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Dear Customer, I would like to help you with your legal question today. This case appears to be settled as far as liability is concerned (a truck driver has pulled across traffic without following the proper traffic regulations and your boyfriend was traveling safely). The only issue is a calculation of damages (this is likely why you are having difficulties finding an attorney).
To calculate damages, you will need to find the actual value of your loss (luckily your boyfriend was not injured - no injury is worth the money), but the cost of repair or replacement to the car, as well as any cost incurred due to the loss of the car (car rental etc.) is something that you can get back. Your boyfriend should be compensated 100% for his loss based on the facts as you have stated them (I do not know what your actual facts are, or if there is something else that needs to be considered to determine the actual recovery, but if one party is 100% at fault, the other party is entitled to 100% compensation for their damages caused or arising from the accident). - realistically, there will be some reduction, it is unfortunate but it is realistic, for some amount of fault being attributed to your boyfriend (e.g. inattention, speed of travel, etc.), but this should be minor given the facts as you stated them.
If you do choose to hire an attorney, you have two choices, you can hire an attorney hourly (pay them for each hour they work), or you can hire them on a contingency (if you win, you give them a percentage of whatever you get, usually 1/3). I cannot tell you what is best in your case, but it does sound like you have done a significant amount of research into this issue, and speaking with this potential attorney to see what they believe the potential outcome (value of the case, costs associated with the case, and time to get to a settlement) against the cost for hiring an attorney will be. Most attorneys are happy to discuss these numbers with you, even for a smaller case.
If the cost for replacement of the car is less than $5,000.00, you can file a lawsuit against the driver of the truck and the owner of the truck in small claims without an attorney (you can also use small claims if you want to file and are willing to accept $5,000.00 as your total compensation, even if the case is worth more). Here is a link to the Court's webpage for small claims cases: http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/smallclaims.shtml
Yes, the facts are as I stated them, but I understand that you can't know that for certain. We believe that he is entitled to about $5,000-$6,000, but won't know for certain until we talk with the attorney. Is it true that if he does go to court and wins, the other party is also required to cover the lawyer fees? Also, I'm not sure if you can answer this because you can only tell me so much but in your professional opinion do you think it's likely that the insurance company will settle once they realize we got a lawyer involved?
Are you not able to answer those questions? I understand if I am getting too specific. Your other responses were very helpful and actually gives us some hope after feeling totally helpless.
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