If I was in an accident but wasn’t at fault, how do I get compensation for a vehicle I am still paying on?

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If I was in an accident but wasn’t at fault, how do I get compensation for a vehicle I am still paying on?

Unfortunately the driver went through a blinking red light and broadsided my car, although I was actually able to drive it home. My insurance company says its unrepairable a total loss because of the frame. The man admitted he was at fault to the police but now he is saying he is not. What should I do?

Asked on January 11, 2016 under Accident Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you're not paid by your own insurance for the then-current value of the car (the "blue book" value), you can sue the at-fault driver for its value. But be advised that all either your insurer or the other driver would have to pay is the then-current value: the law compensates people for the value of what was destroyed, but not for the price or financing they paid to buy it. (This is why people who finance cars should get "gap insurance," which does pay off the remaining balance of the loan, if the loan is greater than the car's current value, as it often is due to, among other things, depreciation.)


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