Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Managing Editor & Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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Insurance Question from Joppa, MD

Asked on 02/13/2012

I was rear ended while I sat at a red light behind 10 other cars, conditions were clear and the guy never even hit his brakes, he hit me at 50mph+ He totaled my car and was cited immediately at the accident, I went to the ER in an ambulance and I got a personal injury attorney, however, my husband and myself had just gotten this car in august and our payoff amount is almost $12k the other guys insurance company refuses to pay me any more than $11k for the car meaning we are going to end up having to pay for the gap (my husband never purchased gap insurance), their argument is that it is "fair" value and my argument is that it wasnt very "fair" for that idiot to rear end a 3 month pregnant woman sitting at a red light, how can i get the $

Answer given on February 19, 2012

If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, and the car is considered a total loss, then the insurance company for the party who is responsible for the damages is obligated to pay you the current actual cash value of the car. As you probably know, cars lose value immediately after being driven off the lot, since it is no longer a “new” car. Unfortunately, the sooner your car is in an accident the greater the gap in the value of the car vs what you may owe on it. You can try to negotiate a higher settlement, but you must provide proof that the car is worth more. You can do this by finding local ads or online, in your arae,showing the car is selling for a greater amount.The issue of the bodily injury and any pain and suffering you and your husband may experience will be settled separately by the insurance company through your attornye.


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