What rights do I have in pursuing legal action against a man who hit and ran my vehicle while I was not in it?
3 attorney answers
If the other person’s insurance company is denying liability or has not yet accepted full liability or has not paid you an amount that would make you whole after the accident in a timely manner, your options are as follows:
1. If you have your own collision coverage on your auto policy, you can use it, pay your deductible, and let your insurance company fight it out with the other person’s insurance company. That’s the reason you pay insurance premiums. Let your insurance company earn its keep. This would be the path of least resistance. As for the replacement parts issue, read your policy to see if this is what you agreed to.
2. If you don’t want to use your insurance or don’t have any collision coverage, you can file a small claims lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties (the driver and the owner if they are different people).
3. If the insurance company appears to be unreasonable in its denial or delay, you can make a formal complaint with your state’s Insurance Commissioner’s Office. Go online to find out how to do so in your state.
Please do not message me for further advice or call my former law firm if you have any further questions. If you are in need of an attorney to assist you, please search for another attorney in the jurisdiction involved in your case, as I am now retired, and my former law firm is no longer handling these types of cases. I am active on AVVO and answer questions only as a public service at this point.
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I'm glad you have a witness and videos. I assume you mean you filed a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. If so, then you should pursue a settlement of your claim with them. If they refuse to pay for OEM parts (either new or used), then you can agree to pay for the difference so that you have better and safer parts, request a warranty for the parts they use, retain a lawyer to negotiate for you and, if necessary, file a lawsuit. You also have the option of making a claim under your policy but there may be a deductible to pay and you will need to read your policy to see what it says about OEM or LKQ (like kind and quality parts). Also, remember that if your car is less than ten years old, you may have a diminished value claim as well (meaning a car that has been wrecked and repaired is worth less than the same car that has not). If needed, you may click the link above to find a lawyer. Best wishes.
The information is provided for general purposes only and should not be relied upon. You are advised to consult with an attorney of your choosing, who can advise you on the particular facts and options in your case. No attorney-client relationship is intended or formed absent you executing a signed fee agreement.
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