He does not have insurance and neither do i. He backed into my car the driver side of it. i have the police report and pictures and witness's. the car was parked on the side of the street.
Yes, you can file a lawsuit against the driver who hit your parked car. If he was at fault, then you can win.
Winning a lawsuit does not mean you will automatically collect the money which you win in the judgment. It just means that you then start the process of finding assets of the defendant to collect your judgment from.
Yes the law affords you the opportunity to sue him for the property damage you sustained. Concerning your question, "can I win?" that answer depends on your ability to prove he did it and how much your damages are. If the property damage you sustained is less that $7,500 you can typically seek a judgment against him in small claims court. Note that if you win, the court will issue a judgment in your favor stating he owes you money. Collecting the money from him is a completely separate matter, however. If he does not pay the jdugment, you have access to remedies to obtain the money from him if he has it and if he doesn't discharge the debt owed to you by filing for bankruptcy. See our blog for more information about property damage claims including 'loss of use.' Before going to the small claims court hearing, if you chose that route, you may want to consult with an attorney to organize your evidence with the elements you have to establish.
Yes get all your evidence and witness statement together and go to court. If he doesn't pay the judgment you can set him for a debtor exam wherein he has to come in and tell you where he works, where his bank accounts are, etc... to help you in your collection efforts. Lastly you can have the judgment filed with the DMV and he will not be able to renew his drivers license until the judgment is satisfied
The short answer is yes. If the damage to your car is less than $7,500, you should consider filing your claim in small claims court. You can go to the Fresno County Court website small claims section for the forms and instructions you need to help you with your claim. Also, the county law library will usually have someone who can help you through the process.
The only problem you may have is that even if you have a judgment against the other person, you still have to collect the judgment. The judgment is usually good for 10 years before it needs to be renewed. If the person does not pay the judgment, you will probably need to hire a collection agency that will want a percentage of the money recovered.
Agree with attorneys.
1. Yes, you can sue someone who does not have insurance, if you can prove liability from the person.
2. Can you prove he did it? Do you have witnesses, photos, license plate, contact information, a police report, etc.
3. How much is your property damage? If it is under $10,000, it is small claims. Here is a link to self help small claims: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1256.htm
(most likely small claims case. Btw you can not have an attorney represent you in small claims...)
4. Collecting the debt might be a problem. See Steven Gnau's answer. I like his answer to this question.
5. You should probably consider getting insurance for your car. It is illegal to drive without car insurance in California. --> http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/insurance_suspension.htm. I can not stress the importance of getting insurance BUT most of all good insurance coverage! It could save you a lot of money if you got into a big car accident. It would have been easier for you if you had insurance (plus uninsured motorist full coverage). Usually the insurance company will deal with property damage for you without the hassle of going to court. Some insurance company are sleazy. Shop around.
Unfortunately anyone can sue anybody for anything. The question is whether or not you will collect the money. If you have the responsible parties info, I say parties because the owner and driver may not the the same, it may pay to run an asset check on them first. What you really looking for is real property aka real estate. Cars, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, art work, etc. - all of which are personal property are too hard to collect on. Of course on thing you should do is report the collision to the DMV using their SR-1 form so you don't have the DMV threatening to suspend your driver's license, which may happen if the other driver reports the collision to the DMV first. Be prepared to purchase automobile liability insurance and show proof to the DMV.
If you do decide to take the other driver / owner to court and you win than you can ask the court clerk to fill out the forms to have the other Driver's
license suspended until the judgment is paid,
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