Question: I was involved in a car accident. The other person had insurance and I filed a claim. It has been months now and nothing has been done to fix my car. Now the insurance adjuster doesn’t even return my calls. What should I do?
Robert’s Answer: This is just one of the problems when people choose to represent themselves in a car accident case. You just do not pose any sort of threat to the insurance company because you do not have the know-how to enforce your legal rights. Of course, you did not mention whether you had any injuries from the accident. If you did not, then you probably couldn’t find an attorney to take your case anyway.
Your first option is to go ahead and make the claim on your own insurance policy. You will have to pay your deductible, but at least you can get your car fixed and back on the road. And if your insurance company decides to seek recovery from the other driver’s insurance company, then they will refund your deductible from the recovery. If your insurance company decides not to seek recovery from the other driver, then you are free to sue the other driver yourself for your deductible.
If you did not have coverage for your car under your own policy, then your next option would be for you to file a lawsuit against the other driver for the damages to your car. If the damages are less than $10,000, then you can file your case in small claims court. If the damages are more than that, then you will have to file your case in a court of higher jurisdiction. Unfortunately, you will need the aid of a lawyer in a higher court.
The moral of the story is to use your insurance if you have the coverage. Otherwise, you will have to be prepared to pursue legal action yourself.