Q: Rear ended by a 19 yr-old driver in his parent's car
Driver provided insurance (parents/owners of the car) details at the scene to the police. Now the insurance is denying responsibility because he's not on their policy. I have coverage, but my insurance company is saying the likelihood of being reimbursed for my deductible is very small. Less than $2000 damage to the car, no injuries (luckily). Do I have to take him to small claims court?
Under FL law, the vehicle owner is generally liable for driver's negligence. An exception occurs if the car was actually stolen (i.e. police report of theft is needed to prove such non-permissive use).
If they don't pay as required, then you can take to small claims court. You will be able to recover the property damage value, or repair costs, as well as court costs.
If you have a comprehensive collision policy, you may have your own auto insurance pay for the repairs. If this option is available, you initially pay only your deductible (but you get this back when your insurance pursues the other driver or owner's insurance for you for reimbursement).
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