Property Damage and Your Rights

Property Damage and Your Rights
By: Holly Brantley

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Right in your own back yard, damages were brought on by an accident you had nothing to do with.

But, get this, the bill is coming to you! It doesn't seem fair, but that's the law!

Police say someone drove a car through Geneva and Mick Emmons back yard Wednesday night. So far, there's no record of insurance for the driver.

Meanwhile, the Emmons are left to deal with the mess, and they aren't happy about it. Mick Emmons points out the path driven by a car that took out his fence, and just missed his tomato plants.

"The fence was all bent over," said Mick.

According to police, officers spotted the car minutes after the accident happened on South Pacific in Cape Girardeau. There's even a piece of the car still left in the Emmons yard.

So far, it looks like the driver had no insurance.  And, the Emmons are left frustrated as they wait for police to finish the investigation.  No one has been charged yet.

"Right now, I am still fighting," said Geneva Emmons. "The insurance company doesn't want to pay what our estimate is. It's going to cost $500 out of my pocket.  I could take these people to small claims court, but you can't get blood out of a turnip if they have nothing."

Mick Emmons agrees.  "I'd like to see somebody held accountable for this mess," he said.

Cape Girardeau police are still investigating the accident.  In most cases, the driver's insurance should cover an accident that involves property damage.  But, if the driver doesn't have insurance, as believed to be the case here, Insurance agents admit the situation can become a mess.

They advise getting an estimate and weighing your options.  Is it better to tack it onto your insurance, or pay out of pocket? Unfortunately, you will probably get stuck with the bill.

Another option is to take the driver to small claims court.