I was rear-ended by someone who is insured by the same insurance company. Everyone admits the accident was his fault. They say that as a cross claim we each take care of our own property damage. I do not feel as if anyone is fighting for my best interests. My vehicle is 8 years old and was listed as a total loss. "Our" insurance agency has low balled an offer that will not allow me to replace the vehicle. They are penalizing me for excessive miles. I want more consideration for newly replaced engine, regular service - over $5,000 invested in last year to get another 100,000 miles out of the Explorer given advice from mechanic that it was in great condition. Have been through 6 managers and they are still quoting "entering numbers and established vaulation software". How do I get them to up the offer? A separate personal Injury complaint has been opened and is in process.
Is it time to get an attorney?
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5 Answers from Attorneys
How exactly is a personal injury complaint "in process" if you haven't even consulted an attorney? Please explain.
You are going to get nowhere on the vehicle claim. Ask anyone who put $100,000 into upgrades on their property in 2005. That makes no difference to the fact that the market will pay $200,000 less for their house today. The fact that you intended to get another 100,000 miles out of it, doesn't mean anyone would have paid anything more for the vehicle than the insurance company says. The market value is the market value.
Yes, get an attorney. Two insureds with the same insurer do not "each take care of your own property damage." The person at fault's policy pays you as a liability claim for property damage, wihthout any deductible, while his/her own policy pays under his/her collision coverage, after the deductible. Also get Auto Trader and Sunday newspapers w/ads for comparable models to get a market value. Most insurers use the ratio of 75-80% of value as a total loss and the companies they use for values run a computer printout without really checking. If your vehicle is repairable at less than the true value, it is not a total loss.
Your lawyer will get a copy of that printout, and the material you furnish may show that the value is much higher. In fact, today used car values are much, much higher as there is a shortage. Good luck.
If you decide to retain an attorney (and I agree that you should) please contact my office for a consultation. I work with a network of the best personal injury and insurance coverage attorneys in southern Califorinia.
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