What can we do about a hit and run that damaged our vehicle?

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What can we do about a hit and run that damaged our vehicle?

We can’t use our vehicle. The man was caught at midnight that night but says it wasn’t him driving. However, I have witnesses and we picked up some parts that match to his vehicle. He has insurance but they haven’t done anything. We need a rental car and our other car fixed or totaled because it’s in bad shape. Where do I go from here? We didn’t do anything and are the ones that have to pay for it.

Asked on June 18, 2014 under Accident Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the hit and run driver's insurance company is not taking any action in the case, write to that company and inform it that you will immediately file a lawsuit for negligence against the hit and run driver, who will be liable for the cost of repairs to your car and the cost of a rental car.  This should result in an immediate response from that insurance company.  If the insurance company does not respond, proceed with the lawsuit.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would include the cost of repairs to your car and the cost of a rental car.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting an auto body repair shop whose fees are comparable to other auto body repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive auto body repair shop you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.  You will also need to mitigate  damages with regard to the rental car by selecting a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.

Most likely, when the insurance company for the at fault party receives your letter, it will respond and pay for property damage to your car and the cost of a rental car.  The insurance company probably has a maximum daily rate that it will pay for a rental car.

 


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