Small claims or superior court?

Asked about 1 year ago - Atlanta, GA

I was injured in an auto accident that was the other dirver's fault. I have been treating for almost two years with total special of $11,000. The ins company up until now only offered $5,000 and recently denied the claim for no mechanism of injury even though their insured rear ended me and was at fault. The other driver had state minimums. Most lawyers I speak with say my case is worth around $15k to$17k and will not take my case because there is not enough time for discovery. I have to due the driver myself. If I sue the driver myself in small claims court or another court and win, how do I get the insurance company to pay if their insured has no assets? Should I sue in small claims court or superior court if doing it myself?

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Robert G. Rothstein

    Contributor Level 14

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Small claims (Magistrate Court) has a maximum authority of 15k, which is too small for your case. I suggest State Court instead if Superior Court since you don't need the equitable jurisdiction of the Superior Court and State Court is faster. If you win more than the 25k limits, and their driver has no assets, you will receive 25k. You may be able to recover more from your own ins. co. under-insurance provision if you have over 25k in such coverage and you notified them in time.

    Disclaimer: This response is provided to you by attorney Robert G. Rothstein (404) 216-1422 for educational and... more
  2. Darrell Brinnett Reynolds Sr.

    Contributor Level 16

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to find an attorney to take your case. Whenever, you are dealing with the insurance company without an attorney, you will not be treated fair. Our office handles these type of cases all of the time.

    Darrell B. Reynolds,
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    2385 Lawrenceville Highway, Ste D
    Decatur, Ga. 30033
    404-636-6616

  3. Philip Wesley Lorenz

    Contributor Level 11

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . With $11,000 in medical expenses your case should be worth more than the $15,000 jurisdictional limit of Magistrate Court. You have 2 years from the date of the accident in which to file suit, and if filed in State Court, discovery typically is given 6 months after filing, Magistrate Court does not typically allow for discovery. You definitely need to consult with an attorney, and the sooner the better. Don't short change yourself.
    I have handled numerous cases like yours on behalf of the insurance companies, now I handle them for individuals like you. Fell free to call my office and arrange for a free consultation.

  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . State Court or Superior Court

  5. Christopher Matthew Simon

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The offer is likely a function of either or both:

    1. dealing with a local insurer (as opposed to a national carrier) who only writes 25k policies. They tend to make offers like that.

    2. The damage to the cars involved was not serious. Anything under $1,500 can cause you trouble.

    That said if the other driver received a traffic ticket, the 2 year statute can be tolled (extended) for the number of days it took for the ticket to resolve. We recently had a case where we successfully argued that the defendant's failure to appear on the ticket meant the statute was still tolled after three years.

    If the damage to the cars is real and the treatment is not chiropractic, We would consider filing it for you. Be very careful winging it. The State and Superior Courts are filled with mines for the unwary.

  6. Benjamin Whitaker Price

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You do not need to be making decisions like this without a lawyer. And you don't need to be getting advice from lawyers on where to file your case without retaining one of them. Keep calling around. There are plenty of lawyers who will take a case with $11,000 in special damages and there is insurance. Find someone fast before your statute of limitations runs out. You have two years from the date of the injury to file suit.

  7. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . By trying to handle the case yourself from the start you have already given the insurance company the impression you don't take the case seriously. By filing in SMALL CLAIMS court you put the final nail in the coffin of anyone taking it seriously. Watch Judge Judy and see the kind of nonsense they handle there. Hire one of the good AVVO attorneys in your state. Here is how to fix your case and fix it ASAP: BLUE LINK BELOW

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only.... more
  8. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Do yourself a favor and hire an attorney to handle this for you.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

27,277 answers this week

2,999 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,277 answers this week

2,999 attorneys answering