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Car crashes into woman's house, insurance company lowballs her

Told she has to pay almost $4,000 out of pocket
Car crashes into Glendale home during police chase
Posted at 4:33 AM, Feb 19, 2024

Millions of crashes happen in the U.S. each year, but many people who've been involved in an accident are discovering insurance offering less than they need.

Donna Yaeger is among them. She was sitting by her front window when an out-of-control car came careening down her street.

"I heard this great big boom," she said. "And I jumped up. She came right to my window and hit my house."

The whole front wall was pushed in.

"My house is made with cinderblocks, and you can see the dent right here where it knocked them loose," she said.

Because of the cinderblock construction, she says, "The repair estimate was $33,915."

But the driver's insurance company offered to pay just $30,000, leaving her about $4,000 short of being made whole.

"I need to pay $3,915," she said. "Out of pocket."

What to do if this happens to you

Unfortunately, getting your money back in these cases can be tricky. Adam Maniscalco is a personal injury attorney.

"A lot of the times people don't know what they don't know," he said. "You might end up shortchanging yourself by accepting something that's less than what's fair."

In situations like this, he says your first step should be gathering evidence.

"Take pictures of everything. Take pictures of the damage of the car, of the person who was driving the car," Maniscalco said.

If the insurance company offers you an amount that won’t cover the damage, he says can always negotiate.

"There's no such thing as a final offer. They may tell you this is the best we can do, but you don't have to accept that," he said.

If you're stuck in a back-and-forth battle like Yaeger, you can call for backup.

"Talk to a lawyer," Maniscalco said.

He says many attorneys will take these types of cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t have to pay out of pocket.

"The only way they do get paid is if they do their jobs and get a settlement," he said.

As for Yaeger's situation, we contacted the driver’s insurance company, which has now agreed to review her claim again.

In the meantime, her living room remains off-limits, awaiting repair.

Don't be afraid to dispute a lowball estimate so you don't waste your money.

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