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Complaint 2 of 13 in "Repair Issues"

Insurance Carrier: Allstate
State: Ohio

Consumer Complaint:

Rear-ended. Significant damage done to vehicle that is 6 mo old w/ 7000 miles. First told me they were totaling vehicle. Went to garage negotiated labor and parts and didn't total vehicle. Took them to court. Judge wouldn't hear case on vehicle would only hear case on med claim. Had to settle out of court. Med claim less than $5000. Insurance companies approved garage now refuses to fix vehicle. Vehicle taken to another garage. Estimate on parts and labor is higher. Adjuster told garage they would make up difference on parts and labor since their garage gave them a discount. Adjuster hasn't contacted garage or myself with new estimate. I've left numerous messages for him. I called the companies 800 number and they won't answer any questions.

They tell me to talk to the adjuster. The 800 number did tell me they weren't responsible for the difference in the price of the labor or the parts. It's a $3600 difference. That discount caused the vehicle not to be totaled.

Vehicle book value at accident time $19,000. Repair estimate over $13,000 after their discount. My vehicle has been at the new garage since Nov. & no repairs have been made.


Insurance Expert Answer:

Unfortunately you seem to have converted this from a personal injury and property damage case -- in which as the other guy is almost certainly going to be regarded as "at fault" an attorney MAY have been able to obtain a decent recovery for you and also get his insurer to have the car fixed properly -- into a mess that will take a lawyer to get you out of, but cost you some money rather than get you the money you normally would have received.

The insurance company of the driver whose car hit you is NOT your friend; it is your enemy and owes its duty to its driver. All it wants to do is hold down any possible recovery you receive, whether on the medical bill/ injury claim or the property damage claim.

You seem to already have been to court on the medical / injury claim and my sense is that part of your claim is over and done with. It's likely what lawyers call "res judicata." As we are not lawyers familiar with your state's laws and rules, all we can say is that courts very often are obliged to follow legal rules requiring parties to bring all matters to court at the same time so they all can be heard at once. That saves judicial resources and forecloses the same party from relitigating essentially the same facts over and over.

Depending on your state's law and what happened in the court proceeding, the court room door may not even be open to you on the property damage claim.

Our suggestion -- if you have collision coverage make sure YOUR insurance company knows about the accident and try to collect under your own policy. If you don't, we think it may require a lawyer to straighten out for you.