I only have liability insur., and the person at fault has no insurance. What amount can I sue for if car is worth $3,300 but the damages were $2,700?

UPDATED: May 29, 2009

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I only have liability insur., and the person at fault has no insurance. What amount can I sue for if car is worth $3,300 but the damages were $2,700?

Also, I’m paying to insure a car that’s not safe to drive and it’s just sitting at my house taking up space and my money. Can I sell my car before the court date and still sue? If I am able to sell the car and for little to nothing, what then am I allowed to sue for? Can I still sue for the total estimate of damage, or can I sue for what profit was lost when selling (retail value of the car minus whatever profit I recieved from selling)?

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Accident Law, Alabama


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

To be sure about this, you should talk to an attorney in your area.  Even if you don't hire him or her to handle the case, the price of a consultation might well save you from a more expensive mistake in court.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

The repair cost is usually the measure of collision damages, not the lost value;  part of the problem with lost value is estimating the pre-collision value that you'd need to start with.  If you sell the car instead of fixing it, the estimate might well be accepted as evidence, and it can be backed up with photographs that you can take yourself;  sometimes, a second estimate is a good idea, although it's usually the lower of the two that counts.  Some courts might refuse to accept the estimate unless the person who made it came to court and testified.

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