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After the car accident which the insurance company claimed I was at fault, they asked me to pay $3400 for the repair

Venice, CA |

of the other party's car damage (No injuries). However, the other car is a 1991 Toyota with a fair market value of roughly $1000. I want to sue the insurance company for corruption since, I believe they should have totaled the car if the repair cost exceeded the fair market value of the car. Am I right?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Much of this is based on what you can prove. On what basis did you determine the vehicle FMV was $1,000.00? If they have a reasonable argument why the charge was $3,400.00 instead (maybe the additional cost of labor and ordering the parts?), you're going to have a difficult time winning a law suite as well as finding an attorney who would take a case as small as that.

    Two options as far as I see it:
    1) Call the insurance company, ask that they give the adjuster who worked on the claim, and ask her for her email/fax. Inform her that you are going to fax over the estimates you found and formally request a copy of the "itemized billing," for the repair. Then you can at least see what the bill amount was for.

    2) Should this reveal some funny business (not that insurance companies ever partake in funny business.......), then Small Claims Court may be a good idea. Get all your evidence together - be organized - and prepared to thoroughly explain why you're right and they are wrong. I bet you nail it ;-)


    DISCLAIMER: the above friendly suggestion does NOT form a client/attorney relationship and should be. No action should be taken solely on the information provided above.

  2. I assume you didn't have insurance. Send the adjuster the Kelly Blue Book on the car, and try to negotiate this number down. You can always retain a local attorney to do it for you.

  3. I don't think you have a corruption claim. it appears that you have a contract/subrogation claim issue.

    This entire matter should have been handled by your liability insurance carrier, but, because of the nature of your question, I am assuming that you did not have insurance as required. If you did have insurance, turn it over to your carrier and they will handle it. Otherwise, you will need to deal with these factual issues either through negotiation or a trial on the merits in court. You would have an opportunity in court to show that the value of the vehicle was a thousand dollars and if that was proved, that is all they would receive by way of a judgment against you.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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