One of my law professors used to say the following, "When in doubt, sue everybody." I agree with the last attorney. You should sue the guy that hit your vehicle, and the shop owner. However, you may want to take another tact. The guy that hit you on the shop owner's property may be a customer of the body shop. If you go to the body shop owner in person before suing him, and tell him your dilemna, he may want to try to help you work something out. Especially if it means avoiding court issues. Maybe he will even repair the car for you at his own expense. Just thinking of alternatives for you. Whatever you choose, good luck.
THE ABOVE ANSWER AND ANY SUPPLEMENTAL RESPONSES ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE OR ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED BY THIS OR ANY OTHER RESPONSE TO YOUR QUESTION. FOR LEGAL ADVICE, PLEASE CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.
If this accident occurred in Hillsborough County, information regarding how to file claims in small claims court is provided by the Clerk of Court at http://www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=1918
Additional forms are located at http://www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/forms.aspx#CountyCivilSmallClaims
From the desk of T. Edmund Spinks, Esq. P.L.
304 Plant Ave. S. Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606
Disclaimer: legal information is not the same as legal advice -- the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. This information is not intended as legal advice for an individual situation, it is only provided as information.
Hopefully, you will not have to sue anyone. The owner and driver of the vehicle that hit yours are responsible to pay for your damages. I cannot tell if the body shop owner witnessed the individual hitting your car or not, but it appears from your question that the person who was driving the vehicle that hit yours at least told the body shop owner he was the responsible party.
You have a right under Florida law to have the insurance information of both the owner and driver of the offending vehicle that caused damage to your car. I would reccommend you do a written time limit demand to both the owner and driver and also a demand for both their insurance carriers information. You may find the driver has no coverage and that the owners insurance is all there is anyway. in either event, the owner is primarily responsible for the damages and if they, or their insuror does not pay you by the time limit of your demand, then you will be forced to file a lawsuit against both the owner and driver. Hopefully your letter will spark a response from the owner or their insurance carrier that may not even presently know of this situation. Do it all in writing and good luck. If you do not get the desired response you will need to proceed to small claims court.
Your best bet will be to sue the owner of that vehicle in small claims court. The expense of hiring a lawyer will be greater than the damage you'll recover from the owner of the car. See the previous lawyers link to the courthouse. Thanks.