Q: I had a traffic accident. I wasn't injured but the at-fault driver is avoiding his insurance companies calls.
My vehicle was probably totaled.
It's a 2001 with between $4000-5000 in damage including a bent frame. While I was only bruised I have been forced to rent a vehicle on my credit card. I can't move forward until I know whether they will total the vehicle. His insurance company will not return my calls and when they do (once), the adjuster lies to me. The police report shows him to be at fault.
My insurance company has now taken over the claim until the other company can get their act together.
My question is: Can I still sue the at fault driver for the delays and the cost of a new vehicle?
A: Virginia does not recognize a cause of action for delays without anything more. Particularly if you are proceeding with the repair. You have a cause of action for your payments for the rental car, but you do not have a cause of action to put yourself in a better position than before the accident by replacing an older car with a new one. Additionally, once your insurance company pays for your vehicle, your right to any collection at all for vehicle damage is transferred to the insurance company (a process called subrogation). You can have your own insurance company include all of your out-of-pocket expenses in their efforts to collect from the other insurance company. Essentially, you may not sue in order to put yourself in a better position than before the accident, but you may sue to restore yourself to the that same position.
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