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accident and insurance problems

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What is the name of your state? south dakota
My daughter stopped on an interstate to assist a motorist who was involved in an auto accident. While parked in the emergency lane (icey road conditions) another motorist lost control of her car and plowed into the back of my daughters vehicle. My daughter was standing in front of her vehicle upon impact. Her car struck her behind the legs and threw her several feet into a ditch (fortunatley no broken bones or worse). There were several witnessess. She has been having problems with her right knee and neck. A specialist will look at the knee on Dec 2. Meanwhile I've been haggling with the insurance company about settlement of the car. Both my car and the lady's who ran into her were totaled. Her insurance company offered me 3800+tax right away. I disputed the amount but she said they would send me a check for $2500 right away and if I provided them with comparable price quotes within 50 mile radius they would review the offer and send 3 separate payments. She said it was ok to cash check right away because documentation would say this was not final. Kelly Blue book is $5075 which i explained to her. I also sent a letter from a mazda dealer that stated $5995 list for a car in her condition and $4995 sell price. I all this info to the insurance co. and was contacted last night. They said quotes I sent would not work. It had to be exact make, model, year, etc. They will not use Kelly blue book, valued too high. Letter from dealer would not work because he didnt actually have an auto to sell. She said I just found a car like yours for $2995 on internet and perhaps we should adjust our offer lower. I ran out of patience with her after being backed into a corner and finished by saying perhaps I should contact a lawyer. She said go ahead. I searched internet and found a car exactly the same as mine (mileage, year, make, model) -- asking price $6000. I faxed this info to her last night. Today I received the $2500 check in mail with no documentation. Should I cash check or not? I read a statement on this forum "insurance is supposed to make you whole". Does this apply in SD. Any advice or direction would be very much appreciated. I feel that I'm being treated unfairly and feeling very frustrated. Thanking you in advance.


Senior Member
"Should I cash check or not?"
*** Without reviewing ALL the facts (endorsements, etc.) I would recommend NOT cashing any check until you come to at least some understanding of cost. Part of this is because it sounds like they are not 'dealing fair' on this. For example, they refuse your offered prices without any consideration, but then try to put some value to and 'internet' price sight unseen.

"I read a statement on this forum "insurance is supposed to make you whole". Does this apply in SD."
*** Yes.

"Any advice or direction would be very much appreciated. I feel that I'm being treated unfairly and feeling very frustrated. Thanking you in advance."
*** First thing you are going to have to do is to start formalizing the issue. I would start by going online to several sites and printing off the value given at each of them. Some to use are:
Also, get your weekend paper(s) and look for any ads for your vehicle model and age.

Then, take ALL of the information you gather and send a copy to the insurance company with what you feel is a fair value. I would start with the average of all the prices, plus about 25%. Then you can negotiate down to the average if you have to.
Send this by certified RRR. Give them a specific deadline to respond. If they don't, then you may have to file a small claims action against them (luckily, SD limit is $8000).

I also have to ask.... where is YOUR insurance company in all of this??


my insurance?

Thanks for the advice. I have been doing lots of research on internet and printing all my documentation. My insurance company is only two floors down from where I now sit. They simply say keep us posted, which I have. Agent thinks their explanation of kelly blue book only being used by banks to determine most $$ to be loaned on vehicle is inaccurate and bogus. Also said they haven't heard of settling with so many checks but some insurances do things differently. Instructed me not to cash or deposit check unless I absolutely had to. This is so stressful :(

Thanks again for your quick response and instruction.

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