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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    1

    Default Can You Sue an Auto Insurance Company for a Better Vehicle Damage Settlement

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Oklahoma.

    1. A few months ago, my vehicle was rear ended by a pickup at a local road, no injuries involved. I only have state minimum, so my insurance cannot help me.
    2. After that, I have been negotiating with at-fault party's insurance company on the vehicle (10-year-old malibu, 160K miles, no prior accident history) settlement.
    3. The insurance company offers a settlement around between NADA nice trade in and NADA dealer retail.
    4. I countered with a rebuttal on their CCC report and comp information in the local market. I offered 20% over NADA retail. They initially dismiss my rebuttal, then raise the offer by 5% to the NADA retail value.
    5. I countered them again, asking about 20% over NADA retail and no rental car reimbursement.
    6. They declined and progress stalled.
    7. My requirement is they could offer 10%-15% over NADA dealer retail and offer of the 1-2 week of rental car reimbursement. I also want to use small claims as a way to get a better settlement rather than go through small claims or even civil court procedure (I do not want to prolong this fight).
    8. The lawyers I talked to are either not interested or they will take a cut higher than the "bump" I demanded.

    My questions are (1) Should I sue the at-fault party only or add insurance company as the second plaintiff? (2). If I sue in the small claim and consider this small difference (the difference is 1.5-2K at most but still less than max amount allowed in the small claims), would insurance company settle with me before the court or they will move the case to civil court and fight the case in small claims? (I do not have time and energies to deal with them for a long time). (3). What is the best strategy you may recommend?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can You Sue an Auto Insurance Company for a Better Vehicle Damage Settlement

    If you don't want to settle your claim, you can't sue the other party's insurance -- you have to sue the person who caused the accident. The insurance company is not a proper party.

    If you sue, you should anticipate that you will no longer be dealing with the adjuster who has been trying to settle the claim -- they'll kick the case over to the legal department. You will find out what position the legal department takes after they have the file.

    If your car can be repaired, then you may have a claim for rental coverage for the reasonable duration of the repair. As it appears that your car was totaled, if you request a rental vehicle, you can normally expect that the at-fault driver's insurance will offer a rental until they make their settlement offer -- which, as you know, has already been made. They would normally pay for the rental vehicle themselves -- and you're not going to reimburse you for rental costs that you did not actually incur.

    You should not expect that you will ever get an insurance company to offer you more than blue book retail value for your vehicle. NADA publishes regional blue books, so local price variations should already be factored in.

    FYI, I found a 2007 Chevy Malibu with 152,000 miles and no accident history on sale at an Oklahoma City car dealership for under $2,000.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,292

    Default Re: Can You Sue an Auto Insurance Company for a Better Vehicle Damage Settlement

    Quote Quoting mauricelageorge
    View Post

    My questions are (1) Should I sue the at-fault party only or add insurance company as the second plaintiff? (2). If I sue in the small claim and consider this small difference (the difference is 1.5-2K at most but still less than max amount allowed in the small claims), would insurance company settle with me before the court or they will move the case to civil court and fight the case in small claims? (I do not have time and energies to deal with them for a long time). (3). What is the best strategy you may recommend?
    I concur with Mr K about what you will have to go through if you sue. Worse, OK small claims court allows attorneys so you will be facing an insurance company's attorney and more than likely get steamrolled.

    Do you have collision coverage?

    If you do, make the claim on your own policy and see if you get a better deal. I doubt if you will.

    If you don't have collision coverage I'm guessing that you chose not to buy it because you didn't think your vehicle was worth enough to justify paying the premiums.

    And now, suddenly, your vehicle is worth thousands more than the value guides say it is.

    Good luck with that.

    By the way, NADA always seems to come out higher than KBB or Edmunds.

    As for question 2, no, insurance companies don't roll over just because you spent 100 bucks to file in small claims court. Count on going to trial.

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