What kind of lawyer should I seek after being in automobile accident that was not my faultand I sustained moderate damage to my car?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011

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What kind of lawyer should I seek after being in automobile accident that was not my faultand I sustained moderate damage to my car?

I was involved in a car accident and I was not at fault. I want to see about filing suit against the other driving because I am going come out with less and the wreck was not my fault. My car has with low mileage (70,000) miles and I still owe a little less than $2000 on it; the blue book value is 5,500. Therefore I am going come out with only 3,000 and I will be in a bind financially to try to find something else for the price.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The fact that you will be in a bind financially is regretable, but does not, by itself, give you grounds to sue or recover more money that you are getting from insurance.

1) First, even if you were not at fault, is the other driver actually at fault? Some accidents are not the fault of anyone--e.g. occasioned by very bad or heavy weather--and unless the other driver was at fault in some way, he or she will not be liable.

2) Even if the other driver is liable, the only damages (or money) you are entitled to is that amount which compensates you for your losses. If you were injured, you could recover for medical costs and *possibly* for  pain and suffering, if prolonged or significant. If you missed days at work and lost pay, you may be able to get lost wages; if you had out of pocket expenses (e.g. towing) not covered by insurance, those may be recoverable; but in terms of property damage (e.g. your car), the most you can get is its then current value. So if you the only injury or loss was to the car, all you can get is what it was worth at the time (it's blue  book value). More, you can't recover anything you've already gotten from insurance; so if the car is worth $5,500 and you've been paid $5,500, you can't get more for the car.

It's  not the other driver's responsibility, even if at fault, to put in good economic shape--only to make sure that you, in total, get what your property is worth. Therefore, if the only damage is to the car and you've already received you compensation for that, you can't get anything else.

3) A lawsuit itself costs money, so you have to be able to sue for enough to make it worthwhile.

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.

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