Last post on Feb 12, 2013 at 4:55 PM
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Car Safety, Buying Insurance, Coupe, Convertible, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan, Wagon, SUV, Van
#272 of 272 Small Claims Court or Other Guy's Insurance Offer?
Feb 12, 2013 (4:55 pm)
In January I signaled a left-hand turn at an intersection and was in the process of making the turn when a driver tried to pass me on the left. He admitted driving 57-58mph (over limit) and that he had seen my signal. He was cited for unsafe pass and has pleaded guilty and paid the fine. His insurer accepted 100% liability. Body shop repair estimate is $4659. My vehicle is a 2000 Chrysler Town & Country LX (long wheel base, E85 flex-fuel, wonderful condition) -- but with 229K miles on it. I had just gotten two new tires ($200+) had a complete tuneup/plugs/oc etc ($200+). We had purchased it with 39,959 miles on it and a prior salvage title and maintained it religiously, loved the vehicle, had every intention to continue driving it. Great, dependable vehicle. So of course his company is offering $1600 (deducting $847.23 for the "title history") -- based on a JD Powers Valuation report with "comparable" vehicles from 113 to 298 miles away from me. I have attempted to negotiate -- I showed them three other comparable flex-fuel T&Cs (years 2000-2003) within 100 miles of me, lower mileage but priced up to $6995 and proposed $3494 to his insurer. They refuse to budge from $1600. In my state (Iowa) the small claims limit is $5000. I am thinking of filing a small claims action against the other driver asking that he either repair or replace my vehicle. His insurer company will have a duty to defend him. I do not think that I will have trouble proving liability. Can I come out worse than the $1600? Any suggestions, ideas for negotiation -- anything? Thanks for any help--this has been very upsetting--driving along, minding my own business in a vehicle that I loved, and feel like I'm getting taken to the cleaners. Familiar story, I know.