My car was hit while I was in bed sleep. Im need help getting a new car.

My car is totaled and I need the other parties
insurance company to assist me with getting a
new car. Is that possible? I was given a rental
for a week but that is not enough time for me to
gather funds together for a down payment,
which is needed because my credit is not
great. FLORIDA

Asked on October 21, 2017 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you had the relevant insurance (e.g. collision) on your car, submit a claim to your own insurer: that is the fastest, easiest way to get compensation. Let your insurer pay you, the sue the other side to recover their money (i.e. to be reimbursed for what they paid out).
If you did not have insurance, the at-fault driver is liable (financially responsible for) the  then-current fair market or "blue book" value of your car (what it was worth, given make, model, year, condition, mileage) when destroyed, as well as for rental costs for a "reasonable" period--how long it would take the typical or average person (not you specifically) to get a new car: call it usually a week to 10 days.
The problems you face are:
1) As stated, the amount you are entitled to is what your car was worth, not the cost of replacing it. If your car was older or high mileage, you may get much less than you need for a new car.
2) The other driver's insurer is *their* insurer, not yours: they do not have any duty or obligation directly to you, but rather have the obligation to pay for their insured if he or she is forced to pay you. Often, when fault is clear (like in this case; a parked car was hit), the other driver's insurer will choose to pay you voluntarily, to resolve a case quickly and efficiently if they think that their driver would lose anyway if sued. But while it often makes sense to offer money voluntarily to "settle" the case, they don't have to--they can force you to sue for the money. Or they may be willing to settle, but are delaying, inefficient, dragging their feet, etc. And if they do voluntarily offer you payment, they could offer you less than your car was worth--you'd have to decide whether to take it or hold out and sue for more. All of this means that they may not offer you money quickly or even at all; and if they do offer you money, may offer you less than are entitled to, in hope you'll settle the case for less.
When these things happen, your recourse is to sue the other driver for the money (blue book value; some car rental costs) you are entitled to, but lawsuits take time--typically months, if not longer. You can't force them to help you get a new car--all you can do is sue for compensation. So if the other driver and their insurer are not voluntarily offering you money right now, you will have to find some way to pay for a car on your own, while suing them later for compensation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.