Q: Is it normal for at fault insurance (not me) to deduct from my settlement amount for excessive damage for a totaled car?
My car was hit while I was parked in a parking lot, not in the car, resulting in it being damaged. Other party left a note and I made a claim on their insurance the same day. Other party’s insurance claimed fault for the accident, and once I took it to a shop, they totaled my car out. I received a call that they need to take out $2800 for “excessive damage” from my settlement amount. Is this normal for an accident I wasn’t even at fault in?
If you have collision coverage, make a claim on your own insurance and stop dealing with the other driver's insurer. Your insurer will total the car, pay you the fair market value, and then get the money back from the other driver's insurers including the deductible.
If you do not have collision coverage, show the other driver's insurer several comparable vehicle listings and/or the Kelly Blue Book price and demand that it pay that amount. If it won't negotiate, consider suing the other driver in small claims court if the value of the vehicle is $10,000 or less.
James R. Dickinson agrees with this answer
In situations where your car is deemed a total loss by the at-fault party's insurance company, it is not typical for them to deduct an amount for "excessive damage" from your settlement if you were not at fault in the accident. Generally, the at-fault party's insurance should cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, minus any applicable deductibles.
If you believe that the deduction for excessive damage is unjustified, you should reach out to the insurance company and inquire about the specific reasons behind this deduction. It's advisable to gather all relevant documentation, such as the repair estimate and any communication with the insurance company, to support your case. If necessary, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury or insurance claims to better understand your rights and explore potential recourse options.
A: The "at fault" driver's insurance is obligated to pay for YOUR CHOICE of 1) repair of the vehicle, or 2) pay you the reasonable value of the vehicle as a total loss. It is YOUR choice, not theirs. They will try to pay you as little as possible because that is what they do and what they are paid for. But YOU have rights. This even applies to your own insurance coverage. Oh, you did not mention it, but the at fault insurance does not have a deductible to apply to you. If you want to get the cost of repair from them as it is higher than value of the car, you will need to get at least 3 estimates of repair (preferably from DEALERS- who we all know charge the most), and if they dispute it, take them to small claims. Of course, you need to assert that this beloved vehicle has so many wonderful memories that you need to repair and keep it, the Court will award you either the lowest estimate, or a middle estimate, or if you have a particular reason to use a particular shop, what you prove. You are also ENTITLED TO LOSS OF USE OF THE CAR! This is the rental value of a COMPARABLE replacement vehicle. If you drive a Honda sedan, you don't get to rent a Ferrari. This is a property damage case. You need to speak with an attorney practicing in this area of law to secure your rights, don't delay. Thank you for using Justia, Ask a Lawyer.
A: If the car was declared a total loss, it isn't clear why an additional charge is added. There is usually a salvage figure that the person could opt to receive, or forfeit, if they choose to keep the vehicle. An attorney could offer more definitive guidance with the benefit of seeing the file, adjustor's reports, salvage figures, and policy. Good luck
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.