In small claims court, what expenses canI ask for in a settlementfor a car accident?

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In small claims court, what expenses canI ask for in a settlementfor a car accident?

Car damaged while parked in NJ. What expenses can be part of the case in small case court other than car repair, car rental, diminished value when car gets damaged when it was parked in NJ. Company from NJ offered already extremely low estimate for car repair even though they have hired some company from NY to do the estimate for them. I have my own 2 estimates which are almost twice much higher than their estimates. What is the best way to present my case to win it and recoup all my other expenses.

Asked on December 7, 2010 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have identified the main expenses: car repair and replacement car rental. It's unlikely you will get dimunition of value plus repair; usually, it's one or the other, and much more often the repair costs. If you had any other out-of-pocket expenses--e.g. you took mass transit; towing; etc.--you could claim for those, too. The best way to present your case is just to thoroughly document: bring in estimates, bring in photographs, bring in receipts or invoices; also, so you can try for  diminished value, bring in anything showing that (e.g. "blue book" valuations for cars of your make, model, year in damaged and undamaged states). Everything you bring in should itself be thoroughly documented as to source, when obtained, etc. The more thorough you are, the better off you'll be.


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