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

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?

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer
Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

Luckily, the car the 22 year old was driving was his father's car and in his father's name.

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

All of the insurance co have been contacted, that's not what he needs help on. Like I said the ins co will be totaling his car and it will be about $2900. He can't afford to buy another car or make car payments on his present salary. I want to know if he has a case in civil court to sue for $$ to buy a new car to replace his totaled car?

Eric P. Pitsch

Eric P. Pitsch

Posted

Gather the police incident report.

Katie Ann Brewington

Katie Ann Brewington

Posted

The insurance company will only be liable for the fair market value of his car. Apparently the insurance company has determined that the FMV is $2900. That will be the only compensation that the insurance company is liable for.

Asker

Posted

I already know this, that's why I asked if there is a chance he could have a good civil case against the driver.

Posted

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 relationship.

Asker

Posted

The insurance cos have been contacted. His car will be totaled and he cannot afford to buy a replacement car or make car payments on his present salary, I need to know what kind of lawyer he needs to contact to sue for enough money to get a new replacement car. Should he refuse to accept the money for his totaled car?

Blake Spale

Blake Spale

Posted

Any civil (rather than criminal) attorney will be able to help you. Personal injury attorneys are very experienced with dealing with insurance companies, and may be your best means of assistance. Call around, most firms will offer a free consultation. I suggest utilizing that to determine your best options moving forward, and whether accepting the money is the best choice. Keep in mind, Attorney Rockrock is correct in that your brother is only entitled to the fair market value of the car. They are under no obligation to provide a new replacement car.

Asker

Posted

That's why I'm trying to find out it he needs a personal Injury or a lawyer who specializes in personal property damage. I know the insurance co will only give the their estimated value of his car $2900-$3200. Why should my brother have to suffer financially because a drunk driver was sitting in his lane on a dark two lane road. And BTW even though the 22 year old was charged, the car was in his father's name as was the insurance on the car! Thanks!!!

Posted

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-client relationship is created with the furnishing of this advice. Attorney licensed in North Carolina only.

Eric P. Pitsch

Eric P. Pitsch

Posted

Make sure to get as much treatment and therapy first.

Asker

Posted

He's not injured, his neck doesn't bother him now. That's the problem. I need to know if he has a case anyway since he's out of a car and can't afford to buy anything decent. His car was totaled with an estimated value of $2900-$3200. He bought a car new in '06 or '07. It was still a very nice car until this happened. Why should my brother suffer financially because a drunk driver was in his lane with no lights on, no street lights. because a drunk driver knocked out the power by crashing into a power pole, and landing right in my brother's lane as he was cresting a hill?

Posted

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.

Posted

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 Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

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.

Eric P. Pitsch

Eric P. Pitsch

Posted

They will want you to make a statement....Don't!!!!!

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