do I have a case to sue? and where do I find a lawyer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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do I have a case to sue? and where do I find a lawyer?

while at a concert at the new york state fair grounds yesterday i came
out of the concert after it ended to the brown area parking lot to
find a paper under my windshield wiper stating my back right passenger
door was damaged in an incident with a deputy’s name and number on it.
i flagged down a sheriff to find out that a boyfriend and girlfriend
had gotten into a fight and the boyfriend slammed her hear into my car
door and split her skull. My car is still drivable, but there’s a
giant dent in the door along with the window pain bent back and paint
damage. my question is do i have a case to sue him with for the
damage? my insurance will not cover this and i feel that I should not
have to pay out of my pocket for damages that I did not make to my

Asked on July 8, 2016 under Accident Law, New York


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, you might want to try contacting your insurance company again and asking if this incident would be covered under comprehensive. If the damage to your car is considered to be an intentional act, it won't be covered under your insurance because auto insurance covers negligent not intentional acts.
You can sue the boyfriend for the cost of repairs to your car.  If it is construed as an intentional act since he was beating his girlfriend and slammed her into your car, you would sue for trespass to chattel which is the intentional taking or damaging of the personal property of another.
If the damage to your car is construed as negligence and not intentional, then you would sue the boyfriend for negligence.  Again, your damages would be the cost of repairs to your car.
You can file the lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages should include the cost of repairs to your car and court costs which would include the court filing fee and process server fee.
If you file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court, there aren't any attorneys.
If you retain an attorney and file the lawsuit in Superior Court (which might have a different name in your state), the attorney's fee will come out of the cost of repairs to your car.  Therefore, since the damage is probably an amount within the jurisdiction of Small Claims Court, it would be advisable to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  There should be a legal adviser in Small Claims Court to help you complete the court forms and file your lawsuit.
If you still want to find an attorney and file in Superior Court, you can find attorneys online, in the Yellow Pages or can obtain a referral from your County Bar Association.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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