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Can I sue in a no injury hit and run?

Lawrenceville, GA |

I was rear ended and the driver of the other car verbally harassed me and made me feel threatened while I was on the phone with the police. The driver also took pictures of my car to prove to me that there was no damage, and then attempted to shove them in my face through the driver side window and windshield while screaming and yelling at me. The driver was cited for the accident and for hit and run. Can I sue for emotional distress, loss of a day at work and negligence on their part?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. You can sue for anything, but when you file a frivolous suit, possibly you will be hit with sanctions and may have to pay THEIR legal fees. Having said that, the threats, etc. should be in your police report and you might be able to swear out a misdemeanor criminal warrant against the other driver, probably for simple assault. They may get a fine. You won't get a check. Be thankful you weren't hurt, and move on with your life.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer unless you sign a retainer agreement). Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. Note that I am only licensed in Georgia and thus cannot practice in other states. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy. State bar rules require that I disclose my name/contact information in any communication (Glen Ashman, 2791 Main Street, East Point GA 30344 - 404-768-3509 /geaatl@msn.com )


  2. With respect to the rear end collision, you can sue for property damage and for your personal injuries. You must be able to show your damages, however. If you missed a day of work because of the incident (e.g., you had to get checked out by a doctor or you were unable to work), then you can include lost wages as part of your claim. You may want to get your car checked out to make sure that the car frame was not damaged as a result of this.

    As to the assault, perhaps someone else can comment on that.

    This answer specifically does not create an attorney-client relationship in any way and neither Jeffrey G. Casurella nor anyone affiliated with the law firm of Cochran & Edwards, intends for this electronically created transmission, that is, the answer to this question through this website, to create an attorney-client relationship on-line, through this answer to the question, or by any other electronic means. It is my policy and the policy of Cochran & Edwards to enter an attorney-client relationship only through a written engagement letter or retainer agreement -- and only where doing so would comply with all applicable laws and ethical rules. Otherwise, you may not rely on the contents of this email and if you do so, it is at your own peril.


  3. If there were no property damages and/or personal injuries sustained, there would not a viable claim for damages. If you sustained personal injury, you could potentially recover for medical expenses, pain and suffering and loss of wages. If there were property damages sustained, you could potentially recover for the repair costs and rental expenses during the period of repairs.


  4. Many injuries such as sore back sore neck manifest days later, so you are free to retain a local personal injury lawyer.


  5. With no property damage to your car, there is not claim there. With respect to emotional distress, Georgia law requires that the act upon which a claim for emotional distress be extreme, and it's doubtful that simply yelling at you and trying to shove pictures in your face rises to the required level. As far as negligence, they were negligent when they rear-ended you but what are the damages? You have to have damages to sue. You may have a claim for a day of lost work provided you can prove it, but ask yourself, after paying filing fees, attorney fees, etc., what will be left over? In all honesty it doesn't sound worth pursuing.


  6. A lawsuit would help you to recover from a loss if the at fault party failed to uphold legal duties he had to you. You do not describe a loss of much consequence, so a lawsuit may not be appropriate in your situation. We can all agree that you were in a frightening encounter with someone experiencing poor judgment, at best. You might contact the traffic court prosecutor to see if the other party must appear in Court on the charges. If so, the Prosecutor may be interested in your input to the Court. The Judge may give you the opportunity to speak at sentencing, which may help you to see that justice is done.

    This is general information and does not constitute legal advice. To obtain legal advice you should consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice law in your state. This communication does not establish an attorney/client relationship and one is not implied. This is not a solicitation for employment. If this answer has been of assistance to you, please indicate that with Avvo.


  7. If the hit and run driver is known, you could sue that driver for the property damage. If the hit and run driver is unknown, then you could file suit against "John Doe" and serve your insurance company with the lawsuit as long as you have the applicable uninsured motorist insurance coverage. Your facts are sparse and I assume that you did not have applicable UM coverage to cover your property damage.

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