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How to request settlement between two carriers in total loss valet claim

by Mom's Taxi
(Houston, TX)

The valet company for the hotel property I was staying at decided to move my vehicle from temporary valet parking in front of the hotel to secondary parking garage about 3 blocks away because the main garage (25' away) was full. I was unaware that there even was a secondary garage option.

The valet driver was involved in a 3 car accident where my vehicle was completely totaled. Due to the severity of the accident and so many different stories, the officers did not find fault and none of the drivers, including the valet was found at fault. The valet company has taken responsibility for the vehicle being a total loss and has already put me in a rental vehicle.

My question is what rights do I have to collect the full replacement value from the valet companies commercial policy. My own insurance company has offered me a settlement based on ACV, which in my opinion is too low, and then offered to subrogate with the commercial carrier for the valet company.

I would like to settle with an agreed upon ACV with my own carrier and then collect the difference (replacement value including lost down payment and two years of interest on loan) from the commercial carrier in addition to the ACV from my own carrier. What process and/or legal action is required to make this happen?

I have not brought in the hotel chain as leverage, but could do so as they have taken an interest in making sure it is handled appropriately.


Hello Mom's Taxi,

Well, we are not aware of any other action to get you compensated for full replacement value. It's pretty well settled law in the United States that you are paid for what you had, this means that the tort feasor can depreciate your vehicle.

In addition, most defenses to your claim would show that you financial situation (how you acquire the vehicle and/or what kind of loan, terms, and interest) has nothing to do with the value of the car. The car is worth x amount of money regardless of how much you paid or what terms you have on your loan.

This is unfair, I know. You are still losing on the "opportunity cost" that cost you to have this vehicle. Again, we have not seen a process where you can be compensated for the damages you argue. I outlined the total loss process as I understand it here.

The fact that I do not know or have not hear about this recovery, does not mean that there is not a cause of action in your state. Talk to a lawyer and see what they can do.

Good Luck,
Auto Insurance Claim Advice
Spokane Washington

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