Can I sue the driver and get the cost of my deductible? 20 Answers as of June 02, 2013

A little over a month ago, I was in a car accident. The other driver was at fault and we did exchange insurance information. However, her insurance company claims that they can't get in contact with her and have reservation of rights to not be liable because of lack of contact. My insurance company is trying to figure thing out, but until then can I sue the driver and get the cost of my deductible?

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Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
You should demand that your insurance company reimburse you the deductible and get it from the other guys carrier. Ordinarily your carrier would go after the other carrier to get reimbursed what they paid for your car and this would include your deductible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/8/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You can certainly sue the driver. If the driver does not cooperate with her carrier they may deny her coverage so you may be stuck trying to collect your judgment from the pocketbook of the driver.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 11/3/2011
Law Offices of Bodey & Bodey, PLLC
Law Offices of Bodey & Bodey, PLLC | Michael Bodey
The short answer to your question, "can I sue the driver and get the costs of my deductible," is yes you can sue the driver who is at fault, and caused damage to your property, i.e. your car. However, a law suit against this driver will require a lot of time and expense on your part. There may be a better way about going in getting your deductible back. First off, find out if you have underinsured motorist property damage listed as one of your options under your policy. Assuming this is the case your deductible typically is less than your normal collision coverage. This will help you offset the out of pocket expense to you directly. It appears that by not cooperating with her own insurance company the other driver risks being denied any coverage. That being said suddenly she will become uninsured. This allows you to utilize this portion of your policy. Pay the deductible, cooperate with your insurance company, have them inspect your vehicle, they will write an estimate, pay your deductible to the auto body shop and get your car repaired. This will trigger a subrogation interest for your insurance company and yourself. As an exclaims representative, I frequently contacted the state of Washington informing them of drivers who did not have insurance. Typically these folks would also not pay back the amounts paid by the insurance company I worked for. The state of Washington used not to reissue licenses as a result of these reporting's. Hence when your defendant in this case does not pay back your insurance company for monies spent on the repair to your vehicle, inquire as to what your insurance company will report to the State in regard to this matter. Finally, if the defendant in this case, wants her license back, she will begin paying your insurance company. Inquire with your own insurance company, whether or not you receive the first dollars associated with payment from the defendant as a result of having to pay your deductible. If they say that you do not get the first dollars back on a repayment schedule, then hire a lawyer! Your insurance company should take a 2nd seat in relation to being paid back. Thus, you should be paid back first i.e., for example, $300 deductible for UIM or $500 deductible for collision depending on your deductible amounts and policy language. Get your insurance company to work for you. After all, you paid your premium and they work for you. Your insurance company should be pursuing this matter against this individual. Follow-up with your adjuster, and if you are not satisfied quickly move to your adjusters manager. Place everything in writing, sent via facsimile and first-class mail, their typical excuse will be, "we did not get your letter," and make sure to save the fax confirmation form which demonstrates that you sent the letter to your insurance company. Finally inquire often; this will motivate the adjuster to bring resolution to the matter. This will allow you to avoid having to file suit in relation to a property damage claim. Otherwise you will have to, depending on the amount, file in Superior Court and pay the filing fee on top of any fees associated with tracking down the defendant, serving the defendant and then the expense of the discovery process, i.e. interrogatories, depositions, etc.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/2/2011
McKell Christiansen
McKell Christiansen | Michael McKell
Sure. You can sue the other driver. It still may take you several month to get your deductible back as you work through your case.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 11/2/2011
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
Insist that your insurance company, through subrogation, obtain a full recovery for all of the damages caused by the other driver in the vehicle collision and pays over the deductible amount to you. If not, retain an accident attorney to represent you in the settlement of your insurance claim.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/2/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    No. Your insurance company pursues the deductible when you have collision. They then return it to you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/2/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Sue the driver for everything. You should probably talk to a small calims advisor at the court first. There are issues of notice. You may have to get permission to publish the notice/summons.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Consult with a local lawyer and sue her for your deductible, as well as sue her insurance company who should be responsible for covering her actions since apparently she paid the premiums. Think about it. If any person who was at fault could avoid responsibility by simply ignoring their own insurance company (and if that insurance company would avoid liability if the insured did avoid them) what recourse would you have? None! That is why you may have to sue her and report the insurance company to the insurance commission to get action. Hire a lawyer quickly. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/2/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Let your insurer fix your car (they won't want toyou'll have to insist) then ask them to "subrogate" against the other party's insurer, or if there really ends up being no coverage, against the other driver. When your insurer collects you are entitled to get back your deductible and won't even have to pay any attorney's fees.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/2/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    If you sue the driver for the cost of your deductible, you will probably lose your right to sue again if you have any injuries or other damages.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/2/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    You should not have to pay your deductible regardless. The only time you have a deductible is if you are at fault or if it is a hit and run situation and you have no one identified as responsible. In this instance, an at fault party is known. You do not lose out because the at fault party is not cooperating. The reservation of rights letter is probably a standard letter they send out while they are investigating the matter. Things should work out.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/2/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    First, get what you can out of your insurance company. Then go after the other driver for the deductible.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/2/2011
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