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At fault insurance refuses to accept the title for my car but wants to total it out for $500, can they do this?

Jacksonville, FL |

This insurance company has been sleazy and evasive. They don't want the title but won't offer fair market value either nor fix it up. I've reported them to the State regulators also because nothing I've gotten since my accident has been in writing. And they refuse to pay for the rental. These guys don't want to pay for anything let alone put me in a car when their own driver was at fault. I'm annoyed and cannot afford any more delays with this company.

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Attorney answers 6


Consult a personal injury attorney to help you with property damage aspects of the claim. We're you injured?

Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at



Was also injured. They're being cheap now with property damage claim, they'll be cheap when the personal injury claim is finalized. Its a small company would probably explain why they aren't being honest. Am I far off here?


So, sue the owner and driver of the car that hit you! Your damages include the lesser of the cost to repair and the value of the car at the time of the crash. Your damages also include loss of use, and diminished value if it is repaired but worth less.

This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed. You may call me 772-562-4570; email me, or visit my website


If your car has been determined to be total loss, it means one of three things: it cannot be repaired safely, it would cost more to repair the car than it's worth, or state laws require the company to call it a total loss due to the amount of damage.

In this scenario, you usually have two options when dealing with the insurance carrier.
1. Turn over the title and vehicle to the insurance company, and they will give you the ACV (actual cash value) of the car that was arrived at by analyzing comparables.
2. Keep your totaled car, but they will only pay you the remainder of the car's value minus what they would have received at salvage.

If, as you have stated here, you take issue with what the insurance company believes the car is worth, you can do your own research and attempt to dispute their calculations by providing relevant facts and data. Bear in mind that this will be no easy task; adjustors are professional estimators, and have a wealth of experience. Best of Luck.

For more helpful information, call Bergener & Associates at 1-800-881-2021 or visit our website The information provided here is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Bergener & Associates, PLC is a personal injury practice serving accident victims and their families in the State of California only. No individuals should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any answers to questions without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice from an attorney licensed in their state. Transmission of information via this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between any attorney at Bergener & Associates and any recipient, nor is it intended to do so. The content provided does not create any warranty, express or implied. Hiring a lawyer to represent you is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Outside of Court any offers of settlement can be made no matter how horrible. If the value is small, go to small claims. If over the small claims threshold, you may have to get an attorney. In most states, you are entitle to a money judgment for the lesser of the fair market value of the vehicle or cost to repair. A party is also entitle to diminution value, loss of use and/or rental expenses. In those cases, the defendant is not required to take your vehicle nor are you required to hand it over. You get the money. In some cases, the defendant will request replevin of the vehicle in the event it is deemed a total loss. The defendant insurer wholesales the car for parts and to recoupe their loss.


Best bet is to get one of the lawyers in your state above to get on the phone with the adjuster and get the number bumped up.


No. You have to consent to settle. If you do not consent, you can either hire and attorney or file in small claims if you meet the threshold from the auto accident. Call a local lawyer and see what their opinion is regarding the auto accident.

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