My question involves personal property located in the State of: Florida
My husband and I own a small construction business and he has a truck for his work. A few months ago, he started working with a new helper that contacted him via Craigslist. In April, the truck had some sort of issue with a leak and overheated on the way to a job site. The helper said he knew a lot about cars and that it shouldn't be driven anymore until it was looked at. He also said he would diagnose it for free, estimating it was a small repair less than $200. He said he would have his friend tow the truck back to his father's house where his tools were and would look at it. My husband agreed and had someone else take him to the job site while the helper waited for the tow truck. My husband didn't get the name of the towing company or the address of the helper's father. This was on April 14.
For the next week and a half, my husband and the helper worked on jobs with the helper supposedly taking apart the engine in his spare time. The last time they worked together was April 25, and the helper was still taking apart the engine.
All communication then stopped until May 6, when we finally got ahold of the helper. He said that he had finally finished the diagnosis and that the repairs would cost $500. We told him we would not have the money for a while and asked for the address to come and get the truck. He said he would call us back later that day but did not. After two more days of him ignoring our attempts to reach him and get the address, we contacted the police. The police said they could not do anything as they considered it a civil matter because my husband gave permission for the truck to be towed. On May 8, we reported the truck as stolen with our insurance company who said it would take 30-60 days to be resolved.
My question is first, can we sue the helper for the loss of use of the truck for the time we asked to get it (May 6) until the time either our insurance company reimburses us or he finally gives it back? My husband has been unable to get much work without his truck as he needs it for hauling things and there were also a lot of tools in the truck which he needed for most jobs anyways.
Second, what value would we give for the loss? Home Depot and other companies rent out pickup trucks daily, could we use their prices to estimate a value?