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Parked Car Hit By Uninsured Motorist

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Parked Car Hit By Uninsured Motorist

Postby Leo » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:45 am

About 9:30pm on a Monday, my car was parked in front of my house minding it's own business, when struck and the driver fled. This is my 18 yr old daughter's car and I carry pl & pd only. The driver showed up on our doorstep the next day asking us not to report the accident. He said he hit the car around 5am Tues. We told him we had called the police the previously evening and filed a hit and run report. He wanted us to lie and say the car was actually hit Tuesday because he had no insurance on Monday.I talked to his insurance and they say he has no coverage. he owns a business and a home.It looks as though the car will be totaled because the frame is sprung.   Can I file a claim in small claims court? The car is a 1995 Ford Escort wagon. My daughter paid $2000. last year for the car. Can you please advise? Thank you
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Parked Car Hit By Uninsured Motorist

Postby devoss » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:59 pm

Hi Deborah, There are two ways to go here and small claims court would seem to be the best choice.  So, yes, you can file the claim in small claims court.  You will want to make sure that you do have your proof of Actual Cash Value(what is akin to fair market value).  Also, make sure you get proof of the license and tabs costs for the year and prorate those. If your daughter put in new tires or new equipment or the like, then show the cost of those.  The judge will want to know when she installed anything new.  The cost will be greatly reduced, but put it in anyway.

You will get the proof of market value on the Internet, in newspapers, in the magazines at grocery stores, and by calling dealers.   My favorite sites for valuation are www.Edmunds.com and www.autotrader.com.  They want to know your zip code, and then they ask for a range in miles to search. Don't limit yourself to your city: it is reasonable that someone could go up to 200 miles to pick up a used car. That way you will get a lot more information.  Be aware that you should pick the option "any distance" from your zip code.  

Be aware that the prices shown are the "asking" price, not the actual cash value.  But if you gather enough examples, the judge will have something to go on for figuring out the value of your vehicle.  

You will either have to transfer it to the tortfeasor if he pays the full ACV.  Or, you could retain it for salvage(in which case the judge will reduce your award by the salvage value) and part it out—but with that car it does not sound like something I would recommend.  Hence, be prepared to transfer the car. As for the conversation the tortfeasor had with you, I would just let him admit in court that he was responsible, and not get into all that he said inasmuch as that is a separate crime.  Maybe best to let that lay, and let him just admit he did hit the car.  

I suspect that he will contact you before the court date to "work something out".  I WOULD NOT agree to take a promissory note from him.  Make him borrow the damage payment from somewhere else.  But if he is willing to pay the ACV of the car, and he has cash, then that is fine.  Let him do it and be done with the episode.

By the way, DO NOT THREATEN to tell the prosecutor about his criminal suggestion if he does not pay what you want.  THAT could be considered extortion on your part.

Now, on to your insurance.  I take it that you mentioned only the insurance you have that would deal with this accident, and in fact that you do have additional insurance.  Because if you do not, then your insurance coverage is WAAAAY OUT OF LINE with the protection of your daughter. You MUST have protection for her and her passengers by purchasing BOTH the PIP or Med/Pay and the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage(UIM).  You can treat this incident as a WARNING.  We hope there is no "next time", but if there is, and your daughter is driving, and a guy without insurance hits her, you are going to feel pretty poor if you did not protect her with PIP and UIM.

I trust that my extra time here has produced some information that has been of value to you, and thus I would respectfully request that you take the time to locate the FEEDBACK FORM on this site and leave some feedback for me.

Best Wishes, Dr. Settlement, J.D.(Juris Doctor) http://www.SettlementCentral.Com
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