My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: California
First off, I'd like to thank anyone with any advice they have to my situation.
I work in downtown Sacramento where motorcyclists are allowed to park in metered spots along with other vehicles. On July 20th, 2010, I parked my motorcycle behind a car perpendicular to a curb-- making sure to give the vehicle plenty of room to get out of their space.
Now, I've been the victim of a hit and run before, so whenever I think someone has the potential to back into me, I take a picture of their bumper along with license plate, as to protect myself.
Well, sure enough, when I go back out to my motorcycle I notice that my motorcycle cover has been torn where my front brake lever meets the material, my right-side radiator is bent in, my right side radiator cover (shroud) is bent in, and my right side radiator louvers are bent in as well. After getting a quote from a parts shop and a mechanic, the total cost of repairs is going to total to about $730 including labor.
So on July 22nd, two days later, I notice that the owner of this vehicle works in the same area as I do, and I snap another picture of their vehicle's license plate/bumper, and sure enough, there is an obvious scratch/mark just to the left of the license plate that was not there before.
I proceeded to leave a note on the offender's car mentioning that I feel they may have hit me, I gave them a list of damages and told them that I do not feel the need to get insurance involved, so we could work something out, such as me getting used parts and installing them myself as to avoid excessive labor costs for her. I also gave her the photos of before/after as proof. In the letter I gave her my email and phone number-- knowing which method of contact she was going to choose.
In her email to me, she claimed that she had left early that day (which she had,) and that someone else must have backed into the spot and hit my motorcycle. I know this is false due to the fact that the scratch/mark that appeared on her bumper after she had hit me corresponded perfectly to where my bike was hit.
One funny fact is that she no longer parks along the same street after I gave her the letter on her wind shield.
So now, I am filing a claim with my insurance company, along with the before/after pictures. So now they are going to contact her insurance company so they can investigate. Now I know these investigations do not always go to plan, so I am preparing to take this to small claims court in case my insurance claim is denied.
Do any of you think I would have a claim in small claims court with the evidence of before/after photos provided, along with all the information I just gave? If so, what information should I make sure to prepare and what advice do you have? Also, have any of you had any experience with investigations like this? What are my chances of my claim going through?
If I was not a poor college student, I would not even pursue this. Did I mention I just got the motorcycle two weeks ago?
Thanks a bunch.