A Teenage Driver Hit my Daughter’s Car, Do I Sue the Driver or the Parents in Small Claims Court?

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“For small claims court, do I sue the 16-year-old driver who hit my daughter’s parked car or his father who owns the truck that caused the damage?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

I live in San Antonio, TX. My daughter’s car was damaged by a hit- and-run driver while parked alongside the curb in front of my house. It was late at night, and we heard the crash, but by the time we looked outside, that vehicle had sped away. Ironically, our next door neighbor’s white truck received damage in the same spot at the same time. We are 100% certain it was our next door neighbor’s 16-year-old son who was the driver. The boy claims the same hit-and-run driver hit his dad’s truck first and then my daughter’s car before taking off. He allegedly heard the crash, then he got in his dad’s truck to chase that driver, but it was too late, and allegedly, the driver got away.

The neighbor’s truck has damage in the same spot, and pieces of that truck’s headlamp and turn signal lens were wedged in my daughter’s car’s front end. The height of the damage to both vehicles is identical, and his truck’s paint color matches the paint left on my daughter’s car, and vice versa. Even when presenting this evidence to my neighbor in friendly, calm manner, in addition to the inconsistent story of his son, the father refuses to disbelieve his son. Although the investigating police officer said he believes the boy did cause the accident, he cannot prove it and he said the evidence is inconclusive. However, he suggested taking the defendant to small claims court, where the preponderance of evidence would likely be in our favor to win the case.

So, we are going to sue them in small claims court for the amount of the insurance deductible, $500. But who is the Defendant, the 16-year-old boy who drove the truck, or his father who owns the truck?”

In regular court, you would almost certainly sue the driver, the father, and the insurance company. However, the rules for small claims court are different, and are also different from state-to-state.

You should call the clerk at your local small claims court, and ask them your question.



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Author: House Attorney

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