Am I entitled to more compensation?

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Am I entitled to more compensation?

I recently purchased a new car for $19,000. I made a $2,000 down payment and traded my vehicle in for a credit of $1,000. While in my house a elderly woman ran into my car while parked on the street legally. The vehicle is assessed as totaled and now her insurance is offering $16,000 for the vehicle. Which means I lose out on the $3,000 I put down. They claim that’s their only offer and is non negotiable. I don’t feel I should be losing money when someone hits my car without any fault to me.

Asked on May 2, 2017 under Accident Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are entitled to the then-current fair market or blue book value: the law compensates you based on what something is worth when it is destroyed, not on what you paid, which could be more than its value (e.g. if you struck a bad deal, or due to depreciation) or less (if a friend or family member sold it to you at a bargain rate, or even gave it to you for free). If the current blue book value is more than $16,000, you could refuse the offer and sue the at-fault driver (you sue the driver, not the insurer) for whatever the blue book value is. But again, it's only the then-current fair market value of the car to which you are entitled; what you paid, what you put down, what you traded in, etc. is not relevant.


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