If I was rear-ended over 2 weeks ago and there is a police report that states the other party is at fault, how should I proceed if the other party denies laibility?

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If I was rear-ended over 2 weeks ago and there is a police report that states the other party is at fault, how should I proceed if the other party denies laibility?

She gave me and the police officer an invalid insurance policy number and told me she wanted to pay out-of-pocket. After I had my car estimated, it was $878, plus it could be more and I would need a rental car while mine is in the shop. She balked at the price and my insurance made a claim with her’s. I was then notified that she did not have insurance at the time of the accident. She now says she is not at fault for the accident and will not accept responsibility for the damages. I hoped not to have any out-of-pocket expenses to me.

Asked on June 21, 2014 under Accident Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim through your auto insurance company for the repairs to your car and the cost of a rental car (your insurance company probably has a limit on the maximum per day it will pay for a rental car).  Your insurance company will then sue the at-fault party to recover the amount it paid on the claim.

If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage, your recourse is to sue the uninsured driver for negligence.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your car and 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, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.

You might be able to file your lawsuit for negligence in Small Claims Court.  Your damages should alos include court costs such as the court filing fee and process server fee in addition to the cost of repairs to your car and the rental car.

If you prevail in the case and obtain a judgment against the at-fault party, to enforce the  court judgment against the at-fault party, it would be advisable to obtain a wage garnishment.


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