Should I try to reach an agreement outside of court or go to small claims?

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Should I try to reach an agreement outside of court or go to small claims?

My car was struck while parked along with 3 other cars intentionally from a drunk enraged driver. I have the report and she received criminal charges, should I try to set up a payment plan outside of court or should I just take her to small claims court right away. Her insurance will not cover the damages because they were intentional because she was drunk and hit the car on purpose during an argument with her significant other. The police report doesn’t say it was intentional but her insurance does and my insurance will not presue the claim because at the time I had a different insurance company

Asked on November 6, 2017 under Accident Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that you can (or at least think you can) come to a mutually agreeable arrangement, there is no reason to not try and reach one outside of court: if you do, simply make sure it is in writing, signed by both sides. If you do enter into an agreement, best case, they honor the agreement and save you the time, effort, and cost (even if only a small one) of suing in small claims; and if you have an agrement and they don't honor it, it is very easy and straightfoward to sue to enforce the agreement (i.e. suing to enforce the agreement is even easier than suing the drunk driver to prove her fault and the extent of care damage in the first place, since when suing to enforce the agreement, you only have to show that she did not pay what she had agreed to pay). And if you try to work something out and fail, you can still sue--you lose nothing by trying.


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