What can I do if the other insurance company is requesting a low settlement? 29 Answers as of July 03, 2013

Someone 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?

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
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
Replied: 8/18/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
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
Replied: 8/15/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
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
Replied: 8/15/2011
Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
You can sue for the damage. However, it really is not worth the extra money.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/15/2011
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
Retain a plaintiff's accident attorney to represent you even at this late stage in the negotiation of a settlement of your claim.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 8/15/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    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
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes you can sue. They would likely use their attorney and remove it to district court. Whether it is worth it is up to you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    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
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    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
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    You can sue but is not worth it for $3,000.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    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
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    It is probably not worth arguing over the 300-400 difference. More than likely, a court is going to view the insurance company's offer as fair.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You would need two qualified estimates of value. But most Small Claims Courts only go up to $3,000.00 maximum. So, take the money and run.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC
    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
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Probably not worth it as you will have to pay filing fee. You should argue with them now and show them what value is.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    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
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Anderson & Bliven P.C.
    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
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    Probably not worth it, but check Internet for value of comparable car.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    You can sue in small claims court. You will need an affidavit or live testimony from someone who sells cars like yours stating that the value is as you contend.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer
    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
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    try to negotiate with them
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    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
    Replied: 9/19/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    No. It is not worth suing over a few hundred dollars. Take the settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/13/2011
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