Question: Hi, I had my car totaled last Monday while it was parked in front of my house. I have been customizing it and the Blue Book value is around $5000 to $7000 plus I have modifications and receipts. The car is used for work and it has caused me stress and stomach problems. I have the other person's insurance information and my insurance company is only offering $4400. I want to go after the other person's insurance company. Due to the stress and the problems I have been having, I need help. I need to get another $6000 in order to pay for my new car. I based everything off of current value and receipts. I believe i deserve much more than $4400.

Answer: Sue the negligent driver for $7,500 in small claims court (replacement value of your car plus sales tax on replacement value plus unused portion of your registration fee). Sue the driver, not his insurance company. You are not entitled to anything for stress or stomach problems.

Question: So there is nothing I can due to the stress of the situation and the fact that I now have to have a payment and I do not have money for a down payment and financial hardships. It has impacted me and my job. It seems like there should be something. The driver was not licensed and the owner said he could drive it I have a police report also. It seems that since the driver was fully insured I should be able to get more from them

Answer: If this was a "personal injury" rather than "property damage" your stress would be part of the "pain & suffering" you could recover for. The person responsible for the damage to your personal property is responsible for the costs to repair or replace your property. If your property was business property and negatively effected your income, than the responsible person may be responsible for the lost income.

Your inquiry and my response are no substitute for a full consultation with a knowledgeable attorney regarding your rights and options. I do not advise taking action in the case of serious matters based upon this response. Additional facts and circumstances can make a significant difference in your rights and obligations.

Keep in mind that every attorney you consult with will have different opinions, different approaches and different criteria for the causes they take up. It never hurts to get second opinions. Also, keep in mind that every legal claim has time limits within which specific action must be taken to preserve your rights. Failure to properly comply with the time limits will terminate your rights. Generally personal injury claims have a two year statute of limitations. However, claims against governmental agencies (like school districts and cities) must be properly filed within 180 days and a lawsuit filed within 180 days of denial of claim. There are exceptions.