Visalia, CA asked in Car Accidents and Insurance Bad Faith for California

Q: If a driver hit and totaled my parked car, is her insurance company responsible for providing me a rental car?

While I was a work, a driver lost control of her vehicle, hit my parked car pushing it into other parked cars before she crashed into a building. I have been with out a car for almost 2 weeks and her insurance company is telling me that they can not help me out because her insurance coverage is probably not enough to cover all damages. So here I am scrambling to find rides to and from work and/or my son rides to school. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

4 Lawyer Answers

William John Light

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Her insurance company will pay for damages she caused, up to policy limits. If your damages exceed those limits, you can submit your claim to your own insurer (hopefully your purchased rental car coverage), or you can refuse payment from her insurer and sue her in Small Claims for the total amount of your damages. Her insurer will still pay its policy limits, but you will have a judgment against her for the remainder. Whether or not you would ever recover on that judgment is unknown. She could file for bankruptcy, depending on circumstances.

Dale S. Gribow

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: need more info

they should be responsible up to limits of coverage.

if they can not pay, the defendant driver is still personally responsible.......... you can sue in small claims court for up to $10k.

check to be sure you do not have that coverage in your policy

Manuel Alzamora Juarez

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you have collision and full comprehensive insurance, call your own insurance company and ask them to help you. If they do not, then hire a lawyer. Best of luck.

John Karas

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Temecula, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If the other party's car insurance is not sufficient to cover all of the damage to your vehicle and a rental car for your use, you should submit a claim to your own car insurance company (assuming you had insurance coverage) pursuant to the Under Insured Motorist coverage of your own car insurance policy.

You can accept the other drivers' insurance company's tender of the policy limits but it would be advisable to ask them for a copy of the Declarations page to see what coverage the other driver had and in what amounts. It's not unheard of for insurance companies not dealing with their own insured to under-state the potential insurance of their own insured.

Just make sure that if you accept payment (typically a check) from the other driver's insurance company that it doesn't say 'in full and final settlement" of Claim #x" or words to that effect nor sign any Release and Settlement Agreement that limits your ability to sue the other driver directly for any damages not covered under the other driver's insurance and then proceed as suggested by Mr. Light.

You really should retain an attorney who is well versed in insurance coverage matters to assist you.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.