Visitor Question

Uninsured vehicle damaged by hit and run driver…

Submitted By: Corey (Lafayette, Louisiana )

I live in Lafayette, LA. My car was parked with no one inside the vehicle when the perpetrator hit my car and then fled the scene. Thankfully the neighbors were able to get the license plate of the car, and the driver was later picked up by the police.

The issue I’m concerned about is that my insurance is expired. I was looking for a cheaper insurance policy I could afford when the accident happened. Am I still able to collect money for the damages? Does my not having insurance affect anything? Thankfully the party that hit me does have insurance.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Corey,

Your lack of insurance is regrettable, but will not preclude you from pursuing the driver personally for the amount it takes to repair your car. While we don’t know for sure, there is a good chance the driver didn’t have insurance.

If the driver had insurance, you will be able to file a claim with his or her insurance company. If the driver didn’t have insurance, but the owner of the car did, you can file against the owner’s insurance company.

In the event neither the owner nor driver had insurance, there is another way you might be able to collect the amount you’ll need to repair your car…

Inasmuch as the driver was arrested, he or she was likely arrested for the criminal offense of Leaving the Scene of an Accident. If so, the driver will have to go to court to defend him or herself. If the evidence is clear against the driver, and he or she doesn’t have a prior criminal record, the driver will likely receive a probated sentence.

Contact the prosecutor in the case. Tell the prosecutor you were the victim and sustained property damage. Be sure to submit to the prosecution a couple of estimates for the repair of your car. Once you do this, you can ask the prosecutor to ask the judge to make paying restitution part of the driver’s conditions of probation.

If the driver fails to make restitution, he or she will be arrested and sentenced to jail or prison depending upon the sentence requirements.

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

Best of luck,

Published: December 26, 2014

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