What should I do if the man that hit my car wasn’t the owner of the vehicle and the actual owners don’t have insurance coverage?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2012

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What should I do if the man that hit my car wasn’t the owner of the vehicle and the actual owners don’t have insurance coverage?

I was in an collision/accident where the male driving was driving his friends car. After filing a claim with the car owners insurance, I haven’t received a call back from the company. I’ve also tried to contact the driver but could only leave a voice mail. When I called the ins company to follow up on my claim, they stated that there may not be active coverage for the owner. What should I do now?

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Accident Law, Texas


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the registered owner does not have auto insurance, you can file a claim through your auto insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage.  If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will pay for the cost of repairs to your car.

If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage, you will need to sue the registered owner and at- fault driver for negligence.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your car.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by having your car repaired at a place whose charges are comparable to other auto body shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive auto body shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, you will need to select a rental with a reasonable rate in order to mitigate damages.  If you were to select a very expensive rental car, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  This does not mean you have to select the cheapest subcompact you can find, but something comparable to what you were driving or something with a reasonable rental rate.

Depending on the amount of damages you are seeking in your lawsuit, you may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages should also include court costs which would be the court filing fee and process server fee.

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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