What to do if I’m trying to claim loss of use for an accident I had 2 months ago?

My car has been in the shop but I have not rented a car. I had to rely on the good grace of getting rides and sometimes had to miss work because of this. The insurer of person who hit is trying to offer me $10 per day for a total of 25 days. Should I accept?

Asked on November 12, 2013 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If the person who hit you was at fault in causing the accident (so, for example, driving negligently or carelessly), then they would potentially be liable for your out-of-pocket costs or losses due to the accident. Unfortunately, they are not liable to pay you if you choose to do things that make your loses worse (like missing work, rather than rentiing a car, taking a bus or taxi, etc.--that was your choice to do); and they are not liable to pay you if you voluntarily choose to go without spending money (like relying on the "good graces" of other people, instead of renting).

If you had rented, you'd be in a good position to recover the rental cost. Having chosen to not rent, however, there is a good chance that you cannot recover for "loss of use." The $10/day for 25 days may therefore be more than you would in fact win, for "loss of use" in a lawsuit.

On the other hand, if the other driver was at fault, you should be compensated for the cost to repair you car, and if they are not offering that, you should strongly cosider suing.


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