As I was completing my turn, and straightening my front wheels, I was struck by another vehicle turning right onto the roadway. The other vehicle had proceeded from the same stop sign as I had, and was behind me, but drove over the glass, into the road and into my vehicle. The other vehicle's front left impacted my right rear wheel and fender, pushing me a foot or so to the left.
I pulled over to sort it out with the other driver, but he didn't stop, so I pulled back into the road to try to stop him, or at least get the license of the vehicle. I got the needed information and returned home to call a county deputy to make an accident report. Both the deputy and I were unable to discern any damage except to the fender, so an accident report was not filed, however I did get an incident report number. As I first thought that the damage was not great, I planned to forget the matter.
It was later determined that significant damage had occurred and my vehicle had to go to a shop for an estimate. Because of the damage, I had to have some repairs made in order to drive the car, but not all repairs were made.
I have been in contact with the insurance co. representing the other driver, but all they've offerred is 50 % of damages. Now I'm forced to file in small claims court to try to recover damages.
I feel that I was not at fault, that I was in the roadway before the other driver left the stop line, and that I had the right-of-way. I feel I was taking due care by steering around the glass to enter the lane, and that the other driver was negligent in entering the roadway.
I have very limited funds, so even a filing fee is a hardship, but I feel that I should do everything I can to recover my losses, which will be around 2000-2500.
Should I proceed to small claims court? Should I contact the other driver to see if he will pay my damages, thus avoiding court? Should I obtain the help of an attorney?
I'm just lost in all of this.