Woodland, CA asked in Car Accidents and Products Liability for California

Q: Other driver did hit and run damage to my vehicle and had no insurance, can I file a small claims lawsuit for damages?

A few weeks back there was an incident that happened where my car was hit on the passenger door side. The driver of the other vehicle stayed for about 10 minutes but when the police was called she drove away (almost running me over). I obtained the police report and she was found at fault and given 4 citations including hot and run and no proof of insurance. That being said, I need my car fixed but they are charging me $1,400 just for the door. I am a college student and find it difficult to pay for the damages made. Thus, I was wondering if it would be worth me filing a small claim against the driver?

4 Lawyer Answers

Omid Rejali

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: See if you can obtain the insurance information for the other party who was at fault. They should be able to reimburse you for your loss. If not, filing in small claims would be an option.

William John Light

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you have collision coverage, tender the claim to your insurer and it will pay to repair your car, less your deductible. If you don't have collision coverage, then check the police report and see if the driver of the other vehicle is the same as the owner. If not, the owner may have liability coverage even if the driver did not. If there is no liability coverage, then feel free to pursue Small Claims. You will probably get a judgment. The question is: who is going to pay it? The person without insurance likely has no money. If she had money, she would have had insurance.

Gerald Barry Dorfman agrees with this answer

Gerald Barry Dorfman

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In addition to what Mr. Light has said, file an SR1 form with the DMV. That will have the DMV check on insurance, and suspend her license. You may also be able to get restitution ordered in the criminal/traffic cases. Check with the District attorney in the county where the incident occurred. If you do end up getting a judgement, DMV can also suspend her license until she pays it.

Peter N. Munsing

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: If you were hurt in the wreck contact a member of the CAOC--they give free consults. Otherwise, sure--then to collect send the judgment to the state DMV and ask for her license to be suspended.

Ifyhou have collision, run it through that and they'll go after her for what they spent including your deductible.

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