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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 15744
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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December 14, 11:45am a woman on prescription pain medication

Customer Question

December 14, 11:45am a young woman on prescription pain medication fell asleep at the wheel, jumped the curb and totaled our car sitting in the driveway. No one was in the car. It was parked in the driveway but is now parked in my front yard! We had a very well maintained 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis we bought off the showroom floor with EVERY feature on the car but a sun roof. Her insurance, Nationwide" totaled the car for $3000. I could NOT locate one with the same features and same condition for that amount. I looked. Dealers said "not going to happen". I did locate a 2005 that would be acceptable but it's going to cost me out of pocket $3500. My husband is terminally ill with cancer and I needed a comfortable, DEPENDABLE car to transport him. Can I sue in small claims court for the extra $3500 that it will now cost to replace with a "like" vehicle? This has come at a time that I NEVER intended to be putting out money to buy someone else's junk! Thank you for this service you provide. Carolyn Smiser
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. One moment while I type a response...

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Yes, you can sue for the difference assuming that you can establish that they really were similar vehicles. It's not unusual that the insurance company is low-balling you. Insurance companies don't make money by giving it away (although they still have a legal obligation to make you whole).

The FIRST thing that you need to do is to contact the insurance company and let them know the most similar vehicles you have found in the price range. They'll hem and haw over the price, maybe even "finding" other vehicles that are priced way less. Let them know that you can prove the maintenance and the value of the vehicle, and that you're willing to take it to court if need be as well as get an attorney. Ultimately the insurance company is looking to pay out as little as possible. Most people with vehicles as old as yours would take the money and put it into a different vehicle, where there's not a one-for-one comparison, and that's how they can generally get away with this behavior. But indicating that you're willing to fight and go to court for it means that they will most likely eventually cave. The reason is that they still have a "duty to defend" the insured. If you sue, THEY (the insurance company) has to pay for lawyers to defend the case. And if you have the evidence to prove that there's not a comparable vehicle for the money that they're offering, then you would likely win. AND if you had a lawyer, THEY would have to pay your lawyer's fees.

So think of this as an "offer" that you can reject. You counter offer, they say that you're ridiculous (or something along those lines) to try to get you to accept a lower offer. Again, insurance companies are all about limiting the amounts that they pay out to maximize the amounts that they get to keep. If you make it clear that it will be more expensive for them if you were to go to court than if they were to just pay now, then they're going to eventually cave.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service as OK Service or higher. It's only then I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

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