Neighbor backed into my truck, small claims?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Neighbor backed into my truck, small claims?

While I was gone with my wife, my neighbor backed into my truck. We live in apartments with on street parking. When I returned home I found the neighbors car wedged underneath the rear bumper of my truck. It did decent damage to their car but little to my truck. I have a custom steel bumper that is a lot tougher than the plastic one on her car. I took pictures of the 2 vehicles and thought about calling the police but did not thinking she would own up to it. A few hours later the neighbor ends up calling the police claiming I backed into her. I was dumbfounded. The police simply made us exchange insurance info. Even though there was minimal damage to my truck I called my insurance and filled a claim against her. I am not sure if their are any witnesses of her hitting my truck I need to ask all the neighbors I can. Should I take her to small claims? Truth is on my side and her story that she told the cops in front of me was erratic and did not make much sense or just let insurance handle it?

Asked on August 3, 2017 under Accident Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You stated that "little damage" was done to your truck, which has a tough custom steel bumper. If that means that the cost to repair your truck is small, then unless you have a very high deductible (so that effectively, your insurance will not really pay for anything), there seems like relatively little point to even small claims court at this point. For small damage to your vehicle, let your insurance handle it, especially since you have already put in a claim. 
If at the end of the day, after insurance has processed matters, you still have $500 or more in unreimbursed costs attributable to the accident--deductible; vehicle rental, if you had to rent a replacement while yours is repaired; etc.--you can decide whether to sue or not--that is, whether it's worth the effort and time (assume you will lose at least one workday to court). But wait until insurance is done and you have the final tally of your costs to decide. You are allowed to file after you are paid by your insurer, for anything they don't cover.

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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