If she doesn't have insurance, chances are she has little to no assets/money. Therefore chasing after her may be a waste or your time and resources. You certainly can sue her and then collect on the judgment, I'm just not sure its worth your time. Best of luck to you.
This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Your husband should do the following: Call his auto Insurance co. to see if uninsured motorist property damage is covered. If not, get a couple free estimates to get an idea of the cost. Then, call the lady and explain situation and see if she is agreeable to pay for the damage. If no success, send a demand letter enclosing the repair estimates and demanding payment within 14 days. If that doesn't work, then file a small claims action (which can be done on-line) If successful, then your husband will have a judgment against the lady and can
then try to collect. But if the lady is judgment proof (no way to get $ from her) then it could all be a waste of time. So, it just depends on the amount of property damage and the likelihood of recovery. Good luck
Do you have uninsured motorist?
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This is a more and more common occurrence!
The basic answer to your question is that your insurance policy is a contract. That contract says that it will pay you---minus a deductible. Since the other driver does not have insurance you need to get it directly from them. For such a moderate amount, you have a fair chance of getting the money from them by going to small claims court.
Now---on to the really important stuff! Check your policy not only for Uninsured Motorist Coverage, but for UMPD (Uninsured Motorist Property Damage). If you have it---your deductible will be covered! In order to secure the coverage, you must first file a DMV SR-1 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles. 45 days later you file a DMV-SR-19. This will give you and YOUR insurance company the level of proof you need in order to establish uninsured motorist coverage.
In addition, by filing these forms, the person that hit you receives the punishment or penalty for putting YOU through this!!
Best of luck!
If she has little to no assets to pursue, then you will want to file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company. Too many drivers are driving in California without proper insurance and it is unwise to drive without uninsured motorist coverage. For over 20 years, I have represented countless clients in uninsured motorist claims against their own insurance carriers, and my clients realize very quickly that their insurance carriers do not want to pay them a dime for their injuries and expenses. I would strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced uninsured motorist accident attorney to review your case and examine your options moving forward. I hope that I can be of greater service.
Because the law only provides penalties to those drivers who cruise around without any insurance and because the law requires only a small pittance of coverage anyway and because a trip to the emergency room for some diagnostics and some prescriptions can cost as much as a Bora Bora vacation... many people find out... after a car accident... that they themselves end up paying for the damages... to car and body... that said, there is often the option of suing the tort feasor (that's law school lingo for wrong doer)... though people who have no insurance are often what can be called judgment proof... meaning no job, no assets, and no way of being collected from. Small claims court is the place of choice for trying to collect the deductible should one want to make a point.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
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