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