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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33386
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I bought a brand new car 10 months ago. A month later, while

Customer Question

I bought a brand new car 10 months ago. A month later, while sitting in my car in a parking lot in New Jersey. This lady parked her car beside my car. She opened her door and made a dent the size of a nickle scratching my paint down the bare metal surface. After confronting this women she did not want me to call the police and generate a police report. She told me that she would pay me cash and avoid putting this through her insurance. I told her that I would provide her with an estimate. Yes, I agreed like a idiot. She gave my her name and cell phone number. Soon after that, she would not respond to any of my call, messages or text. Thank God I took pictures of the dent & scratch, of her car parked next to my car along with her license plate. After not responding for 7 or 8 months. I had to follow NJ State protocol, go the police in the town were this accident occurred, filled out a police report, sent it to the Department of Transportation NJ, they had to send me a document in order for me to send it to the NJ Motor Vehicles Department in order to get her address. Then provide the Bergen County Civil Division her address in order to serve this lady with a court order to appear & resolve this matter in small claims court. She nor her lawyer appear in court. Judge provides me judgement. Now she hires a lawyer from a high end attorney firm $650.00 an hour as per my understanding. This lawyer has the case vacated and set for another day. I tried very hard to settle this case but have no recourse to sue her in civil court. now that she has a lawyer, they lawyer is trying to intimidate me. I want to know what I should tell the judge or what can I do at this point. I want to sue her for the repair, car rental*****fees & loss of income. I am self employeed. This women has acted in bad faith, like a criminal (hit & run) I had to hunt her down through the authorities and she still does not want to pay. What can I do? Can I sue her for the amount off time I had to spend chasing this women down? Do Judges recognize and punish people who act in bad faith?? What strategy or argument can I use. Should I try to string this along this case as much as possible in order to make the defendant pay for her attorney fees. Someone please help me! My email is **************** JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen? Customer: New Jersey Bergen County JA: Has anything been filed or reported? Customer: YES. PLEASE READ THE MAIN BODY OF THE MY EMAIL. IHAD TO GO TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IN EDGEWATER NJ, THEN SENT THE DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION IN NJ THE POLICE REPORT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A DOCUMENT TO SEND TO THE NJ MOTOR VEHICLE DEPARTMENT IN ORDER TO GET HER ADDRESS. THIS ADDRESS WAS GIVEN TO THE BERGEN COUNTY CIVIL COURT DIVISION. THE CIVIL COURT SUBPOENA TO SHOW UP ON A SPECIFIC DATE. SHE NOR HER LAWYER EVER SHOWED UP? JUDGE AWARDED ME A JUDGEMENT AND THE ATTORNEY VACATED THE JUDGEMENT. JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you? Customer: NO. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THIS LADY GET AWAY WITH THIS. WHAT ARGUEMENT CAN I MAKE TO THE JUDGE? I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING. THANK

Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that her "hiding" will be admissible in any type of proceeding since it isn't relevant to the wreck. Since it's not relevant, the judge isn't likely to even consider what she did.

Instead, just focus on getting your case ready for a trial. You may want to even check with the clerk and see if that specific court allows jury trials and, if so, consider asking for a jury since that can negate any advantage the lawyer has. Most lawyers don't actually have jury trials very often and are scared of them and, in addition, it takes more time to prepare for a jru trial.

I'd also suggest you consider going to the website below and picking up a couple of their ebooks. The one on representing yourself in a car wreck should be extremely helpful as should the one on picking a jury if that ends up happening.

As to your specific questions:

Can I sue her for the amount off time I had to spend chasing this women down?

No, the amount of time you spent investigating a case, the amount of time you spend preparing, etc. isn't recoverable in a car wreck case. While there are some cases that allow you to collect attorney's fees, this isn't one of those.

Do Judges recognize and punish people who act in bad faith?

Yes, but this isn't "bad faith" as that term is used in the law. The judge isn't going to award anything extra for what occurred after the wreck unless it is medical bills or wages lost sue to injuries or medical procedures due to the wreck.

I realize that this is a difficult topic and the information is not what you want to hear but it is true and correct. Please feel free to ask any additional questions you have to clear up anything which isn't clear.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What about the days I lost from work to appear in court do to her malice behavior. I am self employed?I acknowledge the comments & agree to make the concession. This system is broken!! Wow - She gets away with it. Since there is no accountability or repercussion for the defendants actions. I want to take a different strategy. The defendant has hired an attorney from a prestigious firm that is charging her 650.00 an hour. Since I am getting the bad end of the stick. I want to do everything humanly possible to prolong this case and make it hurt were it counts - in her pocket!! This attorney is also pompous. She even forgot to appear to the court house which I end up getting a judgment. Is that acceptable in the courts or is the attorney getting preferential treat. Or am I missing the point regarding vacating the civil case. If the money can not come back to me than I want to make it as financially painful to the defendant. Other then the repairs to my car, can I make the defendant pay for the car rental*****fees, etc? I have requested that her attorney send me a bank check for the damages. I will not process this incident with her insurance company. Does that sound reasonable? Please comments on how to make this as financial painfully. What else can do? Can a make a negative impact on her insurance. I am also planning to have the local media show up at her office to shame her? Reply reply as soon as possible.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

Sorry, I came down with the flu suddenly yesterday and I got up just now just to check and see if anyone was looking for me. I probably won't be online full time for another couple of days.

Time off from work to appear in court or for anything other than medical treatments are not a recoverable expense. You can certainly ask for it, but the judge is going to deny it and if by some fluke you get a judge that doesn't know the law and he does awad that then it is an automatic point they will win on appeal which can mean you don't get costs, interest, etc. for the appeal.

Attorneys can sometimes get courts to overlook their mistakes in scheduling or appearances. Yes, it's unfair but I've personally taken advantage of that when I've gotten tied up unexpectedly out of town or in another court.

You can make the defendant pay for the car rental, that is definitely recoverable.

The attorney isn't likely to send you any money, the money comes from her insurance company. If you refuse to accept it from her company then you may "waive coverage" which means after you get a judgment you have to go through the process of trying to collect directly from her which is more trouble than winning the original suit.

The way you stretch a case out is to do discovery. That includes depositions, interrogatories, requests for production, etc.

The wreck itself has caused a mark on her insurance.

I will try yo check back in later today but it may be tomorrow, depending on how I feel.