lawsuit for money invested in a car

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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lawsuit for money invested in a car

I was in an accident with my mom’s car back in february 2016 and the car was totaled by a drunk driver slamming into the back of me. the insurance paid a portion of the car and their GAP insurance took care of the rest. However, my parents were left without a car and no down payment to get another one. Can my parents sue the other party that was charged with DUI for the money invested in the car that was totaled so this way they can get some money back on the car that they invested in for 2 years.

Asked on July 23, 2016 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

An at-fault driver (like a drunk driver) who damages property (like a car) is responsible for, at most, the then-current fair market value of the destroyed property; he or she is not liable for life disruption, inconvenience, or if you are not in an economic position to purchase a new car (since he or she is not responsible for your economic position). Therefore, if your parents have received an amount in total equal to or greater than (due to GAP insurance) the then-current fair market value of the car, they have already received everything the law will give them and are not entitled to anything more--so therefore, there is no point in suing, since they won't get anything. If they did not receive the full then-current value of the car, they could sue for the difference between what they got and the value.

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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