Can I file a lawsuit to recover cost of payments for new car?

by Alex
(Dallas, TX)

I was recently in an accident where another person ran a red light and hit my car. My car was paid off, now it is totaled and I have to assume payments when I obtain a new car. This was an unplanned expense as I was going to drive my old car for many more years.

Can I sue the driver (and/or his insurance company) for the cost of the new car payments? I would not have had to make these payments if he hadn't hit me. What is the at-fault driver's financial responsibility to me? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I file a lawsuit to recover cost of payments for new car?":

Alex (Dallas, TX):

From the facts your present, we will presume the driver was wholly negligent, and that neither you, nor any other driver contributed to the crash. With that understanding, the negligent driver, through his insurance company, is responsible for the fair market value of your damaged car.

Unfortunately, unless you sustained an injury, you will likely not have any additional recourse, especially to recover payments you must make on your new car.

You can certainly attempt to negotiate a higher settlement with the driver's insurance company. To do so, look for ads in the "cars for sale" section of newspapers and online sites. Look for sale prices for the same model and year of your prior car.

You are looking for sale prices which are higher than the amount the insurance company paid to settle your claim. If you can find several ads showing the sale prices were higher than what the company paid you, you may be able to convince them to pay an additional amount.

However if you've already settled the claim and signed release papers, you won't be able to reopen the claim.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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