Will small claims be good to use if I only have auto liability coverage?
Question Details: A car hit me in while I was in a turn lane. I deserve some compensation.
Prior to filing a lawsuit, you may be able to settle the case with the at-fault party's insurance carrier. If you were not injured and you are dissatisfied with settlement offers for your property damage (cost of repairs) to your vehicle, you can sue the at-fault party for negligence. The amount of your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) will determine whether to file your lawsuit in small claims court or in a higher court.
If you were injured, when you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss. Your claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document your injury and treatment and are 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. Do NOT file your lawsuit in small claims court. File in Superior Court (your state may or may not 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.