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How can I get a fair cost to cover getting a new (used) car after a drunk driver totaled my parked car?

Lake Elsinore, CA |

The drunk driver has insurance but they aren't giving me a fair appraisal of my car. Only $2000. It had low miles and I had a mechanic check it out every 3,000 miles. I took great care of it. I can't find a car that is reliable or comparable to my old car. I can't afford to take out a loan right now. I feel like I am punished and I did nothing wrong. What can I do to get a more $ for a reliable car. I just want a safe car with low miles.

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Attorney answers 3


You are not required to accept the insurance company's appraisal of the value of your vehicle. You have the option of bringing an action in small claims court against the driver, and the insurance company will be bound by the court's ruling. From the time that you file your small claims action, you should be able to have a court date within about 45 days. Good luck!


Have you done any research as to what the value of your car is on or Kelley Blue Book? Also, if you had any work done to the car in the last six months you are typically allowed to produce these receipts for more money on the settlement. I would do my homework on your cars value and present it to the insurance company and negotiate for a higher value. Keep in mind that the insurance company is only required to pay you fair market value for your car. Good luck!


Insurance companies do not have an interest in paying what people more than they are required to. You can always contact an attorney to see if you can get more value out of the insurance company but without an injury you are limited to the fair market value of the vehicle.
Robert Driessen

Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at