Can I take the other driver to court if their insurance did not cover all damages? 34 Answers as of February 20, 2012

My car was hit on a accident the person who hit me did not have enough insurance coverage to cover all repair and costs can I take this person to small claim to pay for the remaining balance?

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
Yes. However, you must make sure that your settlement with the insurance company did not release the driver from further suit.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/17/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Maybe. If you accepted money from the other person's arrier, you probably signed a release of claims. If you did , then no you cannot sue for more money. Maybe you should talk to your carrier about under insured compensation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/17/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
Usually the insurance company in that situation will have you sign a release or put release language on the check which basically states that you accept said amount as full payment for any and all property damage claims. If you signed a release you will not be able to pursue additional damages against the insured.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/17/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
If the damages exceed the policy limit on the insurance, the insured party is liable for whatever is left over (assuming they are 100% responsible for the damages). Yes, you can sue that person for the remaining balance. However, your insurance likely has a provision for under insured motorists. You may be able to make a claim against your insurance to recover the balance that is owed without having to file a lawsuit. This is why your pay an insurance premium and it is the easiest way to be made whole in this scenario. Take a look at your policy and see if you are covered for under insured motorists and up to what amount. Then contact your company and open a claim.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/17/2011
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
You can sue them for the balance but the recovery of the Judgment becomes the more difficult issue. People who are not sufficiently insured are usually that way due to a lack of funds.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/17/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    If the insurance company did not require you to sign a release to obtain the check for the repair of the vehicle repairs, you may take the person to court for the excess. Normally the insurance company will defend their insured to the extent it takes for you to accept a settlement within the policy limits, and will not write a settlement check unless you sign a release.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    If you collected money from the insurance company you probably signed a release which would include the owner of the car. The insurance company would represent the owner of the car and therefore try to protect the interests of the owner/driver. If you would like to discuss this matter further.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    If the other driver was covered by no fault insurance, you can only recover up to $500 of the deductible of your insurance. This e-mail is covered under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC 2510-2521, and is legally privileged.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Yes, you can. You should at least consult with an accident attorney if you cannot retain one to also re-examine the amount of insurance coverage the other driver carried. This does not appear to be a personal injury matter since only property damages resulted from the collision.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Not if you signed a release.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Depends on whether you signed some kind of release. It does not make sense that there is not enough coverage. Surely there is coverage to cover property. They may not want to pay you what you think the damage is. That may be your problem. In any event you can sue in the county where the defendant lives.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    If you did not sign a release settling the entire claim when you accepted the insurance payment you can. However, it is often difficult to collect a judgment against an individual where the individual has no insurance to cover the damages. You may also have underinsured motorist coverage or collision coverage that would pay the difference.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Yes, unless you signed something stating that you will make no further claim. The other driver may claim that you are inflating your alleged damages and claiming additional costs for which he is not legally liable.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    There is no reason you can't, so long as you didn't accept the property damage policy limits from the insurance company and give them a release.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Aaronson Law Firm
    Aaronson Law Firm | Michael Aaronson
    Yes you can take them to court and you may obtain a judgment for the amount owed to you. The problem is that this individual will have to be liable to you individually so that any money paid must come out of his own pocket, making it somewhat difficult to collect such damages.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    Yes and no. In theory, you could sue the driver; however, If you received any money from the insurance company, you likely released the driver from any further liability regarding property damage. Otherwise, the insurance company would not have paid you.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    You never have to take less than your damages merely because the responsible person has too little insurance. However, if you already received insurance money you were probably required to sign a release that released your excess claims against the other driver. If you didn't sign anything, you should be able to seek your remaining damages. You should talk to a lawyer about what you signed if you did sign something. He/she can help you determine your remaining rights.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Probably not because before the other driver's insurance company paid you they almost certainly had you sign a release that you can't now sue their insured. If they didn't, then go for it.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    The credit belongs to the man who spends himself for a worthy cause who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    Excellent question. If you were in a car accident, ruled not your fault, and the other motorists insurance was too low to cover all of the damage he caused, you may be able to initiate an action against the other driver in court. However, that cannot be answered until an attorney sees all the documents, materials and pictures in your possession. You may have accidently signed a release and waived basic and important damage claims. If there has been no signed waiver you should be able to hire a contingency fee attorney to sue Khorrami.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You can take the person to court for the damages not covered by the insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    You can unless the release you signed with insurance company to get proceeds prevents you from suing other driver.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Minimum liability insurance is $25,000. What vehicle was destroyed or damaged and how much deficiency do you claim?
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Olson Althauser Samuelson & Rayan, LLP
    Olson Althauser Samuelson & Rayan, LLP | Todd S. Rayan
    Yes you can seek recovery from the other driver personally for amounts due above their coverage. Not sure small claims court is the proper forum though. Minimum coverage is $25k in Washington and the max amount in small claims court is $5k. If you fit within the limit then you can bring the action in small claims.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC | Christopher L. Thayer
    Yes, unless you signed a release. You may also have rights to make a claim with your own insurance company - if you have what is called Under Insured Motorist (UIM) coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2011
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