Negotiating a fair offer on your damaged car with an insurance company

Broken windshield of car involved in an accident

Although we don’t normally help you negotiate an offer on your damaged car with an insurance company, if you are a client of ours that was injured in a personal injury accident, we will help you get a fair offer for your vehicle at no cost.

Understand that insurance companies are in business to make money; therefore, they may not offer you what you deserve when it comes time to settle with you about your car. It is very important not to accept the offer if you feel it is unfair.

Many people involved in a car crash don’t really know what their car is worth or what would constitute a fair offer. Just because an insurance adjuster gives you the amount that their appraiser comes up with, doesn’t mean the appraiser is right. My recommendation is that you NOT accept the offer until you have had that offer reviewed by a professional mechanic, your own insurance company’s appraiser or by your legal representative. Once you sign a release for a claim agreement, you won’t be able to do anything about it.

How we determine the value of your vehicle

When we negotiate a settlement for your vehicle, we determine its actual value. We work with experts, including vehicle appraisers, mechanics we trust, and other experts to account for not only the cost of damage to your car, but the value of depreciation as a result of the crash. This is based on your car’s year, make, model and pre-accident condition and value.

In addition to receiving a just payment to get your vehicle repaired or its full current market value in the event that it is totaled, you are also entitled to “loss of use”. This means that the defendant insurance company must pay for a rental car that is comparable to the one damaged for a specified period of time.

You are entitled to additional repairs on your vehicle if found later

What if you discover more damage to your car, after repairs are made? If you see that there is more damage to your car after repairs, we call the insurance company and let them know. They then give the okay to return it to the car repair shop, which will then assess the damage and get approval from the insurance company to make the additional repairs. This usually does not present a problem.

Being upside-down on your vehicle

What happens when your car is totaled, and you still owe money on the car but the resale value doesn’t cover what’s owed? This is called being upside-down on your payments. There is really nothing you can do about this unless you have “gap” insurance as part of your car insurance coverage. Gap insurance will pay the difference between what you are paid for your totaled car and what you still owe on it. I highly recommend that you invest in this type of coverage.

Reaching a property damage settlement

It is very uncommon for parties involved in a property damage claim not to reach an agreement. There may be some back and forth, but usually the facts speak for themselves and a settlement can be reached.

If you’ve been injured in a car crash that wasn’t your fault and you need some guidance in dealing with an insurance company about your car and other property damage, give us a call and we can discuss both your personal injury and property damage claims.

I would appreciate it if you would share this post so that others can benefit from the information. Thank you.

If you have any questions about this article or any area of personal injury law, please refer to the contact info below.

Also, if you are interested, please read my other personal injury articles at

Contact Information:

The Law Offices of Peter Miller

1601 S. Broadway

Little Rock, AR 72206

Phone: 501-374-6300



The content of this blog was prepared by Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. Attorney-client relationships can only be created by written contract.

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