What to do if I was hit by an uninsured driver?

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What to do if I was hit by an uninsured driver?

I was in a car accident yesterday morning caused by another driver. She told myself and the cop she had insurance. When I went to call her insurance to file claim they informed me she hadn’t had insurance. Physically I was not hurt but it made me late for work and my car has some serious damages to it. What can I do? I need my car fixed.

Asked on November 1, 2012 under Accident Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your auto insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company for the property damage to your car and have your car repaired.

If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage, you will need to sue the at-fault party/registered owner of the vehicle (if the registered owner is someone other than the at-fault driver) for negligence.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit would be the cost of repairs to your car).  If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, your damages should also include the cost of the rental car.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  You will also need to mitigate damages when selecting an auto body repair shop.  You will need to select an auto body repair shop whose fees are comparable to other auto body repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive auto body repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

Depending on the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit, you may be able to file your lawsuit against the uninsured driver (if you don't have uninsured motorist coverage) in Small Claims Court.  Your damages should include the cost of repairs to your car, rental car expense, and court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.

After obtaining a judgment against the at-fault party, it would be advisable to pursue a wage garnishment to enforce the judgment.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should consult an attorney in your area as to collecting for the damages.   The easiest thing to do is for you to collect on your own policy if you have uninsured/underinsured coverage.  Then your insurance company will sue her.  If not then you may have to sue her yourself.  Good luck.


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