Originally posted by Mr. Boston:
Are you licensed to practice in Kansas...please?
Sorry . . . just Florida.
Originally posted by Papa Bear:
The litigation may be costlier than the new engine.
Quite true, but dig a bit deeper. Usually, the taxable costs
("taxable" = most basic, necessary items, subject to judge's review) will be assessed against the loser. This does not include atty fees, for which there are other strategies. Anyway, with a little forethought, the spectre of being made to pay the owner's litigation costs, on top of the engine transplant, can be used to dramaticallly increase the owner's leverage against JL. This sort of pressure, carefully applied at the right time, is what usually gets this sort of case settled on terms better than the JL initially had in mind for its unfortunate customer.
Originally posted by akuska:
What's the small claims court limit in Florida? If it is $5,000, it might be enough to replace an engine. In small claims court, there are no lawyers, and historically those courts are favorable to plaintiffs.
If it does go down to fighting insurance companies, State Farm might help, although you'd still be out the deductible in the meantime. Don't expect it to be quick, either. My dad was in a minor collision with an underinsured driver. All it needed was a bumper repair, but it has been a bit of a hassle, since the other driver's insurer was a cut-rate company who only wanted to pay $350 to do what was obviously at least a $1,000 job.
Small claims in FL is $5k. Lawyers are optional
, not prohibited. Interestingly, some engine cases would fall in SCC, some above it. I'd have no hesitation about going SC in the right case. I've made very effective use of the relaxed small claims rules to help clients in appropriate cases. Of course, I'm in business (well, I'll be back in business when Uncle Sam lets me go... EDIT -- I mean, of course, from active duty -- not, like, federal prison.
) to make a living too, so I have to charge a rate that covers my overhead and generates a profit. At some point as cases become small enough, it no longer makes economic sense for the client to hire a lawyer. Where that line lies is a judgment call. Lawyer or not, small claims move a heck of a lot faster than either $5k+ cases in county court, or the big civil claims in circuit court ($15k or above).
[ May 29, 2006, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: ekpolk ]