Can I recoup any losses with an identified hit-and-run driver ifI only have liability on my vehicle?

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Can I recoup any losses with an identified hit-and-run driver ifI only have liability on my vehicle?

I was involved in a hit-and-run with a semi on an interstate. The driver came over into my lane. I honked and he tried to correct but not in time for his rear tire to hit the back axle of my car. I was spun around into the guardrail, he totalled my car and kept going. There were 2 witnesses and they are willing to testify as to the company the truck came from. My father contacted the company and they denied the incident. I’m a college student and only carried liability. Now I don’t have a car for work or to get back to school. I wasn’t hurt other than being banged up a little and sore, although I did have to go to the doctor for muscle relaxers. We filed a police report but don’t know what the next step should be or what kind of case this will be or if I will be able to recoup any losses.

Asked on December 31, 2011 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The insurance you had on your vehicle is not an issue because the other driver was at fault.

If the insurance carrier for the truck denies liability which is probably the case since the truck company is denying the incident, your recourse would be to sue the truck company for negligence.  An employer (the truck company) is liable for the negligence of its employee (driver) which occurred during the course and scope of employment.

Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the property damage to your car and you would also have damages for your personal injury claim.  The damages for your personal injury claim would include the medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering.  Your personal injury claim should also include documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical report will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

You will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the truck company and driver prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  You only file one lawsuit naming both the truck company and driver as defendants.


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