Auto was hit on someone’s personal property

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Auto was hit on someone’s personal property

My vehicle was severely damaged in my parents driveway by a person as they were backing out of the yard and the damage was so bad it was a total loss to my car which I had for only a month. No police report was filed but they did contact their insurance. The insurance paid the claim but it wasn’t near what I paid for the vehicle less than 4 weeks ago when I bought it or the major repairs to the car completed in the last week before it was hit and totaled. The person who hit my car agreed to pay the difference between what the insurance paid and what it actually cost but now halfway through the payments, he stopped paying and won’t reply back to me. Do I have any legal rights in this situation?

Asked on August 1, 2017 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Normally, you would likely have no recourse for the extra costs not paid by insurance: when a car is destroyed, you are legally entitled to its then current (or "blue book") value, not what you paid for it (which can be more, due to depreciation; or less, if you received the car as a gift from family, or bought it at favorable terms from friends or family); and similarly what you put into the car for repairs or maintenance is usually not available--again, the other party (or their insurer) is obligated to pay the value, nothing more.
However, if there was an actual agreement--preferably in writing (even if only by email or text messages), since it is much easier to prove the existence and terms of, and to enforce, written agreements--that so long as they paid the additional cost(s) you would not sue, that agrement should be enforceable and you should be able to sue the other person for breach of contract to enforce it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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