What to do if I was recently in a car accident doe which I was not at fault?

UPDATED: Aug 15, 2013

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What to do if I was recently in a car accident doe which I was not at fault?

My car was totaled and the other driver’s insurance company is going to pay the current value of the car only (which is about $2000 less than what I still owe on the car). I have already paid almost $4000 in car payments before the accident and now I am stuck with a car loan but no car. Can I sue the driver of the other car for the $2000 I still owe on my car loan and the $4000 I have already paid in payments?

Asked on August 15, 2013 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, when property is destroyed through the fault of another, that person is only liable, or financially responsible, for the then-current value of the property. It does not matter if that is less than you still owe on the property, or less than you have paid for it--the law statates that compensation is to be compepensated for the current value. Therefore, if you are being offered the current value, that is all you are entitled to.

This  is why people who are leasing or financing their cars often get what is called "gap insurance"--insurance which specifically pays off any remaining loan balance.

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