Can I legally hold someone liable for damage to a vehicle if there isn’t a police report?

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Can I legally hold someone liable for damage to a vehicle if there isn’t a police report?

We had a few friends over one afternoon and as they left our driveway they backed

into our new car that was sitting across the street. They informed us that they

didn’t have insurance so we didn’t call the police as a favor to them but they

promised to cover the deductible for our insurance as we have full coverage. This

amount still has not been paid almost a year later and now they are dodging us.

What can we do? Are we able to hold them accountable for their accident?

Asked on March 2, 2016 under Accident Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue them for the cost to repair your car; a police report is very helpful, but it is not a requirement to suing someone for damage to your vehicle. To win, you'd need to convince the court that they did do the damage; without a report or other documentary evidence, it may come down to who is more believable as a witness--you or them.


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