Can the other party ask for more then the value of their car, if I hit itand wasn’t insured?

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Can the other party ask for more then the value of their car, if I hit itand wasn’t insured?

I was in an accident and didn’t have insurance at the time (it happened during the in-transit period). The other party got an estimate quote of $3600; they will accept $1800; the vehicle was only valued at $736. Can they ask for more than the value of the vehicle and do I have the right to my own estimate? I have checked with 2 independent insurance companies and they both say I should only have to pay $736.

Asked on August 8, 2011 Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If a car (or other vehicle) is worth less than the cost to repair it, the at-fault party (see below) is only obligated to pay the value of the vehicle. So if a car is only worth $736, if it was $500 to fix, you'd pay $500; but if it's more than $736 to fix, $736 is the most you should pay. The other party cannot come out ahead by getting more than the car's worth; and if they insist on repairing a junker or old car (e.g. sentimental value), that's their decision--and their cost; they can still only get the actual value of the vehicle.

Note: you only are obligated to pay if you were at fault--e.g. driving too fast, carelessly, blowing through a light or stop sign, drunk, etc.--and you can always force the other party to sue you and prove your fault in court if you do not  agree that you are at fault.


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