What if I disagree with the appraiser’s estimate?
First, you may question the estimate with the adjuster. Don’t be afraid to question and demand what you think is fair. You might not like haggling, but it often is necessary to get a fair settlement.
Second, if haggling gets you nowhere, you have two alternatives:
- You may talk to an auto accident attorney in Oregon and file a lawsuit against the person(s) responsible for the damage to your vehicle. If your claim – repair expense or total value – is less than $7,500 you can file in small claims court.
If the claim exceeds $7,500, you need to file in Oregon Circuit Court.
NOTE: If you must file a lawsuit in either District or Circuit Court, we highly recommend you retain the services of an experienced attorney.
- You also have the right to an independent appraisal at your own cost – between $75 to $100. Your appraiser will discuss the differences and try to compromise.
If you don’t agree with the compromise, a third independent appraiser (similar to an umpire) will be hired to settle the dispute. You and the insurance company will halve the cost. This approach is also used for disputes involving the market value of your vehicle in “total loss” situations.
Beware! These alternatives can be time-consuming, and the insurance company only needs to pay for a rental vehicle until a “reasonable” offer is made, even if that offer differs from what is finally settled upon.