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What are compensable damages in small claims court?

Brewster, NY |

Another person ran a stop sign at an intersection in which I did not have a stop sign (ie; I had the right of way) and totalled my car. There was no personal injury, only property (vehicle) damage. The case is still being investigated but I would like to know what, if any, damages I can sue for that are not covered and reimbursed by the other persons auto insurance.

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Attorney answers 1


Once you reach a settlement agreement with the adverse insurance carrier, they will have you sign a general release which will prevent you from successfully suing their insured in the future. You need to collect all of your collectible damages when you make the settlement with the carrier. You cannot go back for a second dip on your property damage claim. You should be sure that all of the damages can be repaired, your rental paid and any other incidental costs reimbursed for the amount that you are being offered by the insurance carrier. If there is the possibility that there might be "hidden damage" discovered once they begin to repair your vehicle, you need to be sure that there is a provision to supplement the repair costs as needed.

You may find it helpful to review the Legal Guide I have published on dealing with property damage issues.

Legal Disclaimer:

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 insure proper advice is received.

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