I'm taking a huge loss on my totaled vehicle and the crash investigation said it wasn't my fault. What recourse do I have?

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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: Apr 17, 2018

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 Camp Johnson, VT

Asked on 04/17/2018

I'm taking a huge loss on my totaled vehicle and the crash investigation said it wasn't my fault. What recourse do I have? I bought my 2004 Mercedes for $15,000 2 years ago and it was struck by another driver and deemed totaled by my insurance company. The accident was not my fault, and the other driver's insurance and claimed full liability for it. They offered me $7,787 for it, which is from NADA. My car was in mint condition and very hard to determine value for. I now have to buy another car, but their offer comes no where near enough to purchase a car of similar quality and build and mileage. I need about $12,000 to buy a similar car. What are my choices? I'm taking a huge financial hit when the accident wasn't my fault. Please help!

Answer given on April 18, 2018

In automobile insurance, the insurance company will only pay the actual cash value of the car at the time it is considered a total loss.  The value is determined by either the NADA, Blue Book or Gold Book.

You can challenge the valuation, but you must support it with evidence of a higher value. You can do this with an appraisal or with proof of a higher value such as an ad in a local newspaper, from a used car dealer’s ad or on the internet, but it must be in the same vicinity as where you live. (In other words not in Texas if you are in Vermont)  If you can provide this, call the adjuster. If they still refuse to amend the settlement offer, ask to speak to a supervisor and present the evidence.  If you cannot find any such evidence, then you won’t get any additional funds for your car.

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.

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption