Can I sue the insurance company for additional monies if the amount of their settlement was not enough to replace my car

I was rear ended by another vehicle. The other drivers insurance settled because
my car was a total loss, however the settlement amount received was less then the
cost of the very same car available for purchase. I had a loan balance of about
6000 on my previous car, which the insurance company did pay off and gave me a
check for the difference. After using the check as a down payment on a new car,
same make model year and appx mileage of the prior.In addition I had to pay taxes
tag and title on the new vehicle. After repurchasing, I now owe About 9000
balance on loan, which is about 3000 more thanI did before the accident.
Insurance won’t pay out any more. Can I sue the insurance co. to get the extra
3000? Should I involve the driver in a personal lawsuit as well to recover the
3000?

Asked on May 14, 2016 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First, if you acccepted a settlement, review what, if anything, you signed when you accepted the money: settlement agreements usually include language that the payment fully settles all claims and/or that by accepting the settlement, you give up the right to sue. If you signed anything like that, you can't take further legal action.
Even if you aren't barred from suing by a settlement agreement, the most you can get is what was the then-current (at the time of the accident) fair market value of your car. This amount has nothing to do with the price you paid t buy the car, how much you still owe on it, or the cost of a replacement vehicle. The law only requires someone who destroys another's property to pay what the destroyed property was worth at the time of its destruction. So it may be, depending on what your car's blue book value was then, that you have already received all, or nearly all, that you would be entitled to.


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