I have a question about getting compensation for uninsured motorists property damage...
I was in an auto accident about a year ago. I was not at fault and the other driver was cited. My car was a total loss and was taken by the at-fault driver's insurance company. Later we found out that the driver was not covered under the insurance policy and my attorney dropped my case immediately.
My car was never returned to me by the insurance company after many requests. Also, the car I was driving is under my husband's name and not mine. We now have to file a civil suit and we were wondering who should file the civil suit, me or my common law husband? And how do I get my car back from the at-fault driver's insurance company?
We had a balance on the car and have been getting collection calls from the finance company. I know the finance company doesn't care but I'm not paying for something that was taken and never returned back.
Can I file a theft report with the police department? Also, the truck he was driving belonged to his father, do I send a demand letter to both him and his father? Please help.
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ANSWER for "Uninsured Motorists Property Damage Case...":
It is highly improbable the insurance company would have physically taken your vehicle without paying the value of it to your lien holder.
Although highly improbable the at-fault party may have limited or no liability insurance. That may be the reason your attorney decided not to pursue the case.
Whoever sustained injuries in the collision should be one of the plaintiffs. The owner of the damaged vehicle also retains a right to sue as well.
The at-fault driver was driving his father’s truck. I imagine your attorney had already explored the liability and financial responsibility of the father.
It is highly probable the police would not accept this matter as criminal. By its very nature it is entirely a civil matter.
You are certainly correct in sending a demand letter to the owner of the vehicle and the driver. If your attorney has returned the contents of your file it is likely she would have already sent both parties respective demand letters.
You understand if the father and son did not have insurance it is probably an omen of things to come. You may go through all the motions of a lawsuit only to later learn you spent all your money for a judgment. It is true the judgment is enforceable but if the defendants don’t have anything you will be out of luck.
If you do get a judgment and wish to aggressively enforce it you will probably have to hire your own private investigator to determine when and if the defendants come into money. When they do you can pay a fee to the sheriff’s department and they will go out and attempt to levy on the defendants’ assets.
All of the above can be frustrating, and in many ways, expensive. All of this should be factored in before you decide to pursue a lawsuit. If you choose to wait and see if the defendants appear to come into money, you will have up to 2 years from the date of the collision to file suit. That time period is referred to as the Statute of Limitations in Texas.
One final thought. There are cases in which a person’s homeowner’s insurance policy and coverage will cover incidents such as vehicular collisions and the like. This is something else you should look into before filing suit.
You are going to have a big job on your hands. Make sure you think logically at every junction. Emotions will adversely affect the case.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.