Rear ended by driver who fell asleep...

by A

My husband was rear ended by a driver who admitted to me that he fell asleep. The police officer said he told her he fell asleep. My husband was going 55 on an expressway at 4:15 am. Traffic was very light. The other driver was driving a small Suzuki 4 door car and hit my Expedition so hard that it did $6,600 worth of damage to my Expedition.

The value of my Expedition is less than the damage. I have had it since it was new. It was in excellent condition mechanically and cosmetically. His insurance is offering me only $2,200. I can't get another vehicle in the shape that mine was in for that price.

Do I have options? How can I get the insurance company to give me what my car was actually worth? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Rear ended by driver who fell asleep...":

A (USA):

You are in between the proverbial "rock and a hard place." Insurance companies are only required to pay the amount necessary to bring a damaged vehicle back to its "pre-collision" state. When the amount of repairs exceeds the value of the damaged vehicle, the insurance company has the right to make one of two offers.

The first is to pay the owner the fair market value of the vehicle and have the insurance company purchase the vehicle outright, or offer the owner a lesser amount and permit the owner to keep the vehicle.

Your facts don't make clear which option was offered and which you are contemplating accepting. The best way to convince the insurance company to offer you more than $2200.00 is to collect evidence your Expedition is worth more than you are being offered.

To do this you can present the insurance company with photographs of the Expedition, together with receipts for the costs of its upkeep. Moreover, go online and search the classified ads for the same make, model, and year. Hopefully, you'll be able to find similar Expeditions for sale for amounts higher than $2200.00.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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