Car Property Damage settlement and same insurance companies?

Asked almost 5 years ago - San Diego, CA

I've spent lots of times reviewing these q&a's, law guides and other references, unfortunately I haven't seen anyone discuss what to do when you've been in an accident - the other party has accepted 100% liability - but you both have the same insurance company.
I'm concerned that they'll try to offer me the lowest settlement possible. In addition I don't want to appear to not providing "my" insurance company information - but if the adjuster is actually "the other party's" adjuster since $ is going to come from his claim/his insurance (even though we have the same company) shouldn't I be a bit careful. I haven't seen any advice or guidelines on this type of situation. The adjuster wants me to give my car over to the ins. co.; provide them my bank co. info - before giving a settlement# ?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Adam David Sorrells

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Lars gave a good answer. I always tell my client just to pretend the other at-fault person has a different company than yours. There should be two separate claim numbers, different files, and different adjusters. The claim will not be handled any differently because you have the same insurance company as the at-fault driver. As to you handling the claim on your own, that is a different question that you did not pose (this is never a good idea).

    Good luck.

    Adam Sorrells
    Chico Personal Injury Lawyer

    Important disclaimer: The following was not legal advice and cannot be relied on. The best advice is to get a lawyer immediately. No attorney/client relationship formed.

  2. Gordon Ralph Levinson

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The fact that you both have the same carrer is not the reason that you will get a low offer. Most insurers pretty much give low offers to most claimants anyway, regardless of who they are, or who your carrier is. Research has now confirmed that claimants who attempt to settle their own claims without attorneys get 50% less than if they had hired an attorney! My advice would be to seek out and retain counsel, especially if you were injured.

  3. Mark Carleton Blane

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . This situation does occur often, but you should be on guard regardless if it is the same insurance company. From your question, I do not know if you have both a bodily injury claim and a property damage claim; however, if you have a property damage only claim, then you will have to turn over your financial information on the car, so they can repair/total it out. That is normal and not unusual. You should be researching car value on your own and make sure it fairly matches the fair market value. I hope this helps.

  4. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The situation that you describe is not too unusual. Many times the adverse parties in a collision may have the same carrier. The insurance carrier is expected to establish a "firewall" between the 2 parties. However, you can never be certain that this is, in fact, occurring. You should expect a lowball offer in any event, regardless of whether or not you each have the same carrier.

    If you have not been injured and your only claim is for property damage, there is not as much concern as if you would have a personal injury claim. If you have suffered a personal injury, I suggest that you retain local personal injury counsel to assist you in your claim.. You should not give any statement to the adjuster representing the adverse driver in your accident.

    I suggest that you may want to review the Legal Guide if I have published on Avvo.com, which deals with property damage to your automobile. Included in that article are sources you can turn to to determine the retail value of your automobile. Being fore armed with this information will help you get a fair settlement concerning your property damage.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    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 insure proper advice is received.

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