Do I have another option in a totaled car situation?

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Do I have another option in a totaled car situation?

I was rear-ended and pushed into a semi-truck. The driver fell asleep and hit
me. The semi-truck driver is not pursuing any repairs nor filing a claim.
The insurance from the person at fault has provided me with a rental and had my
car evaluated for repairs. It would cost over 15K to repair my vehicle, which
is valued at 10K and I owe 8.5K. The car has been considered totaled.

If I take the 11K the insurance is offering I’m left with 2.5K which is
obviously not going to buy me a vehicle like what I had. Are there any other
options besides taking the 11k or keeping my salvaged vehicle? I don’t mind if
I continue to pay the 8.5k, but I’d like to have a vehicle comparable to what I
had. I know that I have to pay the loan first, so it’s not like I can just
use the money to buy a car and continue to pay the loan. I just want to be in
the same position I was before. I have a 2014 car a 250 monthly payment and
8.5k.

Asked on February 2, 2018 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the law does not take any consideration of whether you can afford to buy another car: that is simply not a factor. The law requires the at-falt driver or his insurance to pay the lesser of the then-current fair market or blue book value, "totalling" the car, or the cost to repair. It will not force them to repair a car when repairing costs more than the car is worth, because it is inefficient to pay more to repair a thing than that thing is worth. So taking the $11k may be your best option: you are bring offered more than the fair market value, so more than they strictly speaking need to offer.


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