Can an insurance company make me release my car?

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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...

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UPDATED: Dec 13, 2012

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Insurance Question from Campton, NH

Asked on 12/13/2012

Can an insurance company make me release my car? I got into a car accident 6 days ago. A car came across the yellow line and hit me head on. I have 15 stitches on my head and I am walking on crutches. The other ins. company is demanding I release the car today and remove my personal belongings and my plates from the car. Can they do this?

Answer given on December 16, 2012

If you were in an auto accident and the other person was at fault, then the insurance company for the other party must pay to repair your car. If your car was considered a total loss, then they must pay for the actual cash value of your car. That would be the current value of your car, not necessarily what you may feel your car is worth. However, you may try to prove a greater value of your car, if you feel the offer is not enough. Talk to the adjuster if you have an problem with the settlement offer.Once a settlement is made, you must give the other insurance company your car and remove your personal belongings and plates. If the offer was in a reasonable amoutn of time, this should not be a problem for you. If you need additional time, call the adjuster and ask for an extension.

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