Aurora, CO

Asked on 08/14/2012

Who should pay? And if they refuse, should I sue? A pickup truck driver clipped a motorcyclist, whose bike skidded into my parked car on the side of the street. The trucker did a hit-and-run, but a witness got the license plate number. The trucker is unlicensed and uninsured. The biker's insurance refuses to pay for repairs to my car because their client was not at fault. The trucker has no insurance and likely has no money to pay for my repairs. I'm a grad student and could not afford uninsured driver coverage on my policy. Should I sue the biker's insurance? Would I have a decent chance of persevering in court?

Answer given on August 16, 2012

If your parked car was damaged due to a hit and run accident and the responsible party had no insurance, then you need to see if you have coverage under your policy. You indicate you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, but that is not the portion of the insurance policy that would apply. If you have collision coverage then your policy will pay for the damges, less your deductible. Then your insurance company will try to get reimbursement from the responsible driver.Uninsured motorist coverage is for bodily injury coverage caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. While some policies have uninsured property damage coverage, it is very inexpensive. That would apply if you do not have collision coverage.If you do not have collision coverage or uninsured property damage then your only option is to take the driver of the truck to small claims court. You will probably win, but then you will have to try to get payment from them. The court will usually not help you collect for your loss.

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