Can I sue a driver who totaled all 3 of our cars??

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue a driver who totaled all 3 of our cars??

The driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit the 3 cars in my driveway. Neither my grandparents or I can afford new cars and we were still paying them off. Is there anything we can do to get money from the driver?

Asked on September 7, 2016 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue an at-fault driver, such as one who damaged your property while driving negligently or carelessly. To fall asleep at the wheel is essentially by definition to be negligent, so you should be able to win the case easily. You can sue for the total value of the three totalled cars, plus any other direct, out-of-pocket costs caused by this, such as if you had to rent a car or cars for a reasonable period of time. 
If he has insurance, you will probably be paid fairly quickly and easily, likely without having to go further than filing the lawsuit and doing some negotiations--in fact, if you believe he has or may have insurance, ask him for his insurer's information and, if he provides it, submit a claim to them before even filing the lawsuit and you may get paid without fightint. If he has insurance, then even if you do end up having to through with a lawsuit and go to trial, there will most likely be money there to pay you at the end.
But if he does not have insurance, then even though he is clearly at fault, you might not get paid: someone who doesn't have insurance usually either has so little money he can't afford insurance, and/or has so little, in income or assets, to protect that he does not believe insurance is worthwhile. That means that even if you win, there may be no money to pay you.
Assuming that it was not the case that al three cars were junkers, this case should be more than large enough to make hiring an attorney worthwhile; consult with one right away.

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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