You are somewhat correct about signing your rights away when you settle but you could still submit for supplemental damage after accepting the first pay out. This would be done by the body shop, at least in AZ this can be done. I have had cars back on the road for a month when a problem pops up from an accident and it is taken care of.
She may need to give permission to the insurer and body shop to allow them to work with you. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Daryl, Have you spoke with the body shop? Have they checked everywhere for damage? A lot of times a estimate will be given and once work is started you will have supplemental claims for damage that was unseen which could cause you to go over the threshold on being totaled. Ultimately it is up to the insurer to decide what they want to do, either fix it or total it. It may not make good financial sense to you or me but it is with in their right to not total the vehicle. Can you contact the insurance company?...do you want to? How much involvement do you wish to have in this? If you haven't done so already call the body shop and speak to them. They may be pushing her to do the work because if its totaled they get zip!
Alex, perhaps I could solicit your opinion and advice: My mother in law sustained damage to her 07 Taurus. She lives in Missouri, where the KBB values her car at $7240. I haven't seen the vehicle, but her insurance company has already told her it is sending her a check for nearly $5K. That, added to her $500 deductible puts the total repair costs way over 63% of the total market value, a figure I have been told by other adjusters and agents is usually the threshold for totaling a vehicle. (continued below)
Of course, it's cheaper for the insurer to take the route it's taken, but I think it is failing to live up to its contract by doing so. I told her not to sign nor cash the check, as that would constitute acceptance of the settlement. Both the insurer and the body shop are pressuring her to act now, and she's feeling flustered and intimidated. In her 80's, she's decided to quit driving and no other family member wants, or needs, the car, nor is she equipped to sell it from her rural home. How do I convince her insurer to total the vehicle other than contacting the MO Dept of insurance or hiring an attorney? Thanks in advance for your swift reply!
I found out earlier today that I'll be having a little girl as well. All the while I had been hoping for a boy and now I'm just happy that everything looks good so far. Got to have a 3-D ultrasound done today and to see little facial features was really cool. Hope all is going well for you, Alexis and little Parker!!!