Car is wrecked, am I SOL?
March 2, 2012 8:53 AM Subscribe
My car is wrecked. What should I do? My car was damaged in a complex situation. I was at work and my car was parked in my employer's parking lot. A car driven by an impaired driver hit our neighbor's car which was spun into my car.
posted by a humble nudibranch to Work & Money (25 answers total)
The neighbor's car was totally destroyed (luckily he wasn't badly injured) and the driver who hit him went on to kill one pedestrian, and severely injure another. She also plowed through several bike racks with many bicycles attached, a bus stop bench, the side of a building and at least three street signs.
It was dark and in the horror of dealing with hurt and dying people and the trail of damage, I didn't realize my parked car had also been hit. My car was within the "crime scene" and I could not move it for over seven hours until the forensics team left. The next day I called the police and made a report. The police would only give me the name and insurance information of my neighbor whose car directly hit mine. I couldn't believe that my neighbor (and his insurance) is in any way responsible for the damage to my car. The impaired driver has been arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
I haven't slept very well since this all happened. It was devastating to see a man die and I grieve for his family and the other witnesses. I am so sorry that there wasn't anything I could do. I feel ashamed to be upset about something so trivial as my car when other people were hurt far worse.
My insurance company is aware of the case but wants to settle the claim with me under the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that I carry. I suspect that the arrested driver will not have enough insurance to cover all the many claims she has racked up. The problem is that my car is 13 years old and the cost to repair my car is more that the "blue book" value. They want to "total" my car but the amount they would pay out is not enough to buy a decent replacement car. I am in a wheelchair and not just any old car will do. My damaged car had low milage and was in very good mechanical condition.
Misc. info: This is in Texas. My employer's insurance does not cover damages to cars. I have had no contact with the arrested driver's insurance company.
I would appreciate advise on any of these questions: Should I accept my insurance company's offer? Do I need an attorney? Should I try to contact the arrested driver's insurance company? Are there things I haven't mentioned that I should do? Thanks y'all.