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Old 08-03-2004, 05:00 PM
RockinWagin RockinWagin is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 296
Ok, I reluctantly admit that I am an ..........................uh..................attorney. Licensed in Texas only. I have a lot of experience with insurance companies because I have represented insurance companies, represented insured persons under insurance policies, and have also sued my share of insurance companies.

1. Progressive has to pay you the "fair market" only. That is a matter of negotiation, but the insurance company uses an appraisal service that will find sales prices of "similar" vehicles. Do your own research and be prepared to argue based on facts and sales prices of similar cars and not on the intrinsic value of the car. The value of the car to you is of no consequence.

2. If you settle with the insurance company, then you have also settled with the owner/driver. You only get one shot at this. You can't accept what Progressive offers and then try to recover more from the owner/driver.

3. If you do not settle with Progressive, then you will need to sue the driver for negligence and the owner for "negligent entrustment." Negligent entrustment is difficult to prove. You would need to prove that the driver was a notoriously bad driver and that the owner knew that at the time the driver was authorized to drive the car.

4. If you sue the driver/owner, Progressive would hire the attorney to represent him/her/them. In Texas, and probably your state as well, you could not sue Progressive directly. As in no. 1, above, the issue at trial would be the fair market value of the car. There are rules in Texas that allow the owner (you) to testify as to the market value of the car, even though you are not an expert on fair market value.

Option 1 is better than option 4, unless Progressive is grossly low on the evaluation. Better because you would get the $$ now and not 6 months or a year down the road. Better because suing can be costly, stressfull, and you could end up with less than if you took the offer. On the other hand, in a court, it would be the jury deciding fair market value based on evidence and not the adjuster dictating to you what the car was not worth.

Like you, I am not carrying comprehensive insurance on my SD, only liability. I dread the day I get rear-ended here. Good Luck.
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