We looked into the process of filing a suit in Small Claims Court and though it is kind of exhaustive, we decided to go through with it.
Let me tell you, "kind of exhaustive" does not cover it. I think we have made between 7-10 trips to the Small Claims Court in Ontario, paid over $100 in fees, forms, mailings, etc. and still - she has not responded.
At this point, we have been awarded a judgement and are in the process of serving the garnishment. Let's just hope she makes enough money to be garnished. Now, the $500 deductible amount has increased to approximately $700 she will have to pay us because of the additional fees. It would have been smarter to just pay the money, but I doubt she actually believed we would take it to Court.
It should not be this hard to get your money back! We did nothing wrong, however - we had to jump through so many hoops. It is like the County does not want to deal with you attempting to obtain a judgment, so they make it so complicated, lengthy, and difficult that most people give up. Not this girl (and guy)!
That being said, I am not sure if I would go through it again - I guess I'll let you know once we hear back on the garnishment. My suggestion - just don't get hit by people who run stop signs and have no insurance :(
If you ever need help filling out those forms and getting all the documentation straight, let me know! I am a pro these days :)
*Update!We did receive the garnishment papers from the employer very quickly and one check for a two-week work period of the uninsured driver. Next, we received a notice from the employer that she was no longer working for the company. How FRUSTRATING! Another check for a one-week period showed up after that, but after a little research, it looks like she has skipped town (left her apartment and didn't even pay her rent) and moved to Arizona. Needless to say, we will not be following her with garnishment requests to Arizona. Ultimately, at least we received enough in the garnished funds to cover our costs in filing suit - as well as make a teeny, tiny dent in the $500 deductible.
Was it worth it? Probably not once you tack on our time and the major annoyance that goes along with Small Claims Court and dealing with someone who is clearly taking advantage of this Country and has no respect for the laws and regulations set forth. Would I do it again? Who knows - it was kind of nice to see 'justice served', but I definitely feel as though the system favors the defendant - we shouldn't have to work so hard and pay so much to get our money (that is rightfully owed) back. And when we finally get to the right stages, she can just up-and-leave to escape payment.
Ugh! I'm disgusted. If you don't have vehicle insurance, stay off the road! Seriously, liability insurance is not expensive.