If I was at work when a drunk driver hit my car and totaled it and was offered 75% of the tax value, can I get more for my time suffering and being without the car?

After all he hit me and totaled my car. the tax value is $4,900 but I need $7,500 to be made whole again. Can I get this?

Asked on July 29, 2014 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You won't be able to recover compensation for "time suffering" because you were not injured in the accident.  Pain and suffering is recoverable in a personal injury claim; not a property damage claim.

As for time without the car, if you incurred rental car expense, you can recover that from the at-fault party's insurance carrier. 

If you disagree with the settlement offer, you can reject the offer and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party; however, it is unlikely you will receive $7500 because your car was a total loss and you are being offered 75% of its value.  Usually when a car is a total loss, the amount offered is considerably less than the settlement offer you received.  So, it is probably not worth the time and expense of litigation to try to recover an additional $2600.  You won't prevail if that additional $2600 represents pain and suffering and time without the car. 


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