what can i do legally if i wasnt hurt in an accident but my car was totalled?

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what can i do legally if i wasnt hurt in an accident but my car was totalled?

I Was stopped at a stop sign and a car
was making a turn and a tractor trailer
ran a stop sign and hit the car. The
car spun and hit me and totaled my car.
The tractor trailer took off and was
never found but we know the company he
works for. Since i had to take time off
of work and had to replace my car
mostly out of pocket. It is also a few
weeks till christmas and i have a wife
and four kids so replacing my car to
fit my family on a short notice was
next to impossible.

Asked on December 6, 2016 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The lawyer probably means there is no point in *him* taking the case against the trucking company, because it is not profitable enough to make it worthwhile for (or to have) an attorney. However, if you owned the car personally (and not through, say, an LLC or corporation), you are allowed to bring a lawsuit youself, as your own attorney or "pro se." Your odds of winning are of course less than with an attorney, but the risk (i.e. how much you'll spend on the suit) is much less, too. If there is a police report so you can subpoena the officer to testify, and you can also provide your own testimony, you can probably sue for the equivalent of around $200 - $400 plus a day of your time. If that is worth doing for the chance (not guaranty; winning is never guaranteed) of getting from the trucking company the cost of your car and some lost wages (the days you missed work directly due to this), then it is likely worth you filing the lawsuit yourself. You should be able to forms and instructions from the clerk of your country court.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The lawyer probably means there is no point in *him* taking the case against the trucking company, because it is not profitable enough to make it worthwhile for (or to have) an attorney. However, if you owned the car personally (and not through, say, an LLC or corporation), you are allowed to bring a lawsuit youself, as your own attorney or "pro se." Your odds of winning are of course less than with an attorney, but the risk (i.e. how much you'll spend on the suit) is much less, too. If there is a police report so you can subpoena the officer to testify, and you can also provide your own testimony, you can probably sue for the equivalent of around $200 - $400 plus a day of your time. If that is worth doing for the chance (not guaranty; winning is never guaranteed) of getting from the trucking company the cost of your car and some lost wages (the days you missed work directly due to this), then it is likely worth you filing the lawsuit yourself. You should be able to forms and instructions from the clerk of your country court.


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