My car was rear-ended, while it was parked. (The person driving was DUI and hit two parked cars of which one was my car.) According to the insurance representative of the individual who hit my car, my car was “totaled.” Yesterday, the policy holder’s insurance company called to let me know they would be sending a check. Based on conversations with the insurance representative, I have a strong feeling the full value of my car will not be given to me. The blue book value of my car is $19k and the amount the insurance indicated in previous conversations was $10k. If I do not agree with the amount paid to me by the insurance company of the person who hit my car, what are my options?During the time my car was being fixed, such as replacing the old bumper and putting in a TV, etc., we reduced our auto insurance coverage on that car to the minimum. This means I can't ask my insurance company for the difference. But even if I had full coverage, why would I want to involve my insurance company on a matter I did not create and risk my premiums to be increased and still, have to pay the deductable.
Your option is to not accept the $10K check and do not sign any release.
If the insurance company is not willing to pay you $19K or somewhere closer to what you think you are entitled, you would probably have to sue the driver of the vehicle who hit you. The driver of the other vehicle is liable for any amount of damage or loss you sustained not covered by insurance.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California only. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
If you have insurance, present a claim through your property damage coverage and let your company fight for you, despite the fact you may have a deductible now.
If your insurance was full coverage at the date of the accident, your insurance company has the obligation to give you ALL of the coverage, perks and benefits that you had purchased for that time period. What you reduced the coverage to now (i.e. minimum coverage) is applicable to any accident that you may have during the time period that you paid minimum coverage for.
You are not obligated to accept their offer even if they sent you the check. If you feel that strongly about it, you can file a lawsuit against them for personal injury as well as property damage.
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