Car hit while parked on the road...

by Michael
(Rock Falls, IL, Whiteside county)

My car was hit while parked on the side of the road. It took almost a week for the insurance company (a big national brand) to asses the damage and take it in for repairs. They did cut me a check for their assessment of damages, but the repair shop found more damage after taking parts off.

The repair guys could see more damage that wasn't visible at first, so another assessment needs to be done and more parts need to be ordered. They did give me a rental, but I have to pay to have insurance on it because that's the one thing my insurance doesn't cover.

Shouldn't I be compensated for the inconvenience and possible loss of value on my car, which is a 2014 Ford Fiesta? Especially considering I had nothing to do with the accident. I wasn't even in the car, which is stated in the police report. Thanks for any info you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Car hit while parked on the road...":

Michael (Rock Hills, IL, Whiteside County):

The State of Illinos is NOT a no-fault insurance state. It is a third party liability state. This means the victim in a car crash may pursue a negligence claim against the negligent driver. Such a claim may include not only property damage, but medical bills, expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering/emotional distress.

In your case, your "inconvenience" might fall under emotional distress, or mental anguish. With that said it would be a stretch to think a court might agree. As a result, you are likely not entitled to compensation for the inconvenience.

Illinois Minimum Legal Requirements for property damage and liability coverage are:

Minimum injury liability for one person in an accident: $20,000

Minimum injury liability for all injured parties in an accident: $40,000

Minimum liability for property damage in an accident: $15,000

While you have a valid argument the insurance company should pay for the loss of value of your car, you can be confident all the insurance company will agree to pay is the replacement and repair costs of your car.

That doesn't mean you don't have the right to sue the driver for the loss of value. To succeed in a lawsuit, you would have to have specific and credible evidence showing, first that the crash devalued your cars, and second, the exact amount of the devaluation.

With that documentation in hand you can proceed in a suit against the driver. If you do, it is likely the driver's insurance company will defend their insured in court. Even so, if you have sufficient proof, you may prevail.

Moreover, if the driver's insurance company becomes aware of the strength of the evidence you will be presenting in court, the company may just agree to pay you for the amount of devaluation, instead of having to pay an attorney to appear in court.

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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