How can I be made whole financially if I was in a car accident and my vehicle was only 4 months old?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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How can I be made whole financially if I was in a car accident and my vehicle was only 4 months old?

I was recently involved in accident for which the other driver was at fault. My insurance is paying for medical, rental car, partial payoff of my vehicle and then collecting from his insurance. I am in the hole for over $3000 in losses as my car was only 4 months old. How do I go about asking for compensation for losses such as my former trade-in value of wrecked car, cash down on new car and balance owed on my wrecked car? They have not offered any compensation for pain and suffering either. My insurer says that is up to me to get from them.

Asked on October 22, 2015 under Accident Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) In terms of the value of your car, you are only entitled to the then-current fair market or blue book value of the car. You cannot get the price you paid for the car, for example, if higher than the current value, or the amount you need to put down for a new car. You are made whole by getting the value of the wrecked car. If you received that, you are not entitled to anything more.
2) Yes, to get compensation for pain and suffering, you'd need to sue the at-fault driver and win in court, by showing 1) he/she was at fault 2) the accident injured you in some way and 3) the extent of the injury, which included (for a pain and suffering awared) some significant and long-lasting life impairment. You can also recover your out-of-pocket medical expenses. You will need medical expert testimony for this--you cannot prove the existence or extent of an injury without a medical expert witness.

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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