At-Fault Driver Not Paying for Car Damages...

by Nitesh
(Akron, OH)

A lady hit my car while it was parked and a police report was filed. She told me that she didn't want to go through her insurance company and asked to settle privately. I agreed and sought estimates. I gave her the estimates but she has not yet paid and is now making excuses.

What should I do? Any info you can give would be appreciated.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "At-Fault Driver Not Paying for Car Damages...":

Nitesh:

It is always important to gather an at-fault driver’s insurance information, even if the at-fault driver doesn’t want to go through insurance. We have to presume the damages were not substantial and that you were not injured. That being said let’s try and help you...

It appears you at least have the driver’s name and address. You should write the driver a letter reminding her of the agreement and her promise to pay for your damages. You should also suggest the availability of Small Claims Court. Finally, giver her a date specific in which the money has to be paid. Explain under the circumstances you will only accept cash, a Bank Certified check or Money Order.

If she fails to meet the deadline you should contact the police and make a report of what happened. You have done nothing wrong so you shouldn't be anxious about filing the report.

Then you should proceed to file a Small Claims lawsuit against her. In that lawsuit you can ask the judge to award you additional monies for the Mental Anguish the woman has put you through. The maximum one can sue for in the State of Ohio is $3,000. We can only presume the damages to your vehicle were less than that amount.

To help you through the process we have put together an example of the type of letter you should send...

==============================

CERTIFIED RRR
Ms. ________
Address

Re: Auto Collision of _____, 2011

Dear Ms._______:

On ____, 2011 you collided with me and caused damage to my vehicle. You accepted responsibility for the collision and agreed to pay to have my car fully repaired. At your specific request I agreed to waive the insurance process and allow you to pay me directly.

It has now been____days since the collision and I have still not received the money promised.

Regrettably I must advise you if the money is not paid in full by midnight of _____, 2011 (you should give her about 5 business days), I will have no alternative than to report your actions to the (name of your local Police Department) and thereafter proceed to file a Small Claims lawsuit against you. In the suit I will ask the Judge to award me an amount of money to pay for the damages to my car, and I will ask for additional compensation for the mental anguish and loss of time this matter has caused me.

Yours truly,

__________
Your Name

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The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for At-Fault Driver Not Paying for Car Damages...

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THANK YOU!
by: Anonymous

This is awesome. Thank you very much. I wasn't sure where and how to start a "promise letter." This reads exactly like I need it to. :)

Thank you again.

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