Settling with auto insurance company on my own

Asked 6 months ago - Lothian, MD

I was hit from behind in Maryland 23 months ago. My new car was totaled. I was not Injured At all. I never responded to their (my also) insurance company's offer of 800.00; I am a caretaker, and had many dramas in my life at the time. Now the 2 year statute of limitations is approaching. How do I accept the paltry offer, or ask for a little more, quickly?

Additional information

Oops, I forgot to mention, my insurance company, Ge*** adequately reimbursed me for my vehicle. It was done quickly in April 2012 (date of accident April 1, 2012, State of Maryland).
They offered me $800.00 that same month to "settle and close the case" , I said I would get back to them.
Glad to know the statute of limitations for Maryland is 3 years(the insurance rep told me I have 2 years)!
I would like to receive more than the 800.00 the rep offered me. Again , I was not injured; However, it was quite a hardship, and very, very stressful.
First , does Gei** HAVE to give me anything at all anyway?
Second, what kind of action can I take to request a more than that, and close this case.
thank you so much, Elaine

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Scott R. Scherr

    Contributor Level 18

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . First, Maryland has a three year statute of limitations. If the accident happened in Maryland, you can sue the at-fault driver up to three years after the accident. Second, if your new car was totaled, they should be paying more than $800.00. Was it a used car? On the date of the accident, what was the car worth? You are entitled to the fair market value of the car, plus sales tax (6%)and tags.

    You can negotiate the total loss offer by pointing out omissions in the insurance company evaluation and providing evidence of the higher value. This is easier to do right after the accident happened by looking at similar vehicles for sale at www.cars.com, but is more difficult to do two years later since cars depreciate over time.

    You can consult with an attorney to see if the insurance company is treating you fairly and if there are any other options. Good luck to you!

    This answer is being given for general informational purposes only and is not protected by the attorney-client... more
  2. Mark William Oakley

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . The $800 offer you are talking about is obviously for the personal injury side of the claim, payable under the at-fault driver's policy. It is not uncommon for an insurance company to offer $1,000 right after an accident, hoping the injured party takes it and forecloses a future claim for more. It is also offered so as to close out the possibility of a claim even when the person is not claiming injuries. You can bet Geico closed out their file on this claim almost two years ago. They may or may not offer to settle the claim at this point, or may demand that you provide the medical reports and bills which support the claim of injury. If you have none, they could decline to offer you anything. Of course, it is worth a try. The worst that can happen is they turn you down or offer less. If you had any lost wages, or any other out-of-pocket expense, and can document that, then add those to boost the value of your claim. Good luck.

  3. Jay B. Shuster

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If you call the adjuster and the adjuster does not give you the value of the car at the time of the accident (this is not the amount you paid for it), then get an attorney.

  4. John L. Schroeder

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Call the adjuster your were dealing with.

  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Always best to have a local lawyer negotiate a settlement if you want the maximum possible compensation.

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