If another person hit me and their insurer is calling my car a total loss but the damage is only cosmetic, can I make them fix the damage?

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If another person hit me and their insurer is calling my car a total loss but the damage is only cosmetic, can I make them fix the damage?

As the value the are giving me is not enough to fix the damage or buy another car.

Asked on January 8, 2016 under Accident Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) The issue isn't whether the damage is "cosmetic" or not--it's whether the cost to repair exceeds the current fair market (or "blue book") value of the car. The insuer is ONLY obligated to pay the lesser of fair market value or cost to repair. So say that your car is older and it's fair market value is only $3,000, but even cosmetic repairs would cost more like $3,700--they only have to give you the $3,000.
2) They don't have to pay you enough to get a new car--just the value of the current one.


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