Minor child hits my minor childs vehicle. Citation given for following too close, at fault party insurance offers are way too low. Who should I sue?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 28, 2011

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Insurance Question from Lone Tree, CO

Asked on 12/28/2011

Minor child hits my minor childs vehicle. Citation given for following too close, at fault party insurance offers are way too low. Who should I sue? Car rear-ended, no frame damage, and worth repairing as no like kind vehicle could be found in the area. At fault party insurance company offers me three options:1. Take X amount towards repairs.2. Take X amount and the insurance company keeps the vehicle3. If I don't agree to #1 or #2 above they'll total the vehicle.I don't agree to any of the options, so they up the offer slightly... I still don't agree. So, they send a check as full and final settlement and noting "owner to retain salvage" - I mark void on check and return to at fault parties insurance company. No room to finish!

Answer given on December 29, 2011

Either your car is totaled or it is not.  If it is totaled, then you are due the ACV of the vehicle at the time of loss.  You can check the value of your car online at sites like www.kellybluebook.com and others.  Have you had the damage estimated by a reputable body shop?  If not, do so.  This will let you know if it cost more to repair the car than the total value of the car (definition for the car being totaled).  If you agree to it being totaled, then you would pay a small amout for the salvage to keep the car. Alot of people like this option as you get the money for the car and also get to keep the car.  If you know someone that can do the body work cheaply, then you have the best of both worlds.  Where are you and the insurance company differing on the value? Is their something that they are not putting into the value of the car–CD player, alloy wheels, condition being fair or good or excellent, etc.  Read our article Car Insurance Process for Your Totaled Car-Total Loss. Hopefully this can help you negotiate a win/win for you and the insurance company.     

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