Car is totaled and insurance co. Is paying about 8,000.00 les than what I owe

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Car is totaled and insurance co. Is paying about 8,000.00 les than what I owe

The accident was someone else’s fault. Can I go after there insurance for the difference of payoff of my car to what the insurance is paying me

Asked on August 15, 2017 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot, if you have been been paid the then-current fair market (or "blue book") value of your car. All you are entitled to get, whether from the at-fault party (or their insurer) or your own is what the car was worth, not what you paid for it, which after all, varies tremendously and may have no relationship to the car's value or what it is worth. If you finance the car, you will pay for than its worth, for example, due to interest and  financing charges; on the other hand, some people buy cars at discounts from friends or family or are even given cars. All those people--the ones who pay more, and the ones who get a great deal--receive the same compensation, the car's value, which provides a relatively consistent and somewhat objectively determinable benchmark for compensation. So if you have received the car's fair market value, you have been properly compensated and cannot sue for more; if you want to protect yourself from this situation in the future, you can buy "GAP" insurance to cover the difference between fair market value and payoff amount.

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 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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