Hit by uninsured company vehicle...

by Anna
(Kyle, TX, USA)

In August my husband was sideswiped by a company vehicle driven by an employee of the company. Come to find out the registered owner of the vehicle had not paid for the auto insurance policy, but the company did have a certificate of liability insurance policy.

Would that liability insurance cover the accident, since the vehicle was operating under the company (had the logo on the side)?

My insurance company said it will cost us the uninsured motorist deductible, since they technically didn't have insurance, but I don't feel we should have to pay. I want the company to pay. I've spoken with the company owner and he said he would send a check for the repairs, but it has been 2 months without follow up and I'm tired of waiting.

What other options do I have? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hit by uninsured company vehicle...":

Anna (Kyle, TX, USA):

It appears you have a cause of action not only against the company, but against the negligent driver as well. Send the company owner a certified letter, return receipt requested. In the letter should be a copy of an estimate for the repair of your car, and a demand for sufficient money to make the necessary repairs.

Tell the owner you expect to be reimbursed promptly for that amount. A reasonable time should be seven (7) days from the date of the accident. Send the negligent driver a similar certified letter along with another copy of the estimate for repairs.

It is not your legal duty to determine whether or not the company and the driver had insurance, The burden is upon them to compensate you for the damage to your car.

If they had insurance at the time of the accident, then it is up to them to submit the matter to their insurance company. If they didn't have insurance, then they are liable individually and collectively for your damages.

Fortunately, the State of Texas has a rather high jurisdictional amount for its small claims courts. In Texas, you can sue another party for damage to your vehicle in an amount up to $10,000. In Texas, you do not need to have an attorney to sue in small claims court.

Be sure to include in your letters a statement saying that although you would prefer to settle the matter out of court, you will not hesitate to file a lawsuit against them if necessary (this of course presumes that would be your intention).

Hopefully that will will be sufficient to get their attention, and their money. If not, you can take them to court.

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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