Can't get restitution from driver?

by W
(Camden, TN)

On December 5, 2013 I was rear ended while sitting at a red light, and the person ran. I could identify the vehicle but not the driver. I have 3 witnesses that can identify her. It totaled my car and left me with whiplash and now chronic sacroiliitis.

I have the driver's signed statement admitting everything. We found her by posting an ad on facebook. We had to tell the police where to find the truck. The police knew who it was, as she was the reason why they had speed bumps installed at the park. She had no insurance.

I did hire a lawyer to handle the case, but my question is why didn't she get tickets and fines? After repeated attempts to get information from the officers, we were told that there was nothing we could do and not to bother their boss. The police report is not finished, but has 4 violations on it.

Our lawyer says we can't do anything about it because it would make the case go back to the beginning. The insurance lawyer is also our general sessions judge.

I am frustrated, this careless driver took away my joy in life. I am thankful I am alive, but I live in pain everyday. If our insurance pays the rest of the uninsured amount, there won't be much left to pay the future bills and missed wages. This driver is getting away with paying nothing.

Her mother was the car's owner but they claim she didn't have permission to drive that day, which we know to be false because she drove the car everyday. While this is going on, they are buying new cars and a camper, and her mom quit her job (her dad and daughter work). We are struggling. What can I do? Thank you.

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 "Can't get restitution from driver?":

W (Camden, TN):

It is our position at not to interfere with the attorney-client relationship. To do so would be wholly inappropriate. You are represented by an attorney and should heed his or her advice.

Generally speaking, issuing traffic citations is usually left to the discretion of the responding police officer. Why the police report indicates 4 violations and no tickets issued may be because as you say, the police report is not yet completed. When the police report is completed the driver may then be issued citations.

If the amount of available insurance doesn't cover your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for bandages, medications, etc.), lost wages, and your pain and suffering, you have every right to sue the driver. You may also have a right to sue the owner of the car.

In the interim, let your attorney do his or her job. You can be confident your attorney will answer any questions you might have about your case, and will do their best to fully represent your interests.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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