Three days ago our brand new truck was hit by a semi truck while sitting in the McDonald's parking lot. We were inside eating and the truck driver came and told us he hit our truck. We were on our lunch break from work, so we ended up missing our hour lunch break and we got back to work late. The truck was drug 6 feet from where it was parked so the tires now have flat spots on them, the back bumper is almost ripped off. It was also pushed up onto the curb and then hit a light pole so the front bumper is mashed up pretty good too. I would just like to know what all I can expect the insurance company to pay? Should they have to pay for our loss of time at work and our trips back and forth to get estimates on the truck?
The truck driver's insurance is responsible for paying for either the cost of repair of the vehicle or the fair market value of the vehicle if it is a total loss. If the truck is essential to your business and was out of commission for a period of time due to the damage, you may be entitled to recover lost income, but you have a duty to "mitigate" your damages, meaning that if you it was reasonable for you to secure an alternative vehicle for use in your business so you didn't lose time, then the truck driver's liability for these damages may be reduced. At this point, you should claim everything and see what the insurance company response is.
You will get the lesser of the reasonable cost of necessary repairs or the total loss value. You will not get anything for having to spend time going to get estimates. If you had a rental car that may be recoverable as well. If your truck was necessary for a specialty job and you couldn't work for some time due to the damage you might be able to recover lost income, but likely only if it was not possible to rent an alternative vehicle.
You are entitled to receive the fair market value of the vehicle. If it was a brand-new car that you financed, I hope that you purchased gap insurance. Once a new car is titled, it depreciates, significantly. It is that depreciated value that the trucking companies insurance will have to pay. If the amount you owe on the car is more than the fair market value of the car, unfortunately, you will be responsible to pay the difference, your self.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. 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. Links: [email protected] http://www.themargolisfirm.com
I suggest you may want to review the Legal Guide I have published on Avvo.com which deals with property damage issues, particularly damage to motor vehicles. You can access the Guide through my profile page.
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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.
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