Legal Question in Personal Injury in Missouri

Daughter was rear-ended and totaled on October 22, 2010 by uninsured motorist who was at fault. We only had liability insurance for our 1998 Toyota RAV4 which included uninsured motorist for bodily injury only. Minor injuries to my daughter were taken care of by my insurance. Filed MO Form 1140 and license was suspended for at fault uninsured driver for one year on May 9.

At fault driver will not return calls. Only option is small claims court since injuries were minor, and hopefully get a judgment for maximum $3000 even though car was worth around $4000 prior to wreck. Car is still sitting in my driveway. We need a car before my daughter starts college in August.

If I go to Small Claims Court, must I still have possession of the totaled car to get a judgment? Or can I go ahead and salvage the car and use the money for part of the payment for another vehicle and proceed with the small claims suit.

Asked on 6/24/11, 11:36 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terry Tolbert Tolbert, Beadle & Musgrave LLC
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You do not need to keep the car but need to document the damage with pictures and possibly a repair estimate from a body shop. You may also want to get a statement from a car dealer, if possible, about the fair market value of the vehicle before it was wrecked.

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6/24/11, 11:51 am

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