What can I do if the other insurance company is requesting a low settlement? 29 Answers as of July 03, 2013Someone crashed into my car and completely wrecked it. Thankfully, no one was injured. Their insurance used a firm to get a value for my car, but I believe their proposed settlement ($2700) is too low, as my car had more features than the cars they used to get an estimated value for my vehicle, which I believe is worth $3000-$3300. Can I sue them in Small Claims Court? What evidence would I need to present to have the judge see it my way? Is it worth suing over those few hundred dollars?
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
I believe the cost of filing a claim is at least $150. But yes, you may sue them in small claims court and present evidence of the value of the car (using NADA, Kelly Blue book, etc). Also once the insurance company gets notice of the lawsuit and realizes they will have to pay an attorney they may simply offer you the $3,000. Unfortunately you would have already paid the filing fees.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
Yes, you can sue in small claims court, whether it is worth the time and expense for a few hundred dollars is up to you. Be prepared to prove the value of your vehicle using the sales of comparable vehicles, adjusted for mileage, condition, options, etc.
Answer Applies to: Texas
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
You can sue to recover the fair market value of your vehicle, however whether it is worthwhile for a few hundred dollars really depends on how much time you have on your hands and how much you need the money. Before you go down that road you may want to try to negotiate the few hundred dollars with the insurance company. Present the evidence that you have that shows your car had these additional features and that they were not accounted for in the value they are presenting. If it comes down to it, tell them that you are planning on filing a small claims lawsuit. Most likely their offer will come up if not just to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
You have the right to decline the settlement, which is proposed by your insurer. You would then have to hire an attorney to represent you for about 1/3 of the recovery. $2700 now turned into $3300 with an attorney's help would net you about $2200 before expenses. It clearly is not best to decline given these facts.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
BY all means sue them in the Judge Judy court. You need to prove value. How are you going to do that? Can you get the used car manager at your car dealership to testify? Car Max? used car dealer? Anyone who knows car values. If you sue they may increase the ante. Have you got car ads, classified etc that show higher prices. If so show them to the carrier.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
You certainly can sue for the difference, but the risk is that you pay money to do so and then lose. If you decide it's worth the risk, you will ideally have sworn testimony (e.g., someone who can come to court with you) from a qualified appraiser who can say that your car is worth more money. As a practical matter, a small claims complaint against the company may be enough to convince them to pay the extra without actually forcing you to go to court. You could try to find a lawyer to help you, but it may be difficult to find one who is willing to take the case on a contingency fee basis because the potential recovery is so small. It is theoretically possible that a lawyer could convince the insurance company to pay his/her bill as part of any settlement, but the insurance company is more likely to fight that. Your best bet may be to put some evidence together (get an appraisal from someone qualified), then send it to the company along with a letter explaining that you intend to file a small claims case if they don't pay you the true value. That may get it done. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Florida
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
You can sue for up to $7,500.00 in small claims. It would not be worth it to hire an attorney. Whether it is worth it for you to file the suit yourself depends on what your time is worth. It would help to have a good used car dealer testify regarding the value of your vehicle. You can also introduce book values from firms such as Kelly's or NADA. There is an arbitration procedure available. You can request arbitration with your County Clerk of Court. The Clerk will appoint three attorneys as arbitrators. You can present your estimates, the insurance co can present theirs, and they will make a decision. It is non binding, and either party can appeal the decision by filing a case in Summary Court, but the insurance company often accepts the decision.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC | Richard Copeland
You probably can go to small claims court, but it's really not worth the time for the amount you are talking about. You would be better off trying to find different and higher values for your car as it was actually equipped and persistently asking for a better settlement. When you get to something you can live with, take it.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Call the Small Claims Court in your location to find out what the limit is. You should also ask when your case will be heard, some courts have more of a back-log than others. If you decide to bring the case, get written estimates and valuations. $2700 is 90% of $3000, so they are not really that far off.
Answer Applies to: New York
Anderson & Bliven P.C. | Scott Anderson
The republicans and insurance companies lobbied the legislature. It used to be market value in the area you live. Now it is based upon NADA retail. You can get loss of use and a couple other upgrades if not factored in. If you are injured through no fault of your own we offer free assistance of 3 hours work to resolve your property settlement to your satisfaction.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Harris Personal Injury Lawyer | Ryan D. Harris
If you are not in agreement with the settlement offer from the at-fault person's insurance company, you can pursue the at-fault driver in Small Claims Court; however, there are no guarantees the Small Claims Court will agree with your position. He/She may side with the at-fault driver's insurance company's evaluation of your car, but if you believe your evaluation is strong and represents the true value of your damaged vehicle, Small Claims would be the best means of pursuing the matter. Cami Clayton | Office Manager
Answer Applies to: California
The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
Only you can answer the question of whether the time, energy and resources you spend are worth going to small claims court. I would suggest perhaps providing documentation to the insurance company clearly explaining why your car is worth more than the ones they used as comparisons. Provide them as much independent information as possible such as kelly blue book, auto trader and also the value of the "features" that you indicate in your question.
Answer Applies to: California