Neighbor hit my car in the driveway and pushed through garage door, insurance company is totaling truck and lowballing. Cant buy comparable truck for amount and is costing me because i need it to make a living and will make future cost. what do i do?

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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: Feb 26, 2018

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Insurance Question from San Diego, CA

Asked on 02/26/2018

Neighbor hit my car in the driveway and pushed through garage door, insurance company is totaling truck and lowballing. Cant buy comparable truck for amount and is costing me because i need it to make a living and will make future cost. what do i do? The comparable trucks they use in the valuation are not the same and also in far worse condition. Anything that is a true comparison you will not find for sale. In addition I have replaced most parts in the last 2-3 years and its so well maintained that it would last another 15 years. It is my most important tool and now i am unable to get back into the same position i was with the crap offer. I sent a list of far more comparable trucks that are actually for sale nearby and they dismissed me. I let them know that are potenially going to cost me $700 or more in gas if forced to buy different truck or cost me 1000 or so more in insurance if i have to make payments. In addition they destroyed my garage door and $4000 in tools that i need and i have the incident on video from security camera. What are my options?

Answer given on March 11, 2018

Unfortunately, when a vehicle is considered a total loss the insurance company will pay the “actual cash value” of the vehicle. This rarely translates to what the vehicle is worth to the owner.  The insurance companies usually use the Kelly Blue Book, or the Black Book or a similar publication.

You have the right to dispute the offer but you must back it up with proof.  You can look in local ads and on the internet, but the internet has to be in the general area where you live.  You can also get an appraisal from a certified appraiser as to the value of your truck. While it is damaged, they may be able to determine a value based on the mileage and apparent condition from before.  Without such evidence, you will not be able to alter the offer.  

You can try to accept the payment and then buy back the vehicle as salvage. You can then fix the car yourself.  It’s value will be reduced with a salvage title, but you may be able to get the vehicle back.

 


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