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Thread: Steps in suing in small claims court in Tennessee.

  1. #1
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    Default Steps in suing in small claims court in Tennessee.

    I've got a small claim court question. I've chosen I want my post in this small claim court subforum and not somewhere else since it applies to small claim courts. If I want it somewhere else, then I'd have posted it there.

    Does anyone have a good list of steps of what to do when suing in small claims court in Tennessee with regards to someone at fault wrecking into and totalling out your vehicle?

    I've looked around alot and have a decent idea of what to do. And I've talked to some local attornys who don't really tell much. But I keep finding new things to watch out for, etc.

    I've pretty much learned you sue the driver and NOT their insurance company.

    On your totalled vehicle, you also add in taxes and registration when figuring up a demand.

    I'm going by Nada Guides to figure up the value of my car, which is what my insurance company said they use. So, I assume it's okay to just print off the page from the Nada Guides website to bring to court? I also plan to bring all my receipts I have to show this wasn't some junked out car.

    And I was told to just tell the judge what happened, etc. Which I'll probably just read off what the police report says as I know you have to prove the defendant was at fault in the accident. So obviously I'll also make sure to bring a copy of the police report.

    The big thing I've found is I read something that if the person you sue doesn't tell their insurance company about the lawsuit. Then their insurance company can refuse to pay the judgement. In which, I'd get nothing from the defendant as they don't look to have any money.

    The other thing I've read is you sue and get a judgement. Then the defendant files bankruptcy, then their insurance company can refuse to pay the judgement because of the bankruptcy.

    I'm sure there are more things to watch out for, but no one had told me the above two things. Sounds like there are ways the at fault parties insurance company get can out of paying.

    Interesting read on auto insurance companys getting out of paying:

    http://theinjurywarrior.com/2011/03/...uy-who-hit-me/

  2. #2
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    I don't think that any of our regular posters are in Tennessee and have firsthand experience of the courts there. Many courts have guides for people who are suing on their own in small claims court, including how to fill out all the forms. Your local law library may also be a resource.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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    Agree, ask the court clerk if they have a pamphlet re suing in small claims court.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty3 View Post
    Agree, ask the court clerk if they have a pamphlet re suing in small claims court.
    They don't have anything. You just tell them the amount you believe to be owed. Pay them the fees. Then you get a court date. That's all they tell you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty3 View Post
    Agree, ask the court clerk if they have a pamphlet re suing in small claims court.
    Who is it that moves my threads around? I had another thread asking a different question related from the same incident, someone moved my thread to a different subforum. They also combined two different threads of mine into one thread for some reason which didn't make sense. It also took a while to find since it was moved, and I didn't really care for the location it got moved to.

    Now it looks like it is gone. It took a long time to type it up, now it's gone. This happened the last time I started a thread on this board. They get moved around and/or deleted. It would be nice if they'd be left alone.
    Last edited by Colt; 10-09-2011 at 04:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colt View Post
    They don't have anything. You just tell them the amount you believe to be owed. Pay them the fees. Then you get a court date. That's all they tell you.
    You then might want to check the library as suggested previously or a book store
    might have a book on this subject. You can also try a google search for suing in
    small claims court in your state. I don't think anyone here can give you a step by
    step procedure to follow.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colt View Post
    Who is it that moves my threads around? I had another thread asking a different question related from the same incident, someone moved my thread to a different subforum. They also combined two different threads of mine into one thread for some reason which didn't make sense. It also took a while to find since it was moved, and I didn't really care for the location it got moved to.

    Now it looks like it is gone. It took a long time to type it up, now it's gone. This happened the last time I started a thread on this board. They get moved around and/or deleted. It would be nice if they'd be left alone.
    I'm sorry this happened. I'm not sure how this happened. I only saw this thread in small claims court where it really should be as it is a small claims court question.

    Can you add your other question here or if it is on a different subject than suing in
    small claims court (even though about the same incident) post it again & let us know
    what forum you are posting it in & it can be checked for there.

    Thanks.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty3 View Post
    You then might want to check the library as suggested previously or a book store
    might have a book on this subject. You can also try a google search for suing in
    small claims court in your state. I don't think anyone here can give you a step by
    step procedure to follow.
    I'll just keep looking around on Google. I may find a step by step guide at some point with regards to small claim courts in TN.

    The thing that got me worried was reading that if the defendant doesn't notify their insurance company that they are being sued. Then their insurance company could refuse to pay the judgement. I had also read of suing, then the defendant files for bankruptcy. Then their insurance company would be off the hook due to the bankruptcy.

    Because when I had contacted their insurance company to file a claim. They never could get ahold of the driver. So, the chance is good the defendant won't contact their insurance company when they get sued. This person doesn't look real reliable and I wouldn't be surprised if they threw the lawsuit in the trash and not show up to small claims court.

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    I wish you the best of luck. I'm sure an attorney would/could tell you more if you
    pay for their time. However, I don't know if it would be worth it to you.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    I've got uninsured/underinsured insurance. I called my insurance company and asked if the other driver doesn't co-operate with their insurance company and their insurance company doesn't pay my judgement due to them violating their contract. That if I could file it on my uninsured motorist policy. And they told me to give them a call if that happens. So, that may also be another option I could take.

  11. #11
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    Yes, it certainly is since you have that coverage.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    Well, I had posted a question online and some attornies responded. One said I'd need a competent body repair man or somone similar to present testimony as to the cost to my vehicles repair, or to delare that the car is totalled. And the testimony of a qualified expert to give testimony as to the value of my car pre-accident. He said the judge may not accept the Nada Guides value as he said would be hearsay.

    I don't know. But that sounds like alot for small claims court. I doubt there would be a body repair man in town be willing to go to court. The other problem is the car is sitting in a lot an hour away. So no way for me to get my own repair quote as the insurance company hauled the car off out of town without my knowledge. I thought the car was going to be staying in town. I've got the insurance companies quote, but the problem is they left out alot of things. So it isn't complete.

    But the insurance company deemed it totalled. So, I'll just tell the judge that both sides are in agreement that the car is totalled. Then that leaves the question as to the value. I'll probably just stick with the Nada Guides and explain that is how my own insurance company instructed how they would figure up the value of my car.

    None of the local lawyers mentioned anything about need expert testimony. They talked like it was no big deal, happens all the time. But I knew it would be a good idea to still check out the details. And I'm glad I did. I still think expert testimony in small claims appears to be accessive. But I guess its a crapshoot as you don't know what the judge will do.

  13. #13
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    I agree that small claims court is generally not that involved. However, it's
    hard to say what any individual judge will decide.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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