Is it the law that an at-fault insurance settlement should restore the victim or their vehicle to the state they or their vehicle was in prior to the accident/

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Is it the law that an at-fault insurance settlement should restore the victim or their vehicle to the state they or their vehicle was in prior to the accident/

I was recently rear-ended causing damage to my vehicle that was estimated at about $3000, including car rental during the repair process. The at fault driver’s insurance company wants to total the vehicle at about $1700 and offer to sell it back to me with a slavage title. The vehicle is still safe to drive and after rebuilding the engine 2 years ago at $3500, plus other work I have done to the vehicle, I really do not wish to give it up but feel that am being shortchanged with this offer. Even if they re-offer at a reasonable dollar amount I do not wish to consider the vehicle totaled.

Asked on November 3, 2012 under Accident Law, Arizona

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no law that states that an at-fault insurance settlement must restore the victim to pre-accident status.  An insurance settlement is just that -- it is an agreed-to amount to settle a case out of court and not need to have a lawsuit decide the size of the claim.  If you do not wish to consider your car totalled, if this is a deal breaker for you, then sue the at-fault driver and fight it out in court.  You can sue for up to $10,000 in justice court in Maricopa County.


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