What to do if an at-fault driver denies fault?

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What to do if an at-fault driver denies fault?

I was in line at a scrap yard and was sidewipe by another driver. I called the highway patrol to write up a report. The man told the officer he was at fault and got a 2 tickets for careless driving and no proof of insurance. I don’t have full cover on my vehicle. Reported it to his insurance company. His company said that they have to speak with him to get a statement before the can pay the claim. I had to fax them the report because they said it would go faster. After 3 weeks the driver called his insurer back and told them that we hit him. Now what?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The insurance company should rely on the police report.  The other driver has no credibility.  How is he going to be able to explain to his insurance company that he now claims not to be at fault after admitting to the police that he was at fault and receiving two tickets for careless driving?

If the insurance company denies liability, you should sue the other driver for negligence.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your car plus court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.  If you do sue the other driver for negligence, the police report where the other driver admitted liability is the evidence you want to present in court in support of your claim.

You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by having the car repaired at a repair shop whose charges are comparable to others in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, the cost of the rental car should be included in the damages you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit for negligence  against the other driver.  Again, you will need to mitigate damages by not selecting the most expensive rental car you can find.  If you did  that, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

 


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