What are my legal rights and advantages if a condo construction company damaged my parked car during unloading of materials?
My car was legally parked on W Illinois, 10 ft east of N Orleans, on the south side of the road. There is a building being constructed that is several months in. Trucks go in and out all day with materials. For some reason, they were unloading on the street (which I think is illegal in itself) and dropped materials onto my car. My car is worth $7k and the damages are over $9k. Though they admitted fault (in writing) and are willing to pay for everything, I've been advised by auto body shop to deem it as a total loss as there is structural damage and the car will likely have a salvage title now - greatly reducing its value.
What should I do? I don't want to lose out on anything as I'm completely innocent here.. Not to mention I just bought it less than a month ago. How can I justify a settlement for value of car, interim rental car, taxi's to date, my time in finding/purchasing a new vehicle, etc. For them to just pay me value of my car doesn't seem enough.
Also, are there any legalities in what happens with the car? Do I "sell" it to them if we settle?
I'm a Canadian who was visiting my girlfriend in Chicago. So, my car has Ontario plates. Not sure if that matters.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Your insurance company should make the decision and go after their insurance. If your agent won't do that you'll have to battle it out with the contractor's insurance company. If the construction company was illegally unloading, you may be able to drag the developer into the picture but they'll push it onto the contractor most likely. When and if you settle, yes you either transfer title to the insurance company in exchange for a total settlement, or they pay for the repair at the shop of your choice. Ontario plates - just means you most likely have to sue here if it comes to that, and that shouldn't make a difference except inconvenience for you. There's more but start with your insurance company/agent.
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