the driver was caught and convicted of a hit n run / misdemeanor he could not be charge with a DUI because they caught him 2hr later, I talk to the owner of the vehicle he had knowledge of his brother driving the car. Now my car is a total lost I did not have uninsured motorist coverage, I am seeing my DR. for back and neck pain. My question is, what should I do now? I am thinking of going to small claim court but what should I ask for? how do I value my car and I have insurance (Medical) that will cover my medical expenses, how do I get money for that ? I am a stay at home mom so I cant ask for loss wages, I cant afford a lawyer, help what can I do??
Affording a lawyer is not typically an issue in these situations. Any reputable personal injury attorney works on a contingent fee. This means they get paid a portion of the recovery they produce for you. If they produce nothing, you pay them nothing.
I suggest you consult with some personal injury attorney's to more thoroughly examine your options.
Based on what you have provided, you may want to look into filing a restitution claim as part of the criminal charges against the driver. There may be other avenues in the civil case, but more information would be required to properly evaluate them.
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee (a percentage of the amount they recover, and nothing if you make no recovery) so you should not be afraid to look for a good lawyer in your area and ask for a consultation. Bring all your records from the accident and hopefully there is some way to obtain compensation for you.
Based on the facts presented you may have a claim against the driver’s brother for negligent entrustment. You should consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area about your case. Most offer free a consultation and can represent you on a contingency fee basis; so you don’t have to pay the lawyer until your case is successfully concluded.
First you need to look for insurance coverage. contact the brother's insurance and make a claim. Next ask your insurance company to provide you with a copy of an Uninsured Motorist waiver signed by you. If they cannot produce one you may be able to force them to provide you with UM coverage.
If no insurance - Your best course of action is to contact the DA immediately and advise you want a restitution hearing set. Get the value of your car by going on KBB.com and also get some comparable ads. gather all your out of pocket expenses and provide to the DA. the Court will likely order the defendant to pay those expenses. Restitution only covers your economic / out of pocket expenses - not pain and suffering. You can then proceed to small claims for your pain and suffering damages.
In addition to the answers provided, there is a state victim fund that could possibly cover uninsured economic losses as well. (Not pain and suffering) If indeed there is no ins available anywhere, getting the victim fund to pay your financial losses is best. Even if the deft is ordered to make restitution, there is no guarantee he will actually pay it. If victim fund pays you, it can then get a restitution order and take chances on collecting. Now you know why it is so important to have um bodily injury and um property damage coverage. You might be surprised at the premium cost-not that much.
You need to determine whether or not you have uninsured motorist coverage in your own auto insurance policy. Every policy of insurance in California is required to have this coverage unless it is waived, in writing, at the time of policy purchase. You can also try to determine if you have "medical payments" coverage that would be a separate way to get the medical bills paid. The bottom line is that you should hire a competent personal injury attorney to get to the bottom of these issues. Almost every personal injury lawyer works on a "contingent fee" basis, which means you do not pay anything up front or by the hour but, only pay a percentage of the recovery at the end of the case. This allows you to obtain quality representation without coming "out of pocket" for any more expenses. Our office routinely handles these types of claims. If you would like to give us a call, we would be happy to provide you with a free consultation to go over the case in more detail. Hope this helps!
I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I'm a personal injury attorney in California and have seen many people in your situation. Are you sure that there is no insurance attached to the vehicle that the hit and run person was driving? Under the circumstances you describe, the owner's insurance should cover the accident. A lawyer can help you determine this over the phone. Most attorneys like myself offer free consultations, even if it's just to answer any questions you may have.
If there truly is no auto insurance covering this accident, and the car owner and driver do not own significant assets, you should definitely seek compensation in small claims court. The most important thing is to wait until you have finished your medical treatment. You should save all your bills and expenditures related to the accident in order to present them in small claims. Don't rush to resolve the matter while you are still treating with your doctor. You might need physical therapy for a few months to hopefully get back to your pre-accident condition.
Nevertheless, you should ideally consult with an attorney prior to going the small claims route. Avvo is the perfect place to find a skilled lawyer who will give you a free consultation and help you effectively evaluate your claim.
I agree with all of the attorneys...
Based on your facts, you definitely have a case, a claim for negligent entrustment. Also that driver might be covered under the owner's insurance. Either way you should seek an attorney before deciding to go to small claims. It might be worth more than small claims.
Please continue getting treatments and get well. Save all evidence, witness, information, car photos/ pictures, etc. , and bring it to a PI attorney for a free consultations and fees are on contingency basis.
Goodluck. Let me know if you need a referral for an attorney in LA. I might know some attorneys in that area.
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