Visitor Question

Driver totaled my parked car…

Submitted By: Elizabeth (Belleville, NJ USA)

My car was parked on the street when it was hit from the back by a motorist. My car was totaled. The car was paid off and it was the only thing I owned of value, and I needed it to get back and forth to work. I am a single mom of four. It’s been 20 days since the crash. My rental was due back today and my check supposedly will be another week to 2 weeks to arrive.

I have missed three weeks of work, AND the $4900 the insurance is paying me for my car is not enough to buy a safe used car in good shape, and I have no credit so I can’t buy or lease a car.

Can I get my 3 weeks of pay, plus more money to buy myself a safe car for me and my kids from the other person’s insurance? I wasn’t even driving my car and this unfortunate incident means no Christmas presents for my kids. I can’t even afford a tree! 🙁

Thanks for any info you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Elizabeth,

Your having missed three weeks of work is unfortunate, but it will be difficult to convince the insurance company to pay you for those three weeks. In all likelihood they will state you could have taken a bus, asked someone to pick you up, or otherwise have found alternate and reasonably priced transportation to and from work.

While difficult to accept, the insurance company only has to pay the value of the car at the time of the collision. But you can certainly attempt to convince the insurance company to pay you more than $4,900.

To do so, go to the classifieds, CraigsList, or other sources where cars are listed for sale. Find as many cars as you can which are similar in make, model, and year to your car, and in similar condition.

If the amounts the cars are being offered for are higher than $4,900, copy that information and send it to the insurance claims adjuster assigned to your claim. Hopefully it helps convince the adjuster to offer you more money.

Learn more here: Car Accident Property Damage

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Driver totaled my parked car…

  1. Ahmad says:

    I am making payments on a 2012 Nissan Rouge, never missed a payment. Total Purchase with tax was $32,000.00. Nissan never asked if I wanted Gap Insurance. I see the paper where I signed and they indicated to me just to sign here and here and that was it so, me not knowing…

    Anyway, I currently owe $20,855.00. I was at a Diner recently eating and parked in the parking lot of the diner in front of the Diner sign.

    A BMW was racing someone else and the guy lost control and went airborne hitting the sign in back of my car causing debris from the sign to rain on my car, and his car landed in the back of my car totaling it while I was in the diner eating and watching.

    My car is worth $10,900 and his insurance has to be split between the 4 owners of property he destroyed that night, which means it was best for me to go through my full coverage insurance.

    This is going to pay the value of the car at $10,900 minus a $1000 deductible, leaving me owing Nissan the balance, which they want within 30 days.

    I am losing a job, my car, and I still have to pay the cost of the car for some drunken street racing kid that got arrested? That’s absurd.

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