If my car has been declared a total loss, do I have any options before arbitration?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my car has been declared a total loss, do I have any options before arbitration?

My car was recently hit head-on (their fault). Now I’m dealing with the total loss department who seems to be significantly undervaluing my car. The Kelly Blue Book, NADA, Cars.com, and Edmunds.com appraisals all came in $2,000 to $3,000 more than what AAA initially offered, and after sharing my research they’ve added another $1,000. Perhaps more importantly, the actual cost to purchase a car with the same options and similar mileage is still $1,000 to $2,000 below AAA’s offer. AAA insists that they have to discount what these cars are selling for by about $1,900 because they don’t pay for dealer overhead. Is that discount reasonable?

Asked on June 13, 2013 under Accident Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The insurer should pay the then-current fair market value (e.g. Blue Book value) for the car and is not supposed to further discount that value; on the other hand, they only have to pay the current fair market value, not your actual cost to purchase, which may indeed be higher. If you have arbitration scheduled, your options are either 1) take the offer as is; 2) see if you can't get them to come up a little more--though note that if you reject the current offer and counter, they would have the option of taking that offer off the table and going to arbitration, to see what arbitration awards; and 3) simply going to arbitration and trying to convince the arbitrator that the offer is too low.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption