Ask an Attorney a Question for FREE!

Drunk driver totaled my parked car

Last week in the middle of the night an underage drunk driver hit our car pushing it about 20 feet onto the neighbors sidewalk and flipping her car in the middle of the road. The adjuster came and proclaimed the car as totaled. We know that the back quarter panel of the car is smashed including the tail lights and the back passenger side tire is flat and doesn't turn when we tried to move it.

The adjuster didn't really exam the vehicle closely at all since the car is a 1991 so the damages obviously will exceed the value, as a matter of fact he told my husband that he decided as he pulled up to the back of the car. Anyway, the trouble we have with this is that the vehicle is a 1991 Camaro Convertible in pristine condition prior to this accident.

We can't replace it at all and looking at the car from the other side and front you can't even see any of the damage. We are waiting to hear what the insurance company has to offer us but we want to know what our rights are in this situation if a) they offer too little for our nearly classic car;

b) ask too much for us to buy back the vehicle; c) is there negotiation room since we didn't get a rental vehicle for the week since the accident.

Lastly we are wondering if the girl who hit us has any civil liabilities in this matter as she was driving her parents car.


Hello Christa,

I am sorry to learn about your Camaro, they are really cool cars.

Well, she does have civil liability. This is the reason why the insurance company is dealing with you. They are protecting her and/or her mother's policy from a lawsuit from you. No auto policy will protect an insured against criminal liability, for that they have to go to jail.

Regarding the total loss. The total loss process is complicated. The insurance company makes it this way so they can get the lowest value for your car. Visit: for more information on how to document and dispute a total loss. Also check out

I am concerned with the fact that your car was "almost" a classic. "Almost" will not get you a good settlement. The insurance company will try to get the fair market value for the same vehicle, with the same mileage. They would do this for just about any other vehicle. You would have to show that the vehicle was restored, or that you have specialty parts in it to make them evaluate the car as a different vehicle.

They owe you rental coverage, make sure you get them to pay for that. You can ask for a cash out for that. Insurance adjusters do not add this to the total loss value. Make sure they make their values down and you know what is what regarding her payments.

Regarding the buy back. You have the vehicle to buy the vehicle back. What happens is that the insurance company buys the vehicle from you as if was not in an accident, and then sells it back to you for its price in scraps. They will deduct the price of the scraps from the total loss payment.

This value is only an estimate of what they would get for the car in an action and it is often low.

Good Luck

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Got Questions?.

Please see more answers to recent personal injury and auto accident questions below:

For a Free Review of Your Case
Please Call (866) 878-2432