I just financed this car a week before this kid who didn't even have a drivers licenses hit my parked car outside my aunt's house. So the kids mom covered it with their insurance and their insurance agreed and totaled the car. However I owed 13,000 and I already paid 1,200 down on the car. They will only pay 9000(ish) for the totaled car still making me owe about 3,000. So now I am broke and car-less without good enough credit to get another one financed.
That is a very unfortunate situation. Unfortunately what you owe on a car is irrelevant as to what the value of the car is. In many situations, car lots charge more than a car is worth because they know they can take advantage of people with poor credit by charging them more. Not sure if that is what happened here, but the insurance company is only required to pay the reasonable before and after value on the vehicle. Did you by any chance buy gap insurance. I have seen a lot of times when these car lots know they are selling the car for more than it is worth they add a policy of gap insurance. If so, that should cover the differences.
I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Arkansas. If your potential claim exist in a State other than Arkansas, I am not licensed to practice law in your State and am not familiar with the laws applicable in your State. You need to contact an attorney licensed in your State to get a true answer to your problem. Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should consult local legal counsel
Here is a short primer on what the owner of a vehicle is owed under the law.
Legally, the insurance company owes you the repair amount of your vehicle plus consideration of the possible diminished value of your vehicle. If the damages to your vehicle exceed the value of the vehicle, or your state has a percentage of the total actual cash value used to determine if a vehicle is a total loss (in my state of Florida, this would be 80% of the actual cash value of the total property damage claim, and would be a different amount in other states), the insurance company does not have a duty to pay to repair your vehicle, to get you a replacement vehicle, or pay off your loan; it only owes you what is called actual cash value or fair market value, basically what a vehicle similar to yours (same year, make, model, accessories, condition, and mileage) would have sold for on the open market prior to the motor vehicle accident. You are also allowed to present a claim for your sales tax and title fee. If you have a loan balance or are upside-down on an auto loan, the insurance company does not owe you for the balance of your loan, either, as they are not responsible for your being upside-down on a loan if what you owe is higher than the actual cash value of the vehicle. No one else in this world is liable for a bad deal anyone negotiates with a lienholder.
It doesn't matter if you had your own collision coverage with your insurance company or if you used the at-fault person's insurance company. If you think the insurance company is not giving you the actual cash value/fair market value, you can do your own research into the value of your car by checking Kelly Blue Book's website, NADA's website, or do a search of want ads in your area to confirm what a similar vehicle is selling for right now. You can also request, however, from the at-fault party’s insurance company a rental vehicle until they make an offer (or they will have to reimburse you for a rental vehicle during that time).
You may be able to keep the car and have a salvage title issued, but then you won’t be able to register it for road use until it has been repaired (this is a “last resort” option and not one I would even recommend, as I am only noting this in an effort to give you full disclosure of you options). The insurance company will then deduct from the total loss of your vehicle the salvage value of the vehicle, so you won’t be getting either the true estimated amount to repair your vehicle or the true actual cash value of your totaled vehicle, either.
Lastly, although this has nothing to do with your property damage claim, if you were injured, your best bet is 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 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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