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Do I need an attorney for a car accident I was not at fault for?

Clearwater, FL |

My car was parked and hit by a uhaul. Someone witnessed the accident and a police report was made. My car sustained damages and my alignment is very off, and I don't want to cause more damage by driving my car. I can't afford to fix the damages on my own. The at fault driver is not providing his personal insurance and I do not want to go through mine for damages because my premium will go up. I also want to get rental reimbursement and diminished value out of the accident as I was not at fault. Should I hire an attorney to expedite my claim so my car can get fixed without further problems and ensure I receive all necessary reimbursement either through the at fault party's insurance or uhaul's insurance.

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Attorney answers 5


If the damage is less than $5,000 you can sue the at-fault driver in small claims court. However, if you hire a lawyer to send him/her an insurance disclosure letter the threat of a lawsuit will likely cause the at-fault to give the insurance information rather than be personally liable (unless the at-fault was uninsured).

The above is general advice regarding applicable state law. It does not create an attorney-client relationship in any specific case.


I would hire an attorney. You have multiple claims and the uhaul company will almost certainly deny the claim based on a federal law that they will argue protects them from liability.


You are in a tough situation. You are simply looking to get your car back to where it was before an at fault driver hit you. If you knew the identity of the insurance carrier, this is likely something you would be able to work out without hiring a lawyer. In fact, hiring a lawyer might end up costing you more than the value of your claim.
The big problem is that you don't know the other driver's insurance carrier, and he won't give it to you. Perhaps you could convince the investigating police officer (if there was one for the police report) to inquire.
If that doesn't work, I suggest you consult with a lawyer in your area to see if he or she will write a letter or file a claim in your version of small claims court for a flat fee -- on that is reasonable in light of the value of the value of the claim. That may or may not be possible.
In the end, your best and only real option may be filing a claim with your carrier to get your car fixed and back on the road. You bought and paid for the coverage. Nobody likes to use it, but you might have to.
When you consult with a Florida lawyer, ask if there is a Florida statute that prohibits carriers from raising rates when you make a claim on your policy where you were not at fault. Many states have such laws.

This answer is given for informational purposes only. Local law and authorities have not been consulted. No attorney/client relationship is created by posting this answer, and Dev Sethi is not licensed to practice law in New Mexico.


Simplest to report to your own insurance company to resolve.

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You should obtain a copy of the police report, which should contain information about the adverse driver's insurance carrier. File your claim against the insurance carrier of the driver of the vehicle and also with the insurer of the U-Haul vehicle.

Why do you think that your insurance premium would go up if you filed a collision damage claim on a parked vehicle? You played no part in causing the damage.

I think hiring an attorney would not be cost effective when you have a number of less costly options available.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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