What legal action should I take if the driver that hit me didn’t have insurance?

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What legal action should I take if the driver that hit me didn’t have insurance?

I had a minor fender bender the other day and i called the police and traded insurance cards with the other party. I decided to make the claim with her insurance since she was at fault. the insurance company called me back and told me that they might deny the claim since her insurance wasn’t paid up at the time of the accident and that she had paid it about an hour after the accident. I wanted to avoid making the claim with my insurance company since I would have to pay the deductible and wanted to avoid having my insurance rates go up (and I don’t feel that I should have to pay because she caused the accident). What other options do I have to get the money necessary to repair my car? There were no injuries caused by the accident just cosmetic damage to the vehicles.

Asked on October 2, 2011 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy.  Insurance rates increase, but should NOT increase for filing an uninsured motorist claim.  You were not at fault in the accident and if your policy includes uninsured motorist coverage, you should use it.  Your other option if you don't want to file an uninsured motorist claim or if you don't have uninsured motorist coverage would be to sue the other driver for negligence.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your car.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by using an auto body shop whose charges are comparable to other shops in the area.  If you were to use the most expensive auto body repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the other driver prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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