What should I do if the man that hit my car wasn’t the owner of the vehicle and the actual owners don’t have insurance coverage?

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What should I do if the man that hit my car wasn’t the owner of the vehicle and the actual owners don’t have insurance coverage?

I was in an collision/accident where the male driving was driving his friends car. After filing a claim with the car owners insurance, I haven’t received a call back from the company. I’ve also tried to contact the driver but could only leave a voice mail. When I called the ins company to follow up on my claim, they stated that there may not be active coverage for the owner. What should I do now?

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the registered owner does not have auto insurance, you can file a claim through your auto insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage.  If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will pay for the cost of repairs to your car.

If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage, you will need to sue the registered owner and at- fault 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 having your car repaired at a place whose charges are comparable to other auto body shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive auto body shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, you will need to select a rental with a reasonable rate in order to mitigate damages.  If you were to select a very expensive rental car, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  This does not mean you have to select the cheapest subcompact you can find, but something comparable to what you were driving or something with a reasonable rental rate.

Depending on the amount of damages you are seeking in your lawsuit, you may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages should also include court costs which would be the court filing fee and process server fee.


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