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Not at fault - in an auto accident FL, property damage , no bodily injury. Insurance co. would not total the car.Any recourse ?

Deerfield Beach, FL |

I am in FL and I was involved in an accident . It was not my fault and there were 4 cars involved in the accident . The car was towed to the body shop and the estimate came to about 9000 - 00 . The car is 2010 Camry with 30S miles and its value is around 14 , 000 - 00 . The insurance company would not total the car as it the repair cost is not 80s of the value . I want it totaled for 3 reasons . 1 . Future Safety 2 . Reliability and 3 . Diminished value . Diminished value is no option as the limit of collision value exceeded . Is there a possibility of success if I refuse to take my my insurance companies offer . They are cutting corners with body shop forcing them to put after market parts and I don't like their handling this but not totaling . Do I have any recourse here ? Thanks

Please read "The car is 2010 Camry with 30S miles" as "The car is 2010 Camry with 30,000" miles and "repair cost is not 80s of the value" as "repair cost is not 80 percent of the value". Update as of 02/26/2013. The final estimate of car repair came to $ 9700-00 and still my insurance company do not want to consider it total loss. The say the value of a toyota camry 2010 model that I bought brand new 40 months ago for 19,000-00 that now has 31,000 miles is 16,000-00 and hence would not qualify for total loss. In addition to this the insuraance company of at-fault driver sent me a letter that states the policy limits for property damage for their client is $ 10000-00. Do I have any other option other than take what my insurance company offers ?

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Attorney answers 5


Not much. The problem you are facing is that the insurance carrier has the discretion on what to do, not the insured. Most companies tell you that unless the damage is 80% of the value, it's not a total loss. You can hire an attorney to write a letter for you, but thee are no guarantees and you are definitely swimming upstream here.

Refusing the offer gets you what? An undriveable car?

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


Unfortunately not much you can do as your insurance contract defines what insurer can do in this situation. Has the at-fault insurance company, if there is one, contacted you?

You should consider restraining a personal injury lawyer to investigate and advise you.

Best of luck to you.

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


I appreciate your concerns and if you did purchase the car the accident (even if it's not your fault) will translate into diminshed value when you go to trade-it in or resell it. However, the insured generally has no approval or consent rights based on the decisions of the insurance company.

The information presented here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The Goodman Law Group, P.C. recommends that you consult an attorney with experience in your specific legal issue. Please contact us to schedule a confidential discussion of your situation. Such communication does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind until a formal engagement agreement is signed by both you and the Goodman Law Group, P.C.


It is the insurance company's call. A good body shop should have it back to new.

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Sometimes when the vehicle is taken apart, additional damages are uncovered which might cause the damages to exceed or come close to 80% of the fair market value. I would recommend taking the car to a dealership and let them do an independent appraisal of the damages for comparison purposes. I think there is something you can do, rather than just accept a low ball offer from your insurance company. Consult an attorney if you find yourself with no other options. Sometimes a call from a lawyer can make the insurance company reconsider. Good luck