I was rear ended on an interstate in Denver Co. The driver of vehicle 1 plowed into vehicle 2 which pushed them into me.
Most likely yes; however, you should also contact an attorney to make sure your rights are protected. Insurance companies do everything possible to pay only the minimum.
This response is informational only. No attorney-client relationship is formed, implied, nor intended.
The negligent driver's insurance company should be responsible for your damages. In a 3 car accident, there may be some dispute regarding who is at fault. Also, they will not "repair' your car. They may pay for the repairs you get.
So long as the at-fault party (which from your scenario appears to be vehicle 1) has insurance and the insurance company accepts liability, then it should take care of your property damage and a reasonable rental vehicle expense.
Besides the damage to your vehicle and the cost of a reasonable rental vehicle while the vehicle is being repaired, the other party’s insurance company would, if requested by you or an attorney, have to consider what is called a Diminished Value or Diminution of Value Claim.
Basically, Diminished Value is the difference in the fair market value/actual cash value of your vehicle after the repairs have been completed compared to the pre-collision value of your vehicle, or what reduced amount your vehicle is worth on the open market now because of the accident after the repairs. The amount would be based on what a similar vehicle to yours (same year, make, model, mileage, options, and condition) would sell for at this time without the accident having occurred less what the vehicle is worth after the accident despite the repairs. In addition, generally, you can only present a diminished value claim against the owner/operator of the other vehicle and/or his or her auto insurance company, not against your own auto insurance company.
You need to have an appraiser do an estimate on what he believes the vehicle would be worth had it not been involved in an accident less the amount it is worth now after the accident and the completed repairs.
You would then send a demand letter to the insurance adjuster with a copy of that estimate and demand that amount in writing. Of course, if you retain any liability at all for the accident, the offer for the Diminished Value will be reduced according to your percentage of negligence. And you must understand that the fee for the appraiser is not going to be reimbursable from the insurance company, so that is a cost you will have to bear and something you should factor into your decision whether or not to proceed with the Diminished Value claim. If an appraiser charges you $300.00 and the amount of the Diminished Value claim is close to that amount or less, it would not make sense to present a claim for that as you would either not make enough to justify the expense or you would be losing money.
Also, this option is only available if your vehicle is repairable. If your vehicle is not repairable, you would be offered the "actual cash value" or "fair market value" of your vehicle.
Having said all that, if you were injured, your best bet to obtain the maximum settlement amount in this case is to ensure you have completed the necessary medical treatment and then to consult with an attorney in your area to obtain a more specific answer and get all of your legal options before deciding what to do. The attorney will also investigate all available coverages to ensure you have the maximum amount of coverages available to you. You may have some coverages on your own auto policy that can assist you. You can use the "Find a Lawyer" link at the top of this page for names of attorneys in your area. Most offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay anything up front.
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