How do I get compensated for my mailbox that a drunk driver hit and destroyed?

Asked 5 months ago - Fresno, CA

1 year ago an intoxicated woman hit my mailbox left the scene then crashed into a police vehicle. Forensics came and took photos of my completly destroyed mailbox. My homeowner's insurance said they couldn't cover it. I contacted her insurance and sent them a copy of the police report and we got a notice stating "there is no coverage for this loss". How do I get compensated for my expensive mailbox? If I sue her can I request she pay for all legal fees? Do I need an attorney? She shoudn't be able to get away with destroying someone else's property.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sue her in small claims court, the attorneys fees would be to much. And her insurance should cover it.

    213-819-1171 Please only call me if your case is in California as I am only licensed here and laws of other... more
  2. Richard Todd Rosenstein

    Contributor Level 19

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can file a lawsuit against the driver and owner of the vehicle that caused the damages. You are not entitled to attorneys fees. If your damages are relatively small, you should consider filing a lawsuit in small claims court.

  3. Julia E. Simmons

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 4 ways.

    1. Get a copy of the police report and go after the guys insurance. No Insurance? Sue the guy
    2. contact the DA's office and ask for victims' restitution for the damage the guy casued
    3. Get your homeowners insurance to pay for it.
    4. Sue the guy in small claims court

  4. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As Ms. Simmons has explained, your options are pretty straightforward. Your best option at this point, given your homeowner's insurance will not cover it, is to sue her in small claims court. You may have a difficult time getting awarded attorney fees. Best of luck.

  5. Thomas Westwood Degn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds like you did the right things by submitting it to insurance first. I would contact the district attorney's victim/witness office and see if they can get restitution for damages for you. If not, I would go ahead and sue in small claims at this point. You don't get to have a lawyer with you at small claims, but it appears from the facts you have submitted that liability is cut and dry. Good luck.

  6. Wendy Marie Schenk

    Contributor Level 16

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Her insurance carrier likely denied coverage either because she failed to pay her premium, she was an excluded driver under the policy, or else she was convicted of DUI and the policy precludes payment for damage caused in the commission of a crime.

    If the criminal case against the woman is still ongoing, you should submit the bill for repairs and photographs of damage to the DA and ask for restitution. However, keep in mind that if the woman isn't employed and has no money to pay....there's not much that you can do.

    You can also file suit directly against the woman in small claims court. The cost to file is minimal and no attorneys are allowed. So just like on "Judge Judy" you would present your case and evidence and the woman would have to appear to try to defend herself. Of course, after you obtain an judgment against her.....it's still a matter of trying to collect. If she doesn't own property and/or doesn't have a job to make payments to you, you could have difficulty forcing her to pay the judgment.

    ***This response is provided solely for general information purposes and is not intended as legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

  7. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sue or ask the district atty/probation dept to get a restitution order. That shouldn't cost you any money, and if it is obtained, it is a judgment that can be enforced just like a small claims court judgment.

  8. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Small claims court is typically the best bet.

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