Legal Question in Personal Injury in New York

My car was damaged in an rear end collision. The other driver is responsible for the cash. My car has damages totaling over $13000.00 but was worth approx. $30000.00 before the accident. It is now worth about $10000.00. What is my legal recourse ?

Asked on 6/07/11, 4:26 am

2 Answers from Attorneys


Unfortunately, many people are either unaware or do not bother to demand renumeration for damage to their auto post-accident, when the repaired vehicle is depreciated due to an accident, irrespective of the quality of the repair work.

Insurance company adjusters are aware of your predicament. You should make them aware of your demand; obtain at least two letters from savvy or registered used car dealers attesting to the depreciated value of your vehicle with the stated amount and forward it registered mail to the insurance company.

Please be aware that your acceptance of the initial check may prejudice you regarding any further claims for depreciation. Inform the insurance company in writing or by written agreement that you do not forego your rights to seek renumeration for depreciation by cashing the initial check.

If you do not obtain a satisfactory settlement, you may proceed to small claims court for the remainder or retain an attorney for an agreed sum to represent your interests.

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Answered on 6/07/11, 9:25 am
Michael E. Zuller Zuller Law Offices

Not clear here whether you put a claim into your carrier for collision expenses, but presumably you did. Also unclear is whether your deductible was included or represents an out-of-pocket expense. If, after expert repairs, you can prove your car still lost value, make a property damage claim against the driver/owner of the other car. If under 5K, you can proceed without a lawyer in Small Claims. If over, proceed in Civil or County Court, but you'd probably want a lawyer in these forums. Best, MEZ

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Answered on 6/07/11, 12:14 pm

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