Visitor Question

Which state to file a lawsuit?

Submitted By: Bill (Winnemucca, Nevada)

The tire fell off the rim of a business truck driving on a flat tire in Arizona and hit my car at around 60-70 mph. The business owner’s insurance company wants to total my car for $1500, which is less than the estimate to repair it. The business is located in California, and the truck was delivering in Arizona, where I was traveling.

I do not want the car totaled as it is a custom show car. I live in Nevada. Which state do I file the lawsuit in? How can I get the insurance company to pay for repairs to my car? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Bill,

You don’t have to accept the amount of money offered by the business owner’s insurance company. Instead, go online to websites like Autotrader and download prices for similar custom cars. Take those prices and send them to the insurance company.

In addition, because your car is a custom model it is likely you have photos of it. Send those photos along with proof of fair market value for similar cars.

In the event the insurance company persists in offering you an amount less than fair market value of your car, you can consider filing a small claims lawsuit in the county and state in which the accident occurred, or in the county and state in which the business is incorporated (or where it does business).

The California Small Claims Court’s jurisdictional limit is $10,000. For more information on filing a small claim lawsuit in the State of California, go to the California Courts Judicial Website.

The Arizona Small Claims Court’s limit is $3,500.00. For more information on filing a small claim lawsuit in the State of Arizona see AZ Courts website.

If the company does business in the State of Nevada, you can also file a lawsuit in a small claims court in the State of Nevada.

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

Best of luck,

Published: January 5, 2016

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