I let a friend borrow my car. She crashed the vehicle and got a DUI. Neither of us carry collision insurance on our vehicles, so my insurance company advised me to seek damages through her directly. She is a friend of mine and although I'm sure this will take a toll on our friendship, I would like to handle this in a sensitive manner. She informed me that she would make restitution, but has since ignored my attempts to contact her. 1. Do I have grounds for a civil lawsuit. 2. Do I have any obligations before I file. 3. Will I need a lawyer, or is this something I can simply explain to a judge/jury. 4. How do I proceed in filing a suit?
Best to pursue with counsel but this may be an exercise in futility if she does not have assets to satisfy a judgment.
Be mindful that it is tough to get blood from a stone. Likely she doesn't have money if she can't afford a car.
It is always better to proceed wit ha lawyer when filing something in court. The court system is fraught with rules and procedures that take years to understand. That being said, depending upon the value of the vehicle, you could file a small claims action and perhaps represent yourself. Good luck.
You don't have to let someone know that you are going to sue them. You can just file the lawsuit.
Unless you are going through some type of small claims court where the procedures are a bit more lax and non lawyer friendly, you should really hire a lawyer to handle this for you. Civil cases often have very strict procedures and timelines, which if not followed correctly can result in you never being able to have your case heard. Before going through all this though, consider if she even has the financial ability to pay if you win. All winning does is get you a judgment. If a person simply doesn't have the money, then whats the point?
Are the criminal charges still pending? Yoyr best bet would be to contact the district attorneys office and lwt them handle the restitution. They can order it as part of the probation where the car accident occurred durinf the commission of the OUI.
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