California Auto Accident Insurance Low-Balling Repair Estimate. How to sue insurance company?

Asked 10 months ago - San Diego, CA

California Auto Accident Insurance Low-Balling Repair Estimate. How to sue insurance company to get what my vehicle needs to be repaired?

Can I only sure the insured if the insurance company is low-balling me or maybe both the guy who hit me and insurance company?

How do I get his address to sue him? Insurance company won't give it to me. Police?

I do not want to get the vehicle repaired at this point. I need to get this settled before the 3 year limit runs out in January almost 30 days away. Given how long small claims takes to serve and such does that mean I will run over the 3 year limit or does the case just need to be filed within the 3 years?

What tactic can I use to keep my claim current/valid with the courts with respect to the 3 year statue of limitations?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Christopher John Gansen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . You should walk to the small claims court in your county and file a case.

    If the other driver's insurance has been messing around with you, this is your best bet.

    Send the filed case to the adjuster and tell them you hope they'll accept service on their insured's behalf.

    If they won't, come back and we'll tell you the best way to serve him/her.

  2. Eric Burton Strongin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You cannot sue the insurance company for the party responsible for causing the auto accident. The insurance company is not a proper party because it did not cause the accident. Your remedy is to sue the responsible party at which point his insurance company will get involved to provide him with a defense against your complaint. If your damages are less than $10,000, this belongs in small claims court

  3. Thomas Edwin Martin

    Contributor Level 12

    5

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Do not sue the insrance company. They are the wrong defendant. You sue the guy who hit you. His insurance company is the one who answers for the damage that he caused, but they did not cause the damage. A case against the insurance company will get thrown out.

    You do not mention the amount of money involved but if it is $10,000 or less you have a small claims case. As soon as you have filed the case you have satisfied the three year statute of limitations. But keep in mind that you will need to PROVE that the insurance company is low balling you. Unless you are an experienced collision mechanic or an experienced auto appraiser your opinion will not be admissible in court. So unless you meet those qualifications you will need credible estimates or testimony from qualified collision technicians to refute the insurance company's evaluation. And you also don't mention whether there has been a determination of fault. The insurance company may be basing it's "low ball" evaluation on a reduction because of a percentage of fault that they attribute to you for causing the collision. That too will need to be dealt with in court.

    You can find the defendant's address on the notes that you took at the accident scene or on the collision report. You can get a copy of the collision report from whatever agency investigated the accident. If none of those work then you will need a private investigator.

    But your priority now is getting a case on file with the court before the three years expires.

  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am unclear why you waited almost 3 years to get your car fixed. I would suggest that you discuss in detail with a local personal injury lawyer, whether you were injured or this is just property damage.

  5. John L. Schroeder

    Contributor Level 18

    6

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . You get defendant's address from police report. Once suit is filed you satisfy statute of limitations.. Meet with a lawyer to discuss your options.

  6. Sean Cleary

    Contributor Level 17

    5

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . You might be able to get the defendant's address from the police report. Waiting 3 years to settle this is a risky approach and it would be wise to look for an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with your case.

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