Sideswiped by a drunk driver...

by Anonymous

I was driving my car on a two lane road when a car going the opposite direction suddenly swerved into my lane. I reacted in time to avoid a head-on collision, but the driver collided so hard with the left side of my car that it was totaled. I was not injured.

After fleeing the scene and later getting arrested, the driver was found to also be drunk. The driver was issued three separate charges by the police. Their insurance company has given me a (surprisingly fair) market value offer on my 2003 Camry, but the money they offer would barely even pay for half the value of a decent used replacement car.

I am a student neck-deep in loans, and the last thing I can afford is to buy another car. My Camry may have been old, but it still had years left in it. Is the drunk driver's insurance company doing the right thing, or am I being duped? Do I have any legal options here? Would my case be somehow hurt because I walked away without even a bruise? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Sideswiped by a drunk driver...":

Anonymous (Illinois):

The insurance company likely offered you fair market value for your 2003 Toyota Camry. According to Kelley Blue Book, the value of your Toyota Camry at this time is between $3,600.00 to $5,000.00, depending on mileage, trim, and condition.

If the insurance company offered an amount within this range, it would be fair to say the insurance company is not duping you.

Because of their insured's negligence, the driver's insurance company should also be paying you for any lost wages resulting from your not being able to get to work without a car. Unfortunately, without injuries, the insurance company is not required to compensate your further.

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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