I went through the same thing with my 69 camaro. Ended up being a 2 year battle with an insurance company, and lawyers.
I was at a stop waiting to make a left hand turn when I looked up to see a car coming at me, and the scary part was I couldnt see a driver until the last 10 feet when his head popped up. He didnt even hit his brakes.
He was ticketed for inatiteve driving, not wearing eye glasses, and a expired tag.
I only had liability which shouldnt have been a problem except his insurance company didnt want to pay the value of my car. I did everything that I was suppose to do. I had every receipt for the car for the last 11 years, and I had an appraisel for the value of the car at 11,000.00. But his insurance company wanted to give me 2,500.00 if I kept my car, and 3,500.00 if they took the car.
After 3 months of arguing with the insurance company I contacted the state and filed a complaint. Insurance companies have 30 days to respond to the complaint with some kind of action. On the last day I contacted the state again, and the they told me that the insurance company had an estimate for repairs on my car for 3400.00... Funny thing was the camaro was in my garage. No one had looked at it except the body shop I hired to do an estimate on the repairs which came to just over 12,000.00 dollars. When I told the state that... They told me there was nothing they could do. Basically I wasted 30 days with them.
Knowing something was fishy I bought a tape recorder with a telephone attachement to record telephone conversations, and I contacted the insurance company again (by the way... the insurance company never once called me or returned one of my phone calls).
When I finally got hold of them they said that they did in fact find a body shop that would fix my car for 3,400.00, and I asked them how they could make that kind of estimate without seeing my car. The insurance company acted puzzled and didnt have an answer so they gave me the name of the body shop.
I called the body shop, and got the owner on the phone (still recording) and he said that he hadnt seen my car, but the insurance company called him, and said "they were having a problem closing a case, and asked if they wrote up an estimate would he sign off on it", and he aggreed to do so. I told him "thank you for your time", hung up the phone, and contacted a lawyer.
After 2 years we ended up in court with a jury. The insurance company lied on the stand everychance they got, and it didnt really look to good until the insurance company said that I had agreed to take my car to this body shop that would fix my car for the 3,400.00. Which I never said, and just so happen to have a tape to prove it. We played the tape, and you could tell the jury knew right away that the insurance company was lying about everything else after that. Then we got the body shop owner on the stand, and played his conversation. All he had to do was agree that, that was his voice on the tape.
We won the case, but I lost a great car. I couldnt touch that car the whole time. The metal just kept rusting, and it became an eye sore for me. I sold the car shortly after, and it took me about 6 months to even start looking at classic cars again.
I really didnt mean for this to drag on, but I think its important for everyone that is in our hobby to hear the story.
My advice... Get full coverage, and with a reputable insurance company. Not with just any insurance company that says the will insure your car.
Get your car appraised once a year. Around here it cost about 60 bucks.
Keep all your receipts. It didnt help much in my case, but Im sure it could in others.
If things sound fishy find out the laws about recording conversations in your state. In Kansas only one party on the phone line has to know about the recording, but in some states, both parties have to know.
If you think you may have to higher a lawyer. Take the best possible notes you can about the events leading up to you actually hiring a lawyer. My attorney told me that they dont take most cases, but since my notes where so well taken that they wouldnt have to do half as much work as they normally would.
If you do half to hire a lawyer. Higher the best. In almost every state you can sue for damages, and lawyer fees.
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation that I was in, and you need some advice. Please email me. I may not know the answers, but I will try.
Im opposite of psychic... Most the time I dont know what I'm thinking