How can I be made whole financially if I was in a car accident and my vehicle was only 4 months old?

I was recently involved in accident for which the other driver was at fault. My insurance is paying for medical, rental car, partial payoff of my vehicle and then collecting from his insurance. I am in the hole for over $3000 in losses as my car was only 4 months old. How do I go about asking for compensation for losses such as my former trade-in value of wrecked car, cash down on new car and balance owed on my wrecked car? They have not offered any compensation for pain and suffering either. My insurer says that is up to me to get from them.

Asked on October 22, 2015 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) In terms of the value of your car, you are only entitled to the then-current fair market or blue book value of the car. You cannot get the price you paid for the car, for example, if higher than the current value, or the amount you need to put down for a new car. You are made whole by getting the value of the wrecked car. If you received that, you are not entitled to anything more.
2) Yes, to get compensation for pain and suffering, you'd need to sue the at-fault driver and win in court, by showing 1) he/she was at fault 2) the accident injured you in some way and 3) the extent of the injury, which included (for a pain and suffering awared) some significant and long-lasting life impairment. You can also recover your out-of-pocket medical expenses. You will need medical expert testimony for this--you cannot prove the existence or extent of an injury without a medical expert witness.


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