If you’re in a car accident that is not your fault, What expense/cost is the other driver’s insurerresponsible for?

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If you’re in a car accident that is not your fault, What expense/cost is the other driver’s insurerresponsible for?

My mother was in a car accident and totaled her car. The police report states that she is not at fault. As a result she has to visit a chiropractorevery other day. Is it the responsibility of the other insurance company to pay the blue book value on her car as well as helping with the down payment on getting a new car? They are paying 18,000 for car and her gap insurance is picking up the 2,000 but she is still out of a car and has no help getting a new one. Also doctor visits

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your mother has a property damage claim and a separate personal injury claim with the other driver's insurance company.  The property damage compensation was the payment for the loss of the car your mother received.  The insurance company is not going to help her get a new car.  Your mother would have to use the compensation she received towards getting a new car.

Your mother's personal injury claim should be filed with the other driver's insurance company.

When your mother completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means no further improvement is anticipated, she should obtain her medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Her personal injury claim will consist of the medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your mother's injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

If your mother is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, she can reject those offers and sue the other driver for negligence.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, your mother will need to file her lawsuit for negligence against the other driver prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or she will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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