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Car Accident. I Live in My Car. What Are My Rights?

RV parked outside


I was sleeping in my car when a drunk driver ran into it. My car is totaled. I live in my car. I now have nowhere to live and nowhere to store my belongings. What are my rights against the drunk driver?


If your vehicle was damaged in a car accident that was not your fault, you have a right to be paid for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Cost to repair your car, truck or RV, or payment for its the total loss value
  • Rental car, while your vehicle is in the shop or while you are waiting to receive the total loss check
  • “Loss of use:” even if you don’t rent a substitute vehicle while waiting for the property damage claim to be resolved, you are entitled to be paid the cost of a comparable rental

Your Rights if you Lived in your Car at Time of Accident

If you lived in your car, truck, RV or mobile home at the time of an accident, you lost not only your vehicle, but also your home. You are entitled to compensation for that dual loss. The defendant’s insurance company must pay not only for your car repair or total loss value, but also pay for a hotel while your car is in the shop, or while you are waiting for the total loss check.

If you lived in your vehicle, you may need to temporarily store your belongings while your property damage claim is being resolved. You are entitled to demand that the defendant’s insurance company pay for storage of your personal property.

Insurance Adjusters Take Advantage of Homeless Car Accident Victims

In our experience, when an insurance adjuster knows that a car accident victim is homeless, the adjuster will leverage that information and try to take advantage of the claimant by squeezing them financially. The adjuster will try to get the claimant to take a quick cash settlement, before the victim speaks to a lawyer and learns about their rights. The adjuster knows that once a personal injury attorney is involved, the insurance carrier will have to pay more to settle the claim.

Don’t leave money on the table. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to learn about rights. Contact us for a free consultation.

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