Denver, CO asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Small Claims for Colorado

Q: Can I sue someone for breaking my car window. Even though it’s been over a month?

Hi. It is 2-21-22. On 1-12-22. An intoxicated passenger of mine ripped out my manual cranks for both back windows. After rolling down the windows. Then got out and took my door and slammed 3 times hard enough until the window shattered inside the door. I didn’t call the police on account I had another passenger in my car and I knew the passenger #1 was just drunk. After being apologized to the next morning, and reassured I was will be reimbursed [250$] for the window I paid to fix. As well as being told they’d pay to get my door and cranks fixed. I’ve been now waiting for over a month and a half and I’m ready to take further action with this. I have one eye witness. I have videos showing damage. And two other witnesses who weren’t there for this event. But saw the aftermath within hours later.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin Michael Strait
Kevin Michael Strait
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: In Colorado, yes you can sue someone for money to compensate you for damage to your vehicle. Colorado counties have general district courts that will allow small claims lawsuits. Colorado statutes § 13-6-403 limit the claims in small claims court to $7,500 total. Your claim for money owed by this drunk passenger would need to be under that limit. Having a witness is to your advantage, but you may not want to bring the witness to court as it adds complexity and potentially subjects the witness to legal questioning by the opposing party's attorney.

Finding a lawyer to help you might be a challenge; your case is worth less money that the lawyer will charge you. You will have to pay for someone to find this other person and officially give them a summons to court. Lawsuits for amounts under $1,000 are not common for this reason. Even if you win in court, collecting your money from a person with no savings or no sense of responsibility will be difficult. If the person does not come to court on the date of the trial, you will probably win your lawsuit, but it is a good sign that the other person will be hard to find and will refuse to pay the debt.

You might want to look for a pro bono lawyer (one that will help you for a small fee or no fee at all) or you might want to find a no-cost mediation service. Many counties have pro bono lawyer services and free mediation services. Try starting with the Metro Volunteer Lawyers in Denver ( or with the Mediation Association of Colorado (

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