Dear Lawyer.On April 16, my husband drove towards my apartment gate. Someone was backing from the parking lot. The parking lot was behind a garage. As we saw this car backing out, we completely stopped. There was still a short distance between us. I thought the driver already seen us thus expected her to stop or pull the car ahead thus didn't blow the horn. But the car continued backing quickly thus the rear bumper of that car hit the front bumper of my car. In this case, we were on the drive way, she was backing; we completely stopped, she continued backing without looking back at all. The responsibility is obvious.It's our first time to have an accident. We had no experience thus didn't realize we should call police immediately. The driver was a girl, she said she had called her insurance company to come to investigate. We trusted her and waited. After about 20 minutes, she said no need to wait as she already reported the case, her insurance company will directly contact us. Again we trusted her and we exchanged insurance information and we let her leave as she said she had something urgent. After that, we didn't receive any call from her insurance company Allstate. We then made the claim ourselves. After several weeks, the claim was rejected cause the driver denied the responsibility. By denying the fact she hit our car after we completely stopped, she told her insurance company that we hit her car after she stopped in the parking lot instead. The claim process had been quite exhausting. Later we thought anyway it's our fault to trust this kind of people and didn't keep her on site, thus we just gave up without further effort. However, the shameless thing happen again that she wants to claim the damage from our insurance company. I just can't accept such a shameless thing cause it seems to illustrate that being honest and to trust people will finally be doomed. We took photos on the site The picture captured each car's position just after the accident happened. They can prove she was lying by claiming that her car was just partly out of the parking lot. In these pictures, her car was already on the drive way towards gate and our car is on the way, too. It's clearly shown there who took away other's right-of-the-way. Previously, I thought we just let her go since we are foreigners , don't want to take trouble. But as she bit back, now I want to sue her for lying to not compensate us, for cheating aiming to let us who are the victims of her careless driving to compensate her. I also want to sue her not only for the damage to my car, but the mentally suffering incurred to me and my husband by her cheating and shameless behavior.This is just unbearable. I called several lawyer. There is no one even interested in looking at the pictures. The question is always the same: did anyone injured in the accident? Maybe because no one injured physically, they thought it's not profitable to only fight for justice. I think we are injured, too. We are badly injured inside, we are injured because it gave us some much stress, and from now on we may not dare to trust anybody. That's a terrible loss by feeling being honest and forgiving only make yourself badly fooled. If the society and its being respected lawyers don't care about this loss, it may end up encouraging cheaters. Will that be a loss to good people?I know you are a lawyer. Now my question is: in our case, who can take back justice for us? Will there be any lawyer who not only interested in injury and death but also in the "small" rightness? If so, could you please tell me. I will need his/her help. Yours,Wen
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Texas
I called up some lawyers but they didn't help cause my case was just a "small" accident.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. What is the amount of damage to your vehicle?
$680 just after the Accident, evaluated by her Allstate insurance company. Now the headlight became a little loose cause the bumper is not fixed.
Thank you Wen, would you or your husband be comfortable proceeding without an attorney in Small Claims court? I ask because for a claim of this value, it will be difficult to retain counsel without paying counsel by the hour or out of pocket (as opposed to on contingency).
Yes, that is possible, but your mental suffering must be corroborated. If you have not sought treatment for mental suffering and do not do so before filing your suit, it would not be considered legitimate. The pictures could be introduced as evidence to support your claim that she is at fault for the accident, and you can claim Punitive Damages for her attempt to mislead the insurance companies by filing a false claim.For your reference, here is guide on how to sue in Texas small claims:http://www.texasbar.com/Content/NavigationMenu/ForThePublic/FreeLegalInformation/OurLegalSystem/HowtoSueinSmallClaimsCourt.pdf Please let me know if you have any follow up questions.
Dear Sir, now I have a clearer idea of what I shall do. Thank you so much. I will rate your answer just after this final question. I am not sure about the counsel fee as a foreigner. Could you just give me some brief idea about how much the hourly rate is if I need to a lawyer's help on court?
Yes, you should expect to pay between $150 and $250 per hour, your attorney's hourly rate could be higher but you should be able to find well qualified counsel between $150-$250 per hour; and the case would take approx 2-3 hours of time.
Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).