What can I do if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not compensating me for the diminished value of my car?

UPDATED: Aug 28, 2014

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What can I do if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not compensating me for the diminished value of my car?

They offered me $350 but the appraisal amount is $1800. I have tried to call them and email them and no one is responding. I am on disability due to having cancer and low income. Is there any affordable legal assistance for someone like me?

Asked on August 28, 2014 under Accident Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your car has been totalled, the at-fault driver or his/her insurance must pay you then then-current (e.g. apppraised or blue book) value of the car. If they are offering you less than that, your option to get them to pay the full value is to sue them--that is the only mechanism to get them to pay if you and they cannot come to an agreement or settlement that works for both of you.

There is no guaranty there is affordable legal assistance for you: you can try contacting Legal Services, but they have limited resources and can only help a few of the many people who seek their help, and may feel that there are more urgent cases they need to take. You could try contacting your state and/or city bar associations, to see if there are any attorneys who may take this on a pro bono (volunteer or free) basis. If need be, you can file a lawsuit on a pro se (acting as our own attorney) basis in small claims court. You would file against the at-fault driver, not against his/her insurer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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