What are my rights if I was recently in car accident in which the other driver was at fault?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2014

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What are my rights if I was recently in car accident in which the other driver was at fault?

The car is a total loss and they will not fix it. I drive a 2 year old car with the average value of the car around $14,000; they are only offering around $8,000 and I still have a payoff for the car. I am wondering if I take the $8,000 they are offering, can I also ask for an inconvenience payment for having to now find a new car taking time out of my days calling tow truck, collision center, insurance companies (not to mention going back and forth to the police station 3 times to get a copy of the police report)? So should I ask for this payment along with what they’re giving for the car? And how much should I ask for? Also, do I need an attorney?

Asked on October 1, 2014 under Accident Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no recovery or compensation for inconvenience, though you could potentially recover for out-of-pocket costs like towing, renting a car until you get a new one, etc.

2) If you take the $8,000 and there is a settlement agreement (as there likely would be) saying that you are taking the $8k in full settlement, then you *can't* later sue for or seek more; if there is no settlement agreement barring you from seeking  more, you could.

3) It would be worthwhile discussing the matter with an attorney, to see what your best options are; potentially, if the other driver was at fault, you could recover the full value of your car and out-of-pocket losses.

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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