My brother was in an accident at 2:30am last Friday His car is totaled.

Asked 9 months ago - Winston-salem, NC

The accident was at 2:20 am on a Friday night. His car has been totaled and he doesn't have the money to buy a new car. His car was a 2006 or '07 Chevy Malibu.

My brother was on his way home from a Halloween party. As he crested a small hill, there was a car in his lane with no lights on, he hit the brakes and tried to miss hitting the car but hit the other car on one side. The driver of the other car had hit a power pole, debis was everywhere, power was knocked out in the houses nearby. Except for a sore neck, my brother seems to be ok.

My brother wasn't charged with anything. The 22 year old other driver was charged with a DWI, and careless and reckless driving. My brother was not have the $$$ to get another car. Does he have a good civil case to sue for damages to get another car?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Blake Spale

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Without looking at all the information it is difficult to give you a straight answer, but it appears that the other driver's insurance company may be liable for the damages received by your brother. It would be wise for your brother to seek medical attention for any injuries. Although it appears that he is "ok", he does not want to settle with the insurance company, only to find out later that he has an injury.

    I suggest contacting a personal injury attorney in your area to discuss your options. Most attorneys offer a free consultation. I would advise against discussing this matter (or worse, settling this matter) with any insurance company until he has done so. Best of luck.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client... more
  2. Michael Scott Rothrock

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If your brother sustained injuries he should seek treatment if necessary and at the minimum consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before discussing the matter with an insurance company.

    With regard to the property damage claim, your brother can report the claim to the other driver's insurance company or his own insurance company if he has collision coverage (they will then subrogate the claim against the other driver's insurance and refund the deductible). If the car is truly totaled, he unfortunately is not entitled under the law to a "new" car. He would be entitled to the fair market value of the car less any liens against the vehicle. Fair market value is the value of the totaled vehicle at the time of the wreck for the condition that it was in.

    This information is provided for general purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-... more
  3. Katie Ann Brewington

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If he does not already know what insurance the other person had he should obtain a copy of the accident report. The report should list the insurance company that the other person has. He should contact that insurance company first to see if they have accepted liability. He should report the accident to his insurance carrier also.

  4. Eric P. Pitsch


    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . From what you say, it was not your brother's fault. The guy with the DWI will likely be on the hook and probably won't be able to bankrupt his way out of paying your brother. At first glance, it seems like a good case. Speak with an attorney in person to give him more facts.

  5. Christian K. Lassen II


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If he was injured, have a local personal injury lawyer investigate. Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool to find a lawyer close to your home.

  6. Lars A. Lundeen


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Avvo instant logo@2x

Need an answer to your questions within 15 minutes?

  • 30-minute phone call
  • Ask any questions
  • $99 flat fee
  • Money-back guarantee
Talk to an attorney now

Can't find what you're looking for?

Ask span5@2x

Ask a question on our public forum.

Ask a lawyer
Instant span6@2x

Have an attorney contact you privately.

Right now.

Icon lock@2x
Secure conversation. Your details remain between you and your attorney.
Icon clock@2x
Get an answer guaranteed. Be assured that a lawyer will contact you to help with your legal issue.
Start your session now