do still pay for damages caused but not repaired if the car is later wrecked and total?

I live in Florida. My son accidently hit the neighbors car with a scooter. She filed an insurance claim and gave them our information. We made an arrangement to pay her for her deductible and also to pay car insurance for their expenses. Before she got the car repaired or paid any money out, she wrecked the car. It was her fault and they totaled the car. It is a 2016 that was under car payments. Are we still legally responsible to pay for the damage done before the accident but not repaired?

Asked on January 5, 2018 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The key point is whether the insurer is in fact "reducing the value of the car by the damages." If that is the case, then your son cost her money by hitting the car; assuming he was at fault (driving/riding the scooter carelessly) when he did so, he (and therefore you, if he is  minor) are liable for that amount of money you cost her. You are only liable for the actual loss she suffered, not for anything else. So say the car's blue book value if it were undamaged was $10k. If she received $10k less her deductible, you owe her nothing: your son's accident cost her no money, and she received what she would have received due to the car being totaled.
On the other hand, say the blue book value in undamaged condition was $10k; because of the damage, they paid her $9,200 less her deductible; the damage your son did cost her $800; you are liable for that $800.

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