If I was in an auto accident in which the other driver admitted to being at fault, can I sue him for the cost of repairs to my vehicle and how?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I was in an auto accident in which the other driver admitted to being at fault, can I sue him for the cost of repairs to my vehicle and how?

The other driver tired to pass a city truck and came into my Llane and struck my car.

Asked on March 27, 2018 under Accident Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue him for any costs which are not paid by your own insurance. (Since you can't be "double paid" for anything, to the extent you are paid by insurance, you cannot recover more money for the same thing: e.g. if there was $6k in damage and you had $5k paid by insurance, you could sue him for the other $1k).
You sue him by filing a lawsuit in court and having it served on him according to the court rules. If you do this in small claims court, it tends to be very simple and you can get straightforward forms and instructions from the small claims court (either in person or online); you would be, however, limited to the maximum you can seek in your state's small claims court, which may be less than your total). If you sue in "regular" county court, the process is much slower and more complicated and is not well-suited to doing it "pro se" (as your own attorney)--but if you hire a lawyer, you have to pay for your own attorney yourself (the other side does not have to pay this cost), which will eat into what you hope to recover.
To sue, you *must* have an address for the other driver: to have power ("jurisdiction") over someone, the court papers must be physically served on him. Without an address, you cannot sue.
To win money in a lawsuit, you will have to prove that he was at fault *in court*. What he said to you out of court does not by itselt prove or establish the case.

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