If I was involved in a non-injury auto accident, how do I know what is a fair settlement?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I was involved in a non-injury auto accident, how do I know what is a fair settlement?

A tractor trailer stopped in the middle of the road and then backed up when he over run is turn.I couldn’t put in reverse and move backward fast enough and he hit my car causing what is believe to be a total out damage to the car. It is driveable for the moment but once hood is opened and/or the bumper falls off it is considered undriveable. I called the company’s driver insurance company but they haven’t done anything so far. As well, didn’t know what would considered to be a fair settlement because this car was paid off and for what I believe they will offer to pay for the damages I can’t buy a reasonable or reliable vehicle to replace.

Asked on July 11, 2016 under Accident Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the other driver was at fault (that is, driving carelessly or negligently, such as backing into/over your car) in causing the damage, that driver and also the owner of his vehicle (if the owner was not the driver) is liable for the lesser of the cost to repair your car or its then-current fair market ("blue book") value. They are not liable for the cost of "reasonable or reliable replacement vehicle," but only at most for what your vehicle was worth at the time.
If the are liable and do not offer to pay you voluntarily, you would have to sue the at-fault driver and/or vehicle owner and prove their fault in court to win money. (You sue the driver and/or owner, not their insurer.)

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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