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Do I have a case, is there anything I can do?

Allentown, PA |

Hi,

About two weeks ago my vehicle was hit by DUI, along with 7 of my neighbors vehicles. I own a 2012 SUV, I have not even owned it for a year yet. Both his and my insurance company agrees to have it fix. Right now there is a little less then 16 thousand dollars worth of damage done to my car. I spoke to the dealership about trading it in when I received my car back, but because the value of my car has gone down with being in the accident the car is only valued at a estimate of 15-18 thousand dollars. I still have loan on it of 26 thousand. Is there anything I can do? The car was parked in front of my house and there was no injurires.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. You have a property damage claim.

    Under Pennsylvania Law, the measure of damages to property is either it's fair market value, or the cost to repair it - WHICHEVER IS LESS.

    You are not entitled to the depreciation of the vehicle. If the vehcile is fully repaired, then its value is not less than an equivelent vehicle that was not involved in an accident.

    Look up the value of your 2012 SUV on Kelly Blue Book - that is its value. That it was in an accident does not decrease it more. In fact, because it has been repaired it is arguably in better shape than an equivilent vehicle that has not been repaired.

    This answer contains general information only; and it is not intended as legal advice. It is not intended to and does not create an attorney client relationship. Information contained here is only a starting point and you should consider discussing your specific problem in depth with a licensed attorney.


  2. It is very unfortunate you suffered this loss. Fortunately, both insuance companies have agreed to fix your car. The law requires you to be made whole. Fixing the car gets you to where your car was before the accident. Getting a new car is your decision. All cars ,whether they are in an accident or not, depreciate. Some cars depreciate or lose value more than others. For the future, if you have a total loss, you should consider Gap Insurance, but that is not applicable in this case because your car will be fully repaired. Be glad you were not in the car and are in good health. Best of luck and Have a Happy New Year.

    This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. El abogado de Accidentes de Autos y Lesiones Personales is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos y Lesiones Personales de Acidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, y Abogado de Acidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, y California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.


  3. You are entitled to compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle from the repaired damage if any, see if your dealer will give you a declaration under oath that the accident has lowered the value of the vehicle, even after it was repaired, and how much the value dropped.

    This response does not create a lawyer client relationship. Each case is determined on its specific facts and this reply is intended for a general audience and facts particular to your case may affect the answer. Consult with an attorney in person for specific answers to your questions.


  4. You will either get cost of repair or fair market value for your car.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com


  5. You need to consult with an auto accident attorney. I would not make any more attemtps to talk to the other party.
    Good Luck

    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com

    www. KingofPersonalInjuryLaw.com

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com www. KingofPersonalInjuryLaw.com I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  6. First, this happened to me years ago and we were able to find the driver by tracking the damage to cars on the street and the road. His tire came off at some point and the tire rim damaged the asphalt creating marks and a trail to his parking spot near his home.

    In terms of damages under Pennsylvania law, the measure of damages for injury to property is the cost of repairs since your vehicle is being repaired and the cost to repair is less than the vehicle’s current market value. If there is permanent damage to your vehicle that cannot be restored, and this causes a loss in value when you sell the vehicle, the court can award additional damages. However, expert testimony may be required to support the loss of value.

    If you settle with the defendant’s insurance carrier, and sign a release, you may end up precluding any further recovery from the defendant or others. As you have alleged this involved a person driving under the influence, if this person if found guilty, you can ask the judge to order financial restitution for your losses. Contact the local prosecutor’s office to begin this process.

    Finally, you do not have to accept the insurance carrier’s first offer, and you have the right to file suit against the defendant and potentially others for your losses. Your claim may also include a demand for punitive damages. Because the defendant caused damage to multiple vehicles, there may not be sufficient insurance coverage for everyone. Also, you may not be able to recover punitive damages from the insurance carrier. These are some reasons why it may be practical to resolve your claim directly with the carrier. Consult an attorney since there are a number of factors to consider before you make a final decision.

    Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general information and not intended to be a legal opinion to be followed. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney before making a decision. The information provided does not create an attorney-client relationship. Contact our office to obtain specific legal advice at (215) 702-2708 for Pennsylvania or New Jersey matters.

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