What are my son’s rights regarding an accident in which his car was totaled?

My son purchased a new car, however after 5 months and only 5000 miles, he was hit when another driver ran a stop sign. The driver at fault’s insurance paid off the loan but there was less than $150. left over. What about the downpayment, isn’t it covered? We can’t replace the car without one. Isn’t insurance supposed to put you back to where you started before an accident?

Asked on November 1, 2013 under Accident Law, Washington


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Insurance pays the fair market value of the car.  When you purchase a brand new car, it loses value the moment it leaves the lot and becomes a used car.  Check the Kelly Blue Book for the fair market value of the car when the accident occurred.  If you believe it was more than what the insurance paid, then you can appeal the decision, but not if your son already signed a liability waiver.  Then it is too late.

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