I had a terrible incident Friday were I hit a young 8 year old boy on a bicycle. I had no way to avoid the accident and was found not at fault by the California Highway Patrol. Fortunately He was not seriously injured and was quickly taken to the hospital by his step dad. Unfortunately for me I do not carry collision on my insurance for this vehicle and the car suffered extensive damage to the passenger side. I would like to know what steps or what I should do to proceed with recovering the damages from the boys parents. It just seems weird to me that I would have to go after the boys parents after hitting there child with my car , but I have no choice it seems. I feel very sorry for the whole incident but am constantly reminded that It was not my fault. If there is any suggestions on what to do please let me know.
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4 Answers from Attorneys
Your chances aren't as bad as you think. If they sue you, your liability insurance will cover it. And you have nothing to lose by taking them to court (small claims if under $7500). Watch out for legal time limits.
I would start by politely asking them to submit a claim to their homeowners insurance. If they balk or refuse, then I'd follow Mr. Stone's advice.
I would make a claim under the parents homeowners policy.
I disagree. If I were you, I would leave this sleeping dog lie. By filing suit, you could cause a lawsuit to be filed against you. The police officer's conclusion prove's nothing. He did not withness the incident. You do have something to lose. If they sue you, your rates will go up, even if you eventually win. And if your policy limits are exceeded, you will have to pay the diffeence. And who, exactly are you going to sue?, an 8 year old? Even should you win, how are you going to collect anything? In order to sue the parents, you will have to show that the child was under their control at the time of the accident. In my opinion, it would be very foolish to pursue this action, you are asking for trouble.