What to do about a minor car accident totaling around $1,000?

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What to do about a minor car accident totaling around $1,000?

I have liabilty coverage on this car only. The other driver at fault in police report. After 3 weeks of waiting for the other divers “F” rated insurance to call back. They are telling us that the car was only covered for about 30 days and was expired on the day of the accident. Is it worth pursing this? How?

Asked on August 12, 2013 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since the at fault party did not have insurance and you did not have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy, you will need to sue the at-fault party for negligence.  Your damages (amount of monetary 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 would also include the cost of the rental car.

You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a repair shop whose charges are comparable to other auto body repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly for failing to mitigate damages.  You will also need to select 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 for failure to mitigate damages.

You can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages would be the cost of repairs (property damage to your car) plus the cost of the rental car) plus court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.

If the damage to your car is just a scratch or minor dent, it might not be worth pursuing this in court, but this is a decision only you can make.


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