My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Michigan.
My car was damaged by an uninsured driver who ran a stop sign and was ticketed for such. I have reached out to the driver to discuss resolving the problem out of court but I have been ignored. So, I will have to pull a copy of the police report, and do the paperwork to go to small claims court. From what I understand getting a judgement in my favor is the most likely outcome because of the tickets issued to the driver. My question largely concerns obtaining compensation.
Assuming that the judge rules in my favor and determines that the driver owes me money, how do I proceed obtaining it? I am concerned that the driver will try to declare bankruptcy to avoid paying a judgement. My understanding is that restitution cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy whereas a normal judgement can. Because my vehicle was damaged as a result of an illegal action (running a stop sign) would I be able to ask for restitution?
And if I did ask for restitution, how would I go about collecting it? I understand that in-kind transfers cannot be garnished, so when the driver that damaged my car does not receive a paycheck or sell property that a lien could be placed on, would restitution open more options for collecting?
Three other related questions: I read that you can sue a driver for up to $1000 for damages caused to your car that your insurance will not cover. Does this limitation (if true) apply in my case? Also, would I be able to sue for expenses associated with the accident, e.g. towing the car and a bus pass? If I cannot recover the full amount that was quoted by professional shops, would I hypothetically be able to ask for standard industry rates for technicians with my level of experience (entry level) based on the book time for completing the repair?
Some more background: I have a few quotes, all north of $4000 for repairing the car, which was worth about $2000 before the accident. I have found examples of the make/model with similar mileage/options within 70 miles of where I live for around $3000-$3500. (The discrepancy with the value of my vehicle is due to rust and peeling clearcoat) I carry no-fault insurance but not collision (the deductible would be about as much as the car) I'm not sure if this is relevant to my question, so my apologies if it's not.
I apologize that my question is really convoluted. This is the first (and let's hope only) accident that I've been involved in, so I'm pretty much clueless.
Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.