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Hello! My name is ***** ***** I'll be the Expert assisting you today. What state are you located in?
Do you know if the unlicensed driver is over 18?
The insurance company will not be able to be held liable for more than their policy limits; even if the driver does not have a license. In fact, if that was a term of the policy, the insurance company may be able to void the contract and escape liability all together. What state are you located in? Do you have uninsured motorist coverage?
In that case, the policy limit should stand. It is in your best interest not to alert the insurance company about her not being licensed (lest they try and escape liability). Do you have uninsured motorist coverage? If so, you can file a claim with your own insurance company if the amount of the settlement reaches the insurance cap.
Your best chance to increase the settlement is to hire an attorney. Most attorneys will do personal injury work on a contingency basis, so it should cost you anything up front. Also, the attorney should only take a percentage (usually 1/3) of any amounts over the initial settlement (since you have already got an offer from the insurance company, the lawyer should not take a share of that).
Unfortunately, insurance companies just won't take a person seriously if they are not represented by counsel. Do you think a fair settlement would be over the policy limit? If so, you can seek additional funds through the uninsured motorist provisions of your own policy.
Unfortunately, that is often true. Do you have any more questions today?
The only benefit to focusing on the fact that the driver didn't have a license would be to the insurance company. If she is lying and entering into the contract under false pretenses, the the insurance company could potentially escape liability and you would be forced to deal with the driver directly and recover from her. This is almost always much harder. Regardless, the amount of damage to the vehicle would still be the same.
Why are the offering so little? Usually repairs are pretty straightforward. Was there an estimate on the cost? Is the insurance company refusing to pay that amount?
The insurance company is saying they bear the responsibility for her being on the road. That is why they are paying the damages. The only issue seems to be the amount of damages incurred. If the car is a loss, they should be using some sort of 3rd party appraiser, such as Kelley Blue Book to determine the value. Are they not willing to pay the price for a replacement vehicle?
What was your car worth according to Kelley Blue Book? What are they offering?
What year, make, and model was your car? How many miles did it have on it? I can look up the estimated value for you.
You could potentially seek seek punitive damages for the insurance company's mistake, but that is a longshot. Most jurisdictions only award punitive damages for intentional or extremely reckless acts. Also, there is no way the insurance company will agree to pay any sort of punitive damages in settlement negotiations. That means you would have to file a lawsuit.
In theory, you could bring a claim against the insurance company for negligence and allege that their behavior was so reckless that they should be assessed punitive damages, in addition to paying for the damage to the car. However, it would be easier to sue the girl and allege that she should have to pay punitive damages for driving without a license (in this case the insurance company would still be defending her; rather than defending their own negligence).