Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Dec 28, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Insurance Question from Lone Tree, CO

Asked on 12/28/2011

Minor child hits my minor childs vehicle. Citation given for following too close, at fault party insurance offers are way too low. Who should I sue? Car rear-ended, no frame damage, and worth repairing as no like kind vehicle could be found in the area. At fault party insurance company offers me three options:1. Take X amount towards repairs.2. Take X amount and the insurance company keeps the vehicle3. If I don't agree to #1 or #2 above they'll total the vehicle.I don't agree to any of the options, so they up the offer slightly... I still don't agree. So, they send a check as full and final settlement and noting "owner to retain salvage" - I mark void on check and return to at fault parties insurance company. No room to finish!

Answer given on December 29, 2011

Either your car is totaled or it is not.  If it is totaled, then you are due the ACV of the vehicle at the time of loss.  You can check the value of your car online at sites like www.kellybluebook.com and others.  Have you had the damage estimated by a reputable body shop?  If not, do so.  This will let you know if it cost more to repair the car than the total value of the car (definition for the car being totaled).  If you agree to it being totaled, then you would pay a small amout for the salvage to keep the car. Alot of people like this option as you get the money for the car and also get to keep the car.  If you know someone that can do the body work cheaply, then you have the best of both worlds.  Where are you and the insurance company differing on the value? Is their something that they are not putting into the value of the car–CD player, alloy wheels, condition being fair or good or excellent, etc.  Read our article Car Insurance Process for Your Totaled Car-Total Loss. Hopefully this can help you negotiate a win/win for you and the insurance company.     


IMPORTANT NOTICE: These answers are for general information purposes only and are provided by the person answering and FreeAdvice.com AS IS. It has not necessarily been reviewed by the management staff of FreeAdvice.com nor is it binding any insurance agent, broker, or other insurance professional or any attorney or insurance company. Insurance laws, regulations and practices vary from state to state and insurance policies and practices differ from company to company, by type of policy, by state and locality and by type of insurance. Tiny variations in the facts, policy language or a detail not set forth in a question often can change the outcome or a professional's conclusion. Although FreeAdvice.com has confirmed that the answer(s) was/were provided for the account of an experienced insurance professional, that professional may not be licensed in the state referred to in the question, and may not be experienced or up to date in the subject area. Unlike the answers provided here, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you consult a licensed insurance professional in your area or retain a licensed attorney listed on AttorneyPages.com to represent you.