Location, Tampa Fl. Approx 2 years ago my car broke down on the side of the interstate in a legally parked area. (I have police report) I left with a taxi for 10 minutes to get jumpers and came back to a completely totaled car. The driver was 18 and NOT under his parents insurance (whose car he was driving). Since then, my insurance has taken care of settling as far as paying off the totaled car (w/gap insurance) and also covered for my rental car at that time. However, I was just now notified by my insurance company 2 years later that they were unable to recover any money from the responsible party/at fault insurance company (which i guess they are fighting out at their level) and that i am entitled to pursue my $500 deductible. Where do i begin?? I have researched as much as possible and am unsure who, where, and what to do. My insurance company has absolutly no guidance they are able to give me on this matter except for all paperwork involved.
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for all the prompt responses. I never thought to call the individuals personally to give them the option. As far as i can tell, their insurance company is a scam type of deal. Even when the accident happened it took weeks for my insurnace to contact theirs. And with this happening recently, I’ve tried to contact them as well myself and left several messages to no avail. I have 4 years from the date of accident to sue by Florida law. I appreciate the input as far as what forms and sites would help me. Thanks again so much, all this information really helps me alot! I’ll try to call the parents and see what they have to say, but as I recall when i spoke with them soon after the accident, they were very rude and uncooperative. It’s not the $500 for me.. it’s the principle. They should own up to their responsibility.
First off, you should attempt to contact the individual who totaled your car. If you’re only requesting $500, the driver might pay up. You should start with a strongly worded letter explaining that you are entitled to recover the $500 deductible from him since he was at fault.
If he fails to respond and pay the $500, you will need to file a claim in Small Claims Court. The filing fee is modest, no more than $50. You will need to fill out a form entitled “Statement of Claim.” Also, bring any relevant evidence to the courthouse with you. If you do not have a police report, obtain one from the police department.
The “Statement of Claim” form is here: http://www.hillsclerk.com/PublicWeb/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=2022
A help file is available here: http://www.hillsclerk.com/PublicWeb/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=1918
(Both forms are PDF)