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95 Ford Escort Totaled | Low Insurance Offer

by Mike
(Orlando, Florida)

While stopped at a red light in the far right lane with my wife as a passenger, I had a 17 year old who has been driving for about one year behind me in a Nissan SUV truck.

the light turned green. I proceeded to accelerate out of the intersection at a moderate speed. The teen behind me in the SUV accelerated more rapidly and drove his truck into the back of my car at a good rate of impact. Why? Cell phone, distraction, not knowing how to use the brake pedal...

The police arrived and cited him with careless driving. My car was drivable with the truck bent in and open and the bumper smashed.

I had the appraiser for the opposing insurance agency arrive at my house to conduct a survey. His estimation is that the car was a "total". I called the adjusters office earlier in the day, and was asked to provide a recorded statement. I did - with a high degree of duress and uncertainty. I did not feel comfortable providing information to the "enemy", even though this is a cut and dry hit from behind rear-ender with the other driver issued a traffic citation.

Curiously enough, one of the closing remarks from this appraiser was in reference to an "issue" regarding the other driver who hit me. He did not go into detail - but perhaps an attempt at a denial of any and all liability and guilt in this incident? It was, afterall, teen driving daddy' truck under daddy's policy. Perhaps daddy is trying to keep from having his insurance premiums from going through the roof due to his son's driving.

My question. My car is an old 1995 Ford Escort. not much value in the market - but all that I have to drive. The appraiser who indicated a "total loss" was mentioning something about the insurance company not wanting to pay over $2000.00 in potential damages, and was going to try to offer me fair market value for the car - which is a lot less.

What I want is to simply have my car fixed back to the way it was before getting damaged. I do not want to be handed a couple of dollars in pocket change and be told to drive off into the sunset with my old Ford with the trunk lid banging up and down as its held in place with string. I want the boy to be responsible for the amount of damge he caused to my car - and fix it.

Should I take the father directly into Small Claims court for the full amount of the repairs - even though they exceed the value of the car? Should I even bother with the opposing insurance company at all with a total loss payout scenario? My own insurance carrier will not help - as I only carry Florida PIP/PDL as required by law. That is all the insurance I need. Nothing more. I have a 30 year accident free driving record - including tie driving overseas in Germany on the Autobahn..and I have a kid wreck my car less than 5 miles from my house.

I cannot afford to find another suitable replacement car for the amount of money being noted here for the value of the 95 Ford. I want to keep this car as it is in decent shape (or was), and in decent running condition. My own insurance is $16/month. Now after I called them to report this wreck I am waiting to see how much they are going to increase my rates - even though I am not at fault.



Well Mike, our understanding is that Ford Escorts are not worth very much, specially if they are over 10 years old. Some states will allow you to keep your vehicle and some will not. Visit: http://www.floir.comfor more information and a contact number regarding the specific laws that will govern your situation. You might be able to keep it and fix it, but again, you must double check.

To argue the total loss of your vehicle, visit:
and we recommend this eBook: There are many tips on this website, and that eBook that will help you negotiate your total loss.

Sounds like you are concerned with your rates. We usually suggest people to get a quote before they file or while the claim is pending with a national broker so you know where you stand.

If your insurance company raises your rates, you can always show them the lower rates from the quotes and force them to reduce back your premium, if they do not, then you can switch carriers. You can get a quote here:

The decision to take someone to small claims is a serious one. You can do it if you like, but that might not give you all the results you might want. Sounds like you are not at fault, so it could work for you. However, consider all of the aspects of going to small claims before making that move. Please visit:
for our comments on that subject.

Good Luck,

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