my parked uninsured car was hit by a uninsured drunk driver

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my parked uninsured car was hit by a uninsured drunk driver

About a year ago my car was parked at a friends house i had just found out a couple days before i let the insurance lap so i was leaving it parked until the insurance kicked back in. late in the night a drunk driver was driving through the parking lot and totaled my ca! he didnt have insurance either leaving me with no car and no way to pay for anything! what should i do? i have his name and phone number but after many failed attempts to collect on the debt on my own i need to turn to legal action. what are my options?

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Your only option is to sue the other driver. You *could* bring a law suit on your, pro se, as they call it. That's not a recommended option, since it is very difficult to properly bring a lawsuit, but is one option if you cannot afford an attorney. You would contact your local courthouse, the clerk of the court, to find the rules and procedures to bring a pro se lawsuit.

Better is to get an attorney. However, the issue is whether the driver who hit your car has any assets. If he didn't have any insurance, that may be because he has no income. Do you know anything about the person who hit you...if it looks like he does not have any assets or income, yoiu may not be able to recover anything useful, even if you are legally in the right.

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Chances are, if he didn't have any insurance, he also has no money to cover your damages.  Your best recourse is probably to sue him in small claims court.  In Virginia, the dollar limit is $5,000 and you do not need (in fact, they don't allow) an attorney to represent you.  Bring photos of your car and an estimate for your damages to court with you.  Hopefully he admits he caused the damage.  Even if the car is worth more than $5K, that is the most you can get in small claims court.  Otherwise, you'd need to hire an attorney to go up to circuit court and that will cost you.


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