Auto Insurance Claims/Total loss claim


I was recently hit by someone insured by State Farm. They took fault immediately and once their adjuster came out, they deemed my vehicle a total loss with damages amounting to $17,500. I have a 2008 dodge charger srt8. The body shop repairing the vehicle did an estimate which is significantly lower and can repair the vehicle. State Farm does not want to use their estimate but I want to keep my vehicle. My next step is to hire an attorney, what should I do?

It is your vehicle and you can keep it if you want.  State Farm cannot force you to give your vehicle up, but they can decide that it is totaled (unfortunately).  It doesn't technically have to have a salvage title (based on the damages and vehicle info you gave me), but it could be deemed totaled.  

You surely need to get a free consultation with an expert about this matter.  As a third party claimant, proving your damages is your burden.  If you keep the vehicle, then a salvage value will have to be determined and State Farm will simply pay you for the value of your vehicle minus whatever the wrecked car is worth (if you keep it).  Then you can go and get it fixed, if the settlement amount is still enough for your shop to fix it.

Make sense?  If not, you can surely keep following up to this question or look me up directly and call my office.  Information is always free at Petty Details, LLC!

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Justin Petty


Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.


Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author ( All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

Past/Present Clients
State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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