What are my rights if my car was parked outside of my house and a woman who was DUI crashed into it?

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What are my rights if my car was parked outside of my house and a woman who was DUI crashed into it?

She was arrested on the spot. I believe my insurance company will declare my car totaled. I will receive the blue book value of my car less deductible (and my insurance company will subrogate against the DUI’s insurance company – she apparently has full coverage – and reimburse themselves and me). The bottom line is my car will be gone and I do not have the cash to buy a new car. Do I have any recourse against the woman who hit my car as I see myself (and my family) as the victims here?

Asked on May 30, 2013 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may sue her for any out-of-pocket losses--i.e. anything not reimbursed by insurance, such as the deductable; the cost to take cabs or public transit, or renting a car, while replacing your vehicle; etc. Note, though that you cannot get more than blue book value for the car itself, since someone who destroys your property is only liable to pay the then-current value of it; that is, you can't get the cost to buy a new car, if that is greater than the current blue book value of the totalled vehicle. All you can get is the full blue book value and any other costs you incurred.


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