What all can I ask for reimbursement on from a car accident that was not my fault?

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What all can I ask for reimbursement on from a car accident that was not my fault?

What all is considered during pain and suffering? I had to put out over $3000 to get a new car, had to use my charge card for down payment, had to miss a mortgage payment towards a down payment, my dog was in the car is now traumatized, I am nervous to drive. Can I ger reimbursed for my cell phone minutes I had to add on my phone to make all the claim phone calls. I had just purchased my tabs in the amount of $197, my car wasn’t even 1 year old.

Asked on April 3, 2012 under Accident Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Your nervousness about driving and your dog's trauma are not compensible--pain and suffering generally is an award or compensation for significant or long-lasting physical pain or disability, not emotional upset (and never for an animal's emotional upset).

You cannot recover for the impact of missing a mortgage payment, since that was not legally caused by the accident--that is, since there are significant other causes (your lack of savings, how you budget, your income, etc.), the other driver cannot be held responsible for it. Similarly, you can't recover for any charge card interest for the same reason--the other driver and his insurer are not responsible for your financial status or need to charge the down payment.

You most likely cannot recover for the additional cell phone minutes--again, that is not sufficiently "proximally" caused by the accident, since it is not necessarily (or even often) a consequence of an accident that a person needs to add cell phone minutes.

The typical things you can recover from an at-fault driver (note: it's not enough that you were not at fault; the other driver must have been at fault--e.g. driving carelessly--to recover compensation; if neither of you were at fault, the other driver will not be liable) are:

1) Medical costs, if any

2) Lost wages, if any

3) The cost to repair your car, or, if it is totalled, the then-current value ("Bluebook value") of the car

4) Towing costs, if any

5) Cost to rent a car, on a temporary basis, while yours is undriveable (i.e. before it is fixed or you get a new car)

6) Value of any other property of yours damaged or destroyed in the crash

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption