I need legal advice on suing an uninsured drunk driver that crashed in to my parked car causing over $8k in damages.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Chula Vista, CA

Earlier this year on January 19th, 2012, my parked car was crashed in to over night by a drunk driver. It was a hit and run accident but the driver was caught a couple blocks down the street and arrested. The arresting officer made a report of which I have a copy stating what happened and that the driver was at fault. In this document there is also the driver's information which I used to contact his insurance, Progressive.

After contacting them they told me that the insurance was under his wife's name and that this person was an excluded driver. At the time of the accident, my insurance had been canceled due to being past due on payments. Regardless, I only had liability coverage and did not have uninsured motorist insurance. I know I waited a long time but what should I do?

Additional information

The $8k is from an estimate I received from Mossy Nissan collision center of which I have a copy.
How much would it cost me to have an attorney help me with starting a case if I have any?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    25

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Small claims court is an option. Please get insurance! You not only put yourself at risk by driving with no insurance, but you put others at risk.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  2. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is unlawful in California for you to drive without vehicle insurance.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  3. Michael Shemtoub

    Contributor Level 17

    17

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Your problems is mostly caused by lack of your insurance on your personal vehicle. I would suggest that you always carry the proper insurance for any vehicle you own. However, regardless of your insurance the other driver should be held responsible for their actions. You need legal representation in this case. It is in your best interest to call and make an appointment immediately to resolve the problem..

    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-... more
  4. David Philip Shapiro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Not necessarily a "DUI/Criminal Defense" question. Contact a locally experienced civil attorney ASAP as there are usually filing deadlines for such claims.

    Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555
  5. William Peter Daley

    Contributor Level 17

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should contact the prosecutors office in the courthouse where the drunk driving charges were filed, most like in Chula Vista. Normally as a part of any sentence the person gets for drunk driving is to compensate the victim (you) for any damage that was done. It may be easier if you hire an attorney who can assist you with this.

  6. Gregory Jay Brod

    Contributor Level 5

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should consider pursuing this matter in small claims court, particularly if you weren't in the vehicle and fortunately, you were not injured. You should also get caught up with your own insurance policy, as others have suggested.

  7. Frank A. Natoli

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hi,

    I agree with all the responses here. The best route is a small court claim but be realistic here. He did not have insurance in all liklihood because he cannot afford it as was the case with you. So going to court will not necessarily produce an award if he is judgment proof. Perhaps you can obtain the judgment then seek to garnish his paychecks assuming he makes a regular paycheck from an employer.

    I wish you the best,
    Frank
    LanternLegal.com
    DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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