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Do I have any option? My 1974 Chevy truck was hit by a drunk driver, while parked in front of my house.

San Jose, CA |

While parked in front of my house my 1974 Chevy pickup was hit by a man who fled after hitting my truck. Local neighbors witness the person leave and went after him. Eventually they caught up to the man a few blocks down and brought him back to the scene. Long story short the cops were called a police report was filed and now I'm in a struggle with the mans insurance company Liberty Mutual. They sent out their own appraiser, who later would consider my truck a total loss and they offered me $1100 dollars. I had bought the truck within the previous 6 mos for 1500 and put $1500-$2000 in documented installments and service which I provided copies to Liberty Mutual. They said they can not offer me anymore than the set amount. Im wondering do I have any options or am I basically screwed

Attorney Answers 4


They are liable for the cost to repair, or the fair market value, whichever is less. If you disagree with their calc of FMV, you can ask them to provide you with the information they used to come up with their number, and you can present to them, the proof you have that fmv is more. You can also seek loss of use damages.

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Were criminal charges filed against him? If so, and he is convicted of a crime that resulted in your loss, you may be able to seek Criminal Restitution under California Penal Code section 1202.4.

Under Criminal Restitution the court has discretion to impose the actual cost of repairing the property, even if that amount exceeds the replacement cost (In re Dina V. (2007) 151 CA4th 486, 488–489).

Contact the Victims-Witness Department, typically in the District Attorney's Office, for the County in which the crime occurred.

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I like the restitution angle although I am not sure you'll get any more dough that way. If you sue the man in small claims court, you can pursue some additional claims. Talk to a local attorney bout he possibilities.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

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If the insurance company keeps giving you problems file an action in Small Claims Court, don’t forget about any charges for obtaining a car rental or lost time from work.

If you have found this information helpful, please let the attorney know by marking best answer. Thank you. This participating Attorney does not warrant any information provided, nor are we creating an Attorney-Client relationship by providing said information to you on this site. Nothing contained herein is intended to constitute, offer, induce, promise, or contract of any kind. The content provided is presented as a courtesy to be used only for informational purposes and is not represented to be error free. The Law Offices of John N. Kitta makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to its answer to inquiries, and such representations and warranties are being expressly disclaimed. Given limited facts, we are attempting to share relevant information concerning this area of the law as a public service.

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