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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 27643
Experience:  Lawyer. Former judicial law clerk. Worked for District Attorney's Office in Traffic Court.
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I live in california and i have plans to sue someone damages

Customer Question

i live in california and i have plans to sue someone for property damages for (car accident). His insurance will only pay $5000 for visual damages. I have gotten an estimate on my end and that was more than $10,000. Plus ive had to come out of my own pocket
to pay for a tow truck and a rental car. But the limit on small claims in california is $10,000. is there another way i will be able to sue for more than $10,000? if so How?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 12 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

If the insurance company pays $5,000 before you file the lawsuit, you're not out that money and don't need to sue for that amount. However, if they don't, you can file in a limited Civil Case in the Superior Court for up to $25,000, or you can file an unlimited civil case for above $25,000. It is a little more complicated because you have to follow all the rules of civil proceudre, which tend to be more relaxed in small claims court. But you're allowed to file for as much as you're out. Here is more information on a limited civil case.

The court has pleading forms online that you can use to start the case:

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Customer: replied 12 months ago.
well i agreed to have my car taken to the shop where progressive suggested. but when getting their estimate i wasnt completely satisfied that all the damages regarding the accident had been addressed. is it to late to get my car and have it towed to another shop not suggested by progressive? will i have to pay storage fees for the days that my car has been at the first shop? or would it be better to let them do the repairs adding up to $5000. and then anything additional sue in small claims?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

You'd have to talk to the shop about whether they charge storage fees for when the car was staying there. It's all going to go toward the total bill, which the insurance company will pay $5,000 of. Since Progressive isn't YOUR insurance company, they should pay even if the car is fixed somewhere else. You're not obligated to take the car to an approved shop like in your own insurance contract.

If $5,000 can get the car running again, it could help to see if they'll pay for that much of the repair upfront, or see if you can work something out with the autobody shop. Otherwise, the shop will fix all the damage, the insurance company will pay the $5,000, and then you'll have to pay to get the car out to keep storage charges from incurring and sue the other driver for the rest.