My girlfriend got into an accident with her (registered under my name) 2003 Honda civic. She was pulling out of the drive way (taking a right, basically parallel to the road) and got hit on the quarter panel behind where the gas nozzle (left side) is.

Three seconds later she gets hit again in the bumper. No mechanical damage just big dents and holes. The had to have had basically the entire car (except maybe half the bottom right tire) out of the drive way to get hit the first time.

The other driver's car insurance (State Farm) has just called me with a $2400 damage estimate which include "pre-existing" damage aka rust corrosion. They told me its 50/50 liability because they considered her cutting him off because she was pulling out of the drive way. The reason they're not throwing 100% on us is because he stated that the sun was in his eyes, and he couldn't see her, and they told me the police report says she was basically in the drive way when she got hit (I have not seen the police report).

The other driver's insurance is willing to write me a $958 check. Do I take it? Or can I fight it reasonable to get them to up the amount? Is it not worth the hassle?

  • Your insurance offered you $958? Or the other drivers insurance? I assume this is in the USA? What state? Mar 26, 2014 at 19:09
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    Which auto insurance company is making the offer? Yours or the other driver's? If it is the other driver's, then they have concluded (most likely based on the police report) that you are unlikely to prevail fully in court if you sue them for the repair cost of the car. Unless you have collision insurance from your insurance company (unlikely since the car is over 10 years old), your insurance company is not likely to pay for the entire repair and sue on your behalf to collect from the other insurance company. Mar 26, 2014 at 19:13
  • The other guys insurance did(liability). NH, USA. I have them as an insurance provider on my dart(full), but not on the crap civic. It is statefarm.
    – user14028
    Mar 26, 2014 at 19:13
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    If you have StateFarm (or any "respectable" car insurance carrier), your own agent should work with you to determine how much liability the "other guys" insurance has. You shouldn't be doing that yourself in most cases. Mar 26, 2014 at 19:31
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    @user14028: You're saying the Honda has no insurance at all? In that case I would advise you take the money and run, since otherwise you will be fighting solo against the insurance ocmpany, which will only drain your energy.
    – BrenBarn
    Mar 26, 2014 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


They are negotiating.

You need more information. You need to know how much your 2003 Honda Civic is worth (prior to the damage), and how much it would cost to repair the car (estimate). You might find that the cost to repair is different than their estimate (much higher or lower), or you might find that the cost to replace your car is different (higher or lower) than you think. Since they are offering to split the repair bill, it is unlikely that they expect you to turn over the car to them.

They believe that they could prevail in court, but they still want to avoid legal costs, and you also want to avoid legal costs. You could seek legal advice (probably the best thing to do, although expensive). You could make them a counter-offer, supported with an estimate for repairs, and with documentation of the replacement cost of the car.

Anyway, you have recourse to seek the other half of the damages from the driver (yeah, your girlfriend, which places you in an awkward position), which might be covered by her insurance.

Some states allow an injured party to seek payment for the loss of resale value to the vehicle.

  • They will ask for the title if they expect you to turn the car over to them. If they don't mention it, and they give you a check, then keep the car and sell it yourself. It is worth something, at least in scrap. Jul 16, 2015 at 23:34

Look at the offer carefully. If they are going to cut you a check and write off the car, they are buying your damaged car from you for $958. Look in the offer for a "shotgun clause". A shotgun clause allows you to reverse the offer and pay the insurance company $958 to buy the car in ts current state and fix it yourself without going through an insurance company.

If there is no insurance on your vehicle, take the check, thank them, and move on.

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    I don't quite understand. From your description it sounds like the "shotgun clause" would require the OP to pay the insurance company AND cover the full cost of repairs himself. Why would anyone do that? Nov 17, 2014 at 16:51
  • That's exactly what the shotgun clause allows. Why would anyone do that? By purchasing the car for the amount offered by the insurance company the OP may be able to make the vehicle roadworthy himself without fixing everything the car needs. If the cost of purchasing and fixing the damaged vehicle is cheaper than purchasing another roadworthy vehicle, the decision to buy back the car is a sound one. This option should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This is not blanket "you must do this" advice. Nov 18, 2014 at 19:08
  • Oh, are you saying the insurance company first pays your claim, then you buy the car back and fix it? I was thinking this ended you up in the hole for $958 + the cost of repairs, but if they pay you first then you are just out the cost of repairs. Nov 18, 2014 at 19:11
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    Then I still don't understand. In case #2, why wouldn't you just say "No thanks, ignore the claim I filed, I'll keep my wrecked car and my $958"? And then it's nobody's business but yours how or whether you fix it. In other words, why should I ever have to pay an insurance company, who has provided me with nothing of value, for the privilege of keeping a car that already belongs to me? Nov 20, 2014 at 20:22
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    This makes no sense. I read OP as they are not totaling the car at all.
    – Joshua
    Sep 29, 2016 at 16:24

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