smokescreen
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:41 am

Small Claims Court Worth It?

Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:17 am

Thought I'd get some opinions on this forum - I am thinking of taking an individual to small claims court in AZ for reimbursement of about $200: the individual was intoxicated when she crashed her bicycle into my parked car, smashing the taillight. There were witnesses and a police report, as the person was injured in the accident and EMS were called.
This was nearly two months ago, and three phone calls to the person, the last mentioning the possibility of court, have been ignored - meanwhile I am out the cost of my taillight repairs.

So, does anyone have any small claims experience? Is it worth the hassle?
 
NeilYYZ
Posts: 2443
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:55 pm

RE: Small Claims Court Worth It?

Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:32 am

My friend did it for a very similar incident (bumper damage). As long as you can afford to take the time out of work then yes, I think that it would be worth it. He didn't seem to have any hassle, and he did get the money. But if you're going to miss paid work days then I guess you have to weigh the options and possibly take the hit.
It may be too early to drink scotch... But it is NEVER too early to think about it...
 
corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: Small Claims Court Worth It?

Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:53 am

Take it to Peoples Court... You'll get a compensation fee for being on the show, and most certainly win  Smile
 
photopilot
Posts: 3063
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: Small Claims Court Worth It?

Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:18 am

Heck yes, go to Small Claims Court. I've used it a couple of times and ALWAYS been successful.

Note that I've only been to "trial" once, but after the papers have been filed and the other party served notice of suit, twice they have speedily settled out of court for an agreed upon amount.

And start to add up the fees that you are legally allowed to claim.

1) The actual cost of the damage.
2) Any court costs that you pay to file.
3) Any lost income due to court time. This includes the time to file the claim, the time for each hearing etc.
4) You legitimate mileage charges for any and all driving you had to do as a result of either the accident or the Small Claims Court appearances.

So your $200 claim could easily file in court for $500 or MORE. When they get that notice of lawsuit in the mail, usually it prods them to respond.

Good luck and don't give up. Don't let the Ba*tards win.

S.
 
smokescreen
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:41 am

RE: Small Claims Court Worth It?

Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:47 am

Thanks for the input. I think I'll do it, but I'll only go after the actual damages + court costs (I believe $24 or so to file).
I'm not really interested in "sticking it" to the person who caused the damage, I just don't want to be out of pocket.

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