What are my rights regarding an accident in which my new car was totaled?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What are my rights regarding an accident in which my new car was totaled?

I was in a car accident that was caused by someone’s reckless driving. I was not injured, however my new car of only 7 months has been deemed not repairable and will be “junked” per by the insurance company. The difference between what the bank is owed and the blue book value of the car is only about a $700. I put down $5,000 to purchase this car. How can I retrieve that money back so that I can purchase a new car?

Asked on October 20, 2015 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You are only entitled in the law to the current fair market value or blue book value of the car--you're not entitled to the original purchase price or replacement cost, if they are more than the blue book value. Or to any additional amounts you owe the lender/financing company. So if you receive the full blue book value, there is no way to recover more if you receive less tha full blue book e.g. you have to pay a deductible out of pocket, you could sue for the difference--suing is the only way to recover money from another person if they don't voluntarily choose to pay you.

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