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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3070
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I rented a UHaul truck for my wedding. We made sure to get

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I rented a UHaul truck for my wedding. We made sure to get insurance coverage for the truck through uhaul. We even asked if everything would be covered if someone were to get in an accident. Unfortunately the associate with uhaul must not have understood their insurance policy, because they said everything would be covered. I also tried to have uhaul put the name of the driver on the truck (not me), but they wouldn't. We had someone else driving the truck, so they could take all the wedding stuff back after the wedding while we were on our honeymoon. Unfortunately, the guy driving the truck hit a yellow cement pole at the storage unit. It tore the pole out of the ground and cracked the concrete out 8 feet in 4 directions. It also caused a liitle bit of damage to the roof of the storage unit, toor a strip off the side of the truck, and took out several rivets from the side of the truck. He left the scene and returned the truck without telling anyone what happened.

While on my honeymoon, I get a call from the storage unit telling me all the damage that I must have caused. I immediately contact my friend and asked if something happened at the storage unit. He said he might have bumped a small yellow pole, but they probably wouldn't be able to prove it even happened.

When I got back from my honeymoon, I went and checked out the damage, and it was how I described above. Anyway, the uhaul company's insurance we purchased only covered the truck (which was not what we were informed previously). Fortunately the damages at the storage unit were only $1200, but that is still a ton of money to me. I worked out an agreement with the driver of the truck. He said he would pay half of the damages if I paid the other half (I have this in text messages as well). It is a little over a year later and he hasn't paid a dime, while I have been paying monthly (a payment plan I worked out). He finally has stopped returning any calls or emails or texts. He is not going to pay at all.

I realize it was my name on the contract (unfortunately), but since he was the driver AND agreed to pay half, is there any way to sue him for some or all of the damages he caused?

This happened in the state of Florida. I have car insurance, but don't want this on my record (not worth the cost in the long run). Also, I did check on my policy, and it does say it doesn't cover rental trucks.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

The driver is responsible for his personal negligence - this means he is responsible for the entire amount of damage he caused.

William B. Esq. :

The 50/50 payment agreement that you worked out was a settlement agreement. He is in breach of the settlement agreement and you can pursue him for the full liability (small claims court).

William B. Esq. :

With regard to your own personal liability for the damages, I have not read your insurance coverage with UHaul, but it appears that from your own review the insurance does not cover it. Unfortunately, in these circumstances, the written contract is normally deemed to be controlling over statements made by the sales rep (the legal standard is that once you sign a document you are deemed to have read the entire agreement and agree to it - even though in reality the length and detail of the document makes this unrealistic).

William B. Esq. :

Here is a link to the Florida State Court's small claims self help website should you wish to pursue this claim against the driver: http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/smallclaims.shtml

William B. Esq. :

I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.


Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied. I am going to transfer our conversation to the "Q&A" format to ensure you can review the entire response and that I can follow up to any questions you may have quickly. I do wish you the best of luck in this matter.


 

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your quick reply. Yes, I know the insurance thing was my fault for not double checking it. I was just putting it out there, because people may think I was not smart for not getting the full coverage. The one issue I have is that I now live in Missouri. I will be traveling to Florida a couple times coming up soon, but I am not sure if the court dates would line up while I am there. If they don't line up, and I have to fly out separately, can the flight cost be part of my requests from him? Also, once a court ruling is made, is this something I can have his wages garnished for (since he is already known for not paying)? I want to make sure it will be worth my trip to Florida to take him to court. I don't want to take the risk of him still not paying.
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Unfortunately, the cost of travel is not recoverable. Fortunately, there will likely only be one appearance in small claims matters (the trial itself) - no promises, but small claims matters rarely have motions or other arguments requiring an appearance.

You can garnish wages, get levies on personal and real property, and the judgment will show up on the judgment rolls (credit reporting agencies will find it when they do their searches).

Once a judgment is entered, you will start collecting interest on the judgment amount as well.

(Most attorneys do not read these insurance contracts when they sign them either, they are full of "boilerplate" and they simply are too long to fully review before signing).
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3070
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
William B. Esq. and 19 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you!

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