What to do if I was hit while I was stopped at traffic light?

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What to do if I was hit while I was stopped at traffic light?

The driver in front of me backed up in my truck and caused damages to my truck. I called police officer to write a report and I reported the accident to hers and my insurance company. I haven’t heard a word from her insurance company and when I call to check with my adjuster all I hear is she is not able to do anything as she haven’t heard from her customer. My insurance was able to get in touch with her father and her father said he will take care of it and still nothing. My truck is not drivable at this moment. I had my three year old daughter in truck with me but no one is hurt. It’s been 10 days now and looks like her insurance company not interested in doing anything about this case.

Asked on May 30, 2014 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since the at-fault party and/or her insurance carrier have failed to respond, inform that insurance carrier in writing that you will immediately file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  The threat to file the lawsuit should result in an immediate response from that auto insurance carrier.  Your lawsuit should name the registered owner of the vehicle (if this is someone other than the at-fault driver) and the at-fault driver as defendants.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) should include the cost of repairs to your vehicle and the cost of a rental car while your truck is being repaired.  The at-fault party's insurance carrier should already be paying for a rental car for you. 

You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a repair shop whose fees are comparable to other auto body repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive repair shop 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 a rental car by selecting a rental car with a reasonable rate (the other party's insurance carrier probably has a maximum allowable daily rate for a rental car).  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.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Her insurer is HER insurer--they do not owe any duty to you; rather, their duty is to defend and/or pay for her if she is sued. Many times insurers will proactively step in to resolve these matters, but they cannot if their insured does not cooperate. To force the matter, you may need to sue the other driver; you can sue her for the damage to your truck and any out-of-pocket costs (or medical costs, *if* injuries are discovered). If you sue, presumably she will talk to her insurer, who will step into the action; or if not, you may recover the money directly from her. You can sue for any amounts not otherwise paid or reimbursed to you (like any amounts not paid by your own insurance)); for amounts under the limit of your small claims court, you may be best off acting as your own attorney (pro se) in small claims.


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