Insurance qustion

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Two weeks ago my little S10 pickup was struck, while parked, by a U-Haul truck. My pickup is 15 years old, but only has 98,000 miles on the clock (I don't get out much). U-Haul referred me to their insurance carrier and, after proof of ownership and a witness list changed hands, they promised to send over an adjuster today between 1:00 and 4:00.
It's 8:00pm and he's still not here.
Anyway, I figure it will cost about $900 to fix the truck, but for that amount I'll bet the insurance company will total the thing and offer me five hundred bucks to just go away.
Frankly, the truck is worth MUCH more than that to me.
So I compute my best plan of action is to decline U-Haul's offer, whatever piddly amount it turns out to be, and march against them in small claims court. Counting the damage, replacement vehicle rental, and loss of consortium, I should file for about, oh, $3000. I further estimate that U-Haul will likewise compute that it would cost them more to defend the suit than to just cut me a checky-poo for the three grand.
Your experiences along these lines, observations, and advice would be much appreciated.
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Small claims court typically does not allow an attorney to appear so a UHaul manager will appear and defend at minimal cost to the company. They should offer you actual repair costs, loss of use while repaired. Good luck on the loss of consortium. :) If you are not satisfied, the judge will decide.

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On 3/4/2013 9:15 PM, HeyBub wrote:

My experience with insurance companies is that they attempt to be fair. If your vehicle has a fair market value of $500, I think that they'd offer you that plus whatever rentals etc that are usually considered. I don't think you can intimidate them via a law suit. They certainly don't want to set any precedent of paying six times the value of a claim just to avoid a law suit. If anything they may counter sue for an amount too large to handle in small claims, which would require you to have to hire a lawyer of your own.
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wrote:

Not going to happen. Most they will give you is book value. Maybe a good adjuster will kick in a few bucks more just to get you to sign immediately, but they won't be intimidated at all by your threat of a lawsuit.
What you should have in hand already is an estimate from a repair shop. That may give you a bit of leverage. You had two weeks to prepare for this.
Watch a couple of episodes of Judge Judy. She uses the book for value and that is the max she ever paid out.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I went to law school. While I never practiced law, I did learn you NEVER threaten suit. You do or not do.
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On 3/5/2013 8:28 AM, HeyBub wrote:

So what did you do after you dropped out during the first semester?
If you really did (heybub story telling and all) you should get your $35 that you spent for tuition if a simple under $1,000 damage situation presents such a conundrum.
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George wrote:

Uh, thanks for asking. After I COMPLETED law school, I got hired as an adjunct professor of mathematics and computer science by the University of Houston. After one semester there, I went to work for seismic data processing company, then opened a couple of bookstores. Eventually I started my own small software company and today, some 30 years later, am still as happy as the day I struck out on my own.
I figured, correctly, that as long as I was going to work for a fool, that fool might as well be me.
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Insurance qustion:

It's amazing how many lawyers find happiness after *leaving* law. I believe there is a lesson to be learned there.
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CRNG wrote:

Oh, my lawyer is a prince, and I'm sure yours is a nice guy. The rest are thieves.
I didn't want to be involved with that.
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wrote:

Lawyer sounds a lot like liar with a southern drawl- - - -
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wrote:

I know a one-time (full) professor of electrical engineering at a top university who retired from that position and went back to school and became a lawyer. He'd need a lawyer if he tried pulling some of the stuff he did in a classroom in front of a judge. ;-)
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wrote:

Hey, that's MY line!!!!
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wrote:

If the truck is spotless and rust free it's a $2500 truck. What damage was done? Box side? door and fender??
Go for a buy-out They say thnere is 1500 damage so they want to write it off, you say give me 1500 and the truck - and fix it yourself???
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On Mar 4, 10:44 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

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Kind of what I was thinking too. I don't know why HB thinks his truck is only worth $500. If his guess of $900 to fix it is accurate and the accident was not his fault, I would expect the insurance company to pay that without much fight.
But, first thing is look up the blue book value online. Then get a couple estimates. Even better, if you have a body shop that you use, then take the car there and have the adjuster see it there. That's what I do. That way the body shop guy can discuss it with the adjuster. The adjuster says it takes xyz to fix this and if it isn't right, the body shop guy says to him, no you also need to do these additional thing to do the job right..... IMO better to get into that process from the beginning, rather than have the adjuster low ball it and then try to revise it.
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On Mar 4, 7:44 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

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Yep. Take the 1500 and if they won't give you the truck, buy it back for the 'book' as adjusted for damage.
Harry K
Harry K
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I bought a used extended caravan for 900 bucks, had it some months and found a valve was going bad:( Didnt know what to do about that......
Van got rear ended:( Because of its age it got totaled for 1400 bucks. They didnt ask if it had any mechanical problems, and I didnt volunteer any info, Insurance also paid for my wifes lost day of work, she had to come get me.. and a small settlement for pain and suffereing like 500 bucks, I hurt but didnt go to doctor.. Oh and a rental car for a weekend getaway since my wifes car was having troubles. I almost felt guilty for the rental:(
At the time we were really broke so the extra money came in hand and I was glad I didnt have to worry about the bad valve.......
later I bought another van......that was far better than the one that got totaled.
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Having any injury changes the equation dramatically. The insurance company is going to be a lot more willing to settle the whole thing for a couple thousand, even if it means paying more than the vehicle is worth, because an injury case can potentially escalate into a lot of money.
Oh and a

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wrote:

I had a '61 Bonnevile and it was early 70's when I got rear ended. All I had was a couple of scratches on the trunk lid of a fading car. They offered me $150 just so I would sign and prevent any potential liability from injuries, real or imagined. The adjusters said to me "you're not getting it fixed are you?" Nope, I was just happy to have 150 bucks in my pocket.
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You will the opportunity to influence the decision to total your truck.
I've been through (vicariously) the "total" process a few times. BIL is an insurance agent... to many stories to tell But here is a website that provides information that correlates well with my knowledge. If gives good info plus some negotiating tactics.
http://www.edmunds.com/auto-insurance/a-total-loss.html
They even have a "value appraisal" calculator.
My guess if you're correct on the repair estimate & the repairs can be done quickly ..you'll be getting a check.
If they try to add rental car costs to the repair costs.... tell them you're gonna need a rental car too while you shop around for you car, new or used. :)
If they think you'll be good at standing up for yourself...they'll toss a bit more your way.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

As others have said, book is about the best you can expect - maybe a *little* more. You might be surprise what the book on the truck is, though. Used cars are at a premium now. Have you looked?
I just threw a few random options at a '98 S10 and came up with a private sale price of about $4K. I used www.kbb.com, but I'd use two or three sites for backup. Take the highest. They'll take the lowest but at least you have ammunition.

No guessing allowed. Start with the empty threats and you'll get eaten alive. They do this for a living. You don't. Chances are the adjuster doesn't want to make your life miserable but he can if you insist.

*BEFORE* you talk to the adjuster, you should know what the vehicle is worth. Good grief, this isn't rocket-surgery!
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