What to do if my car was vandalized?

UPDATED: Nov 16, 2012

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What to do if my car was vandalized?

There was a guy that started jumping on top of my car hood and roof causing visible dents. I called the police and he was arrested down the street as he was doing the same to other cars. I requested a police report but I haven’t heard from the DA. What should I do next? I have full coverage but I don’t want this to increase my premium. What are the procedures? Do I sue him for damages?

Asked on November 16, 2012 under Accident Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue him for damages; one easy and inexpensive way to do this is to file a suit in small claims court, acting as your own attorney. You can get forms and instructions from your local court, either in person or often on their website. You will need evidence he did the damage--such as pictures or video of the attack; witness testimony, including your own (note: all witness will have to actually come to court)--and also evidence of the cost to repair. Of course, if he has little or no income or assets, you may not be able to collect; it can also be difficult and time-consuming to collect from someone who simply doesn't care about his record or credit rating, or his legal obligations, and is willing to ignore the court's judgment. (You *can* ultimately collect from people like this--just expect it will take more time, more effort, and more cost on your part.)

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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