Do i still have to pay my car off id it was totaled while parked

A lady ran into my vehicle while it was parked it got
totaled. I owe 10k on it and there only giving 5500.
Do i have to pay the rest or can i get a lawyer and
fight for them to pay the rest

Asked on October 19, 2017 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You have to pay the rest of the loan or financing: it is your legal responsibility to do so under the loan or financing agreement, which is a contract. That agreement is between you and the lender or financing arm of the dealership/manufacturer and obligates you to pay the full amount financed, no matter what happens to your car. If you don't pay, they can sue you and will almost certainly win, getting a jugment against you for the money--and possibly also for their legal fees and court costs (depending on whether the loan, etc. agreement lets them get this).
Anyone who destroys ("totals") your car is liable for the then-current fair market or "blue book" value: that is, what the car is worth given its make, model, miileage, age, condition, etc. at the moment it was destroyed. That's also the amount an insurer would have to pay. It doesn't matter what you paid, or how much you owed--all htat you are entitled to is the car's then-value.
If you have not been offered its then-current value, you could refuse to take the $5,500 and sue for the full amount. If the $5,500 is the then-current value, there is no point in suing--you won't get any more. And even if the $5,500 is less than the then-current value, if you accepted the money and signed any settlement or other agreement stating something like this was payment in full of all claims or that you gave up your right to sue, then you most likely cannot sue: such settlements or agreements to not sue are legal and enforceable.

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