I live in Wisconsin. A couple of months ago I was driving through Mississippi. I parked at a gas station to look up directions. While my car was parked, and turned off, a man in a large truck backed into the front of my car. I recently got a quote and it will cost $2,500 to fix.
He does not have insurance and I only had liability insurance. I do have the police report which states that it was entirely his fault. Is there anything I can do considering the distance?
We exchanged information before the police got there and the phone number he gave me was a fake (I do have his real one in the police report). He also threatened to change his story and "make trouble for me" if I tried to get money out of him. Do I have any options?
I suppose what I was hoping for is that there is some way to have a lawyer in Mississippi act as a proxy for me, for a 50/50 split type of thing. Is that sort of thing possible?
Personal Injury Lawyer
As the accident occurred in Mississippi, and the other driver is from that State, your only legal recourse is to bring a lawsuit against him in that State, in the Small Claims Court (or the Mississippi equivalent) for the town/county you were in when the accident happened. He is liable to you regardless of whether he had insurance or not. Unfortunately, that is something that can not be done by mail, and the time and expense of going to Mississippi, first to file the suit and then again for the scheduled hearing, will likely outweigh the $2,500 cost of the repair. Good Luck.
Small claims court.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
As stated, unfortunately your only chance of repayment will be to hire a lawyer in Mississippi to file a small claims action against the other driver. If it will be contested you will probably need to go down there and testify. Lastly, if the person has no insurance then they are probably uncollectible, so even if you were to get a judgment you could not collect the money.
You now have learned an important lesson, always fully insure your vehicles or be prepared to pay out of pocket if the other person has no insurance. In the end you will be out more than the $2,500 with no guaranty of getting your money back.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
Do you in which state he has a drivers license? In Wisconsin if you cause a collision and have no insurance the DMV can take away your license until you pay for the damage. You may want to call the equivalent of the DMV in his state and ask if there is a similar procedure. The police may also be able to give you some guidance with this tactic. Good luck!
Sending an email or posting a question does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney client privilege. The comments and opinions expressed in Jon Groth's comments are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Reading or using the information in this blog does not create the existence of an attorney-client privilege. Due to the changing nature of the law, the blog posts may contain dated material. For an update on the current law and the application of the law to your particular facts and circumstances, consult a legal advisor. The information contained herein is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your state.