What is my recourse for a hit and run?
Question Details: My car was hit by a box trunk veering into my lane pushing me into the center median. After it hit me, it kept going. My insurance company paid to have my car repaired less the deductible. It took a month for the police to track down the truck. Can I sue in small claims court for the stress that the crash caused me. Can I sue in small claims court for the stress that the crash caused me? The truck has the paint of my car on it where it ran over me.
Your personal injury claim for stress and anxiety is separate from your property damage claim.
Prior to filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party, it may be possible to settle your personal injury claim with that party's insurance carrier. Notify the at-fault party's insurance carrier in writing that you will be filing a personal injury claim.
You will need to document your stress and anxiety with medical treatment from a psychologist or psychiatrist. When you complete your treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and if applicable, documentation of wage loss. Your personal injury claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical report will document your stress and anxiety and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party. Don't file your lawsuit in small claims court because the maximum you can recover is limited. File your lawsuit in superior court where you can recover more compensation. Your state may have a different name for superior court.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.