What can I do if the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not want to pay for my car damages?

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What can I do if the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not want to pay for my car damages?

The other driver caused my car accident and they have insurance but their insurance company hasn’t paid my claim because they said their insured is “not cooperating”. It was the other driver’s fault. Doesn’t their insurance have to pay? Also, the driver was not listed on the insured’s insurance policy. I only have liability so my own insuranse and can’t pay for my car damages but I need my car fixed ASAP because I’m starting to have more mechanical problems from the accident. What can I do?

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the at-fault party's insurance carrier won't pay on your claim, you can sue the at-fault party (registered owner of the vehicle) for negligence.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your car.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting an auto body shop whose charges are comparable to other auto body shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive auto body shop you could find to repair your car, you would have failed to mitigate damages and your damages would be reduced accordingly.  If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, your damages should include the cost of the rental car.  You will need to mitigate 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. 

If the other driver's insurance carrier proceeds with your case, property damage claims are usually resolved promptly and they will pay for a rental car, but will have a maximum daily rate.  The insurance company won't pay for the collision damage waiver on the rental car.  If you have adequate insurance, you won't need the collision damage waiver.


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