Should I get an attorney to handle my car accident?

Asked over 1 year ago - Port Saint Lucie, FL

I was recently in a car accident (which I was NOT at fault). The man who hit me had been speeding and weaving through traffic according to a few witnesses who stayed with me while I waited for the ambulance. I bought a brand new 2013 Passat and it was only 2 months old when I got into an accident with it. It has been in the shop for 2 months now (which is out of my control and the adjuster should be handling this). My insurance now wants me to pay for the rental car!! Most importantly I'm afraid my brand new car will not run like a new car. Is there something I can do to get a new car or hold that man accountable for me having to pay for my rental car??

-M

Additional information

So far the car has A LOT of damage. According to the adjuster, it is only $1,500 worth of damage, but when my husband went to check on it, the roof was being re-done, trunk floor was removed, trunk door removed, gas tank removed, back bumper removed, both back doors removed to be replaced, back floor board carpet was being ripped out and both side panels were being stripped to be re-painted. Sounds a lot more than $1,500. I feel like it should have been totaled.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Jeffrey Alan Adelman

    Contributor Level 12

    9

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . You certainly can. Loss of use is compensable (rental car) as well as Diminished Value. Diminished Value is You may have never heard of Diminished Value is the loss of value to your vehicle due to it being involved in an accident. Showing an accident on a "Car Fax" or similar report will cause your vehicle to be worth less and this person or their insurance company is responsible for paying for those damages. Insurance companies get away without paying these claims because the public generally does not know about them.

    We are one of the few firms handling and litigating Diminished Value claims in Florida. These claims are done on a contingency fee, so there are no fees or costs unless we are successful. Feel free to call us at 1877-TRIALS2 or email me at jeff@adelmanlawyers.com for more information.

  2. Lina M Lopez-Fullam

    Contributor Level 9

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Request a copy of the estimate to damage on your vehicle. If the monetary damage to the vehicle is close to the value of the vehicle it is possible to get it declared totaled. But first you need to request a copy of the estimate. Two , yes you can recoupe the money for your rental. Three, you can also recoupe monies for the diminished value to car. Your car has now lost value because of the accident. You can request to be compenstated.

  3. Don Paul Harvey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . On a 2013, it would have to have significant frame damage or the front end ripped off for them to total it. Sometimes, vehicles will go in for repairs and when they get into it, they find a lot more damage and ultimately the vehicle is totaled. As others have point out, diminished value is real and does affect the resale of your vehicle. I know when I look for my cars, if I even see a "minor accident" noted, I simply pass. Too many other cars without any problems.

    Without knowing coverages, etc., it's hard to give advice. You really need to speak to an attorney. Do you have any injuries? Have you treated with anyone? If not, you probably need to ASAP. I wouldn't waste any more time, call some attorney's or give me a call if you want to chat more about it.

  4. Clifford M. Miller

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have a valid claim against the other driver/owner for any car damage, loss of value, and loss of use (rental cost) not covered by your own insurance company. If the other owner/driver has insurance, it should pay those claims. If you were hurt, you may have a claim for your injuries also.

    This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you should

  6. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes - at least consult with a local FL personal injury attorney - what have you got to lose since almost all offer free consultations. Get professional assistance - you need it at this point. Best wishes

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  7. Jason M. Melton

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Absolutely YES

    Call a local petsonal injury lawyer immediately and stop making statements to any insurance companies.

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