What are my rights if I was recently in car accident in which the other driver was at fault?

The car is a total loss and they will not fix it. I drive a 2 year old car with the average value of the car around $14,000; they are only offering around $8,000 and I still have a payoff for the car. I am wondering if I take the $8,000 they are offering, can I also ask for an inconvenience payment for having to now find a new car taking time out of my days calling tow truck, collision center, insurance companies (not to mention going back and forth to the police station 3 times to get a copy of the police report)? So should I ask for this payment along with what they’re giving for the car? And how much should I ask for? Also, do I need an attorney?

Asked on October 1, 2014 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no recovery or compensation for inconvenience, though you could potentially recover for out-of-pocket costs like towing, renting a car until you get a new one, etc.

2) If you take the $8,000 and there is a settlement agreement (as there likely would be) saying that you are taking the $8k in full settlement, then you *can't* later sue for or seek more; if there is no settlement agreement barring you from seeking  more, you could.

3) It would be worthwhile discussing the matter with an attorney, to see what your best options are; potentially, if the other driver was at fault, you could recover the full value of your car and out-of-pocket losses.


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