Louisiana accident caused by an uninsured, drunk driver.

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Louisiana accident caused by an uninsured, drunk driver.

My son was involved in a 3 car collision when a drunk driver crossed the center line. Thankfully he and his passenger walked away without bodily injury. We had to file a claim under our collision policy to get his truck repaired. It has now been 5 months and our insurance company has not been successful in collecting our deductible or the monies that they dished out from this guy. They received a carrier denial letter in January then turned our file over to a collection agency which seems to be doing nothing. This guy has got to pay for his stupidity. What can be done?

Asked on May 1, 2009 under Accident Law, Louisiana

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am not a licensed lawyer in LA, but I deal with these kinds of issues everyday.  You situation is not very uncommon and your frustration is understandable.  Insurance companies often have thousands of claims and files to work on and they often neglect to follow up in a timely manner.  Plus, many insurance companies are understaffed as a result of the economy and so forth.  Depending on how much damage was done to your car will determine the course of action.  In many states, small claims court is a very friendly and simple forum that gets you relief within a 6-9 month.  I presume you have an estimate of the damages.  Find out how much the maximum amount you can get in small claims court and pursue a direct claim against the truck driver.  Use the police report to show the drunk driver's fault and so forth.  Show the court the estimate of the damages. It should only cost you about $30-50 to file the claim (depending on the state filing fee requirement).  Once the suit is filed, people will hopefully come to the table to deal with.  The worst case scanario is that you wait to try the case, and if you win, you can collect directly against the drunk driver.  This course of action is faster that waiting for the collection agency to deal with it as they too, have many files and are understaffed.  Take matters into your own hands-  good luck!


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