Someone smashed into my parked car. His insurance company sent me a check for $5,000. I say the car’s worth more. Should I accept the check and sue for the other $2,000 or do I refuse the check and sue for $7000?
There are a few reasons that the insurance company may be offering $5,000.
First, it may be the most insurance that Joe has for property damage. If that is the case, the insurance company will never pay more than $5,000. If Joe does not have assets, you will be wasting your time by suing him.
Second, the insurance company may have done a market value on your car. If that is the case, then you should ask for a copy of it. According to the insurance regulations, they have to provide you with a copy of the valuation. If you disagree, you should do your own market search to find similar cars for sale. Read my prior posts or listen to my podcast for more information about total losses.
If you think the car is worth more, you should not sign a release, but seek counsel and have someone review the total loss. It is probably worth $200 for an hour of time to figure out your rights.