Options if insurance ‘totals’ my car vs. replace engine

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Options if insurance ‘totals’ my car vs. replace engine

Car shop botched oil change–hurt engine. Took it to my dealer and called car shop. Car shop acknowledged error to both dealer and me, are paying for rental & gave dealer go ahead to assess engine. Shop wanted to pay outside insur if cost < $2,000 deduct. Dealer has said engine needs replacing & car shop now calling their insur. *2005 Dodge Grd Caravan, 85,000mi, fair cond. What's best argument if they 'total' my car & offer blue book/fmv, which is ALWAYS going to mean $ out of my pocket (car was pd off). I want either another car (my approv) or brand new eng, period--Thx!

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You usually are only entitled the lesser of replacement value of vehicle or repair.

You have to be put back where you were.  You don't get another car -- certainly not a new one.  You may be able to negotiate for a new engine if you sue the mechanic/car shop.

Try www.attorneypages.com to consult with an attorney.  You may also wish to call your state's attorney general office to lodge a consumer protection complaint and see if the state offers mediation services in that manner.


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