Negligence, Other Injury Small Car Accident - Help

Vince Gogo

New Member
Good morning All,

3 weeks ago in Lafayette, I was hit from behind at a stop light that just turned green. The guy hit with some momentum and damaged the rear bumper pretty good. He asked if I wanted to just exchange information or call the cops. I got his info and reported it to my insurance company (Progressive) right then. It was at 9:30 pm and I just left my part-time job, and I had work at 3 am for my full time job. His registration and insurance (Go Auto) were both very recent (January of 2019), so I decided not to call the cops. On top of all that he had his girlfriend in the car with him and she was due in 3 days

2 days later I get a phone call from Progressive, stating the guy said he was not involved in an accident. upload_2019-5-17_10-9-22.gif The guy that hit me gave me his cell phone #, so I gave him a call. He answered, but quickly hung up on me. upload_2019-5-17_10-9-22.gif I called Go Auto and they said his insurance expired 4 days before the accident due to non payment.

So now my bumper is damaged and I had to file an uninsured motorist claim with Progressive to get my bumper fixed. They have a suborgation team that will attempt to get my deductible back, but I don't know how far they will go. They said they could send it to a collection agency, but with no traffic report from the police it would be hard. However I do have pictures of his insurance and registration, along with photos of his car, and my car. The photos of his car only shows his license plate and not his frontal damage. I feel like this is enough to prove that he did indeed cause the damage to my vehicle. Progressive mentioned I may need photos of his vehicle to help my case. I have driven by his 2 addresses listed on his registration, twice already but no cigar.

I have pondered spending $300 on a small court claim, but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this? Yay or Nay? I am not sure why Progressive can't just ask the guy for a live statement and take photos of his car at the same time. If he continues to not cooperate it clearly shows he is guilty in my opinion.

Looking back at it I should have called the cops, especially since he had Go Auto insurance and drove a blue 2003 Saturn Ion. FML!

Thoughts, suggestions, or recommendations would be appreciated... Thank you!
I have pondered spending $300 on a small court claim, but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this?

If you file a small claims case, if you request reimbursement of court costs and prevail, you will be awarded your court costs.

The issue most people overlook is the defendant is usually a deadbeat, deep in debt, low on income, living day to day, and completely devoid of any assets against which the sheriff can levy for you to satisfy your judgment.

Translation = him have no money sonny, big bad lawman can get you no money.

However, you will be able to know the judgment slapped the heck out of his/her FICO, and the satisfaction of prevailing in small claims.

If as you postulated above, small court costs you another $300, you'll also have lost more good money chasing bad.

The choice is yours because you alone call all of the shots you take.

The lesson here is NEVER leave the scene of any accident on the assurance that the other party has insurance and is legally licensed to drive, because inevitably a scammer is gonna scam and deceive!
People who let their insurance lapse are deadbeats who have no money and hide in the shadows. They will ignore insurance company demands and probably ignore lawsuits and collection agencies.

You might win a lawsuit by default but never be able to collect.

A hard pill to swallow but something to think about before spending $300 on small claims court. My experience has been with deadbeat tenants that I sued but never collected from. Small claims back then only cost me about $50 to do so getting a judgment on their credit report was satisfaction enough. But for $300, no, I would have just taken my lumps and moved on.

PS: If your deductible is painful, pay a little more for insurance with a lower, less painful, deductible. The odds are about 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 that the next person who hits you will also be uninsured.

PPS: Always call the police to the scene of an accident, no matter what.
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