What can I do if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not compensating me for the diminished value of my car?

They offered me $350 but the appraisal amount is $1800. I have tried to call them and email them and no one is responding. I am on disability due to having cancer and low income. Is there any affordable legal assistance for someone like me?

Asked on August 28, 2014 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If your car has been totalled, the at-fault driver or his/her insurance must pay you then then-current (e.g. apppraised or blue book) value of the car. If they are offering you less than that, your option to get them to pay the full value is to sue them--that is the only mechanism to get them to pay if you and they cannot come to an agreement or settlement that works for both of you.

There is no guaranty there is affordable legal assistance for you: you can try contacting Legal Services, but they have limited resources and can only help a few of the many people who seek their help, and may feel that there are more urgent cases they need to take. You could try contacting your state and/or city bar associations, to see if there are any attorneys who may take this on a pro bono (volunteer or free) basis. If need be, you can file a lawsuit on a pro se (acting as our own attorney) basis in small claims court. You would file against the at-fault driver, not against his/her insurer.


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