If the insurance company only pays the value of my car, can I sue the at fault driver for the remaining value to cover the down payment on a new car?

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If the insurance company only pays the value of my car, can I sue the at fault driver for the remaining value to cover the down payment on a new car?

I was hit by a drunk driver. Her car insurance has accepted liability for the claim. The repair shop says that there is a possibility that they may total my car. I don’t have the money or the credit to get another car. Can I sue the other driver for the difference of the value of my car and the lien, plus whatever else I need for a new car or at least the down payment?

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Accident Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were involved in an automobile accident involving a drunk driver who was at fault, you need to remember that most insurance companies will overpay for a claim involving an insured driver who had been drinking alcohol just before the accident.

In your situation, you are only entitled to the lesser of the costs of repairs to the vehicle of the the car's fair market value. However, if you missed time from work, saw a health care provider and suffered emotional distress as the result of the accident, you can receive additional compensation for these items. Perhaps consulting with a personal injury attorney is in order for your? Good luck.


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