Car Accidents: Property loss
We encourage you to read more about an accident claim’s property loss portion.
This blog will provide insight into how property loss works in a Car Accidents Property Loss when the vehicle is not a total loss!
Should I send my car to the mechanic that the insurance company recommends?
In the strongest possible wording – BEWARE! The innocent party often does not know what to do or where to send their car for repairs. The negligent person’s insurance company may recommend an auto body shop where you can take your vehicle to get repaired. Sounds like a good neighbor, right? Unfortunately, as Houston Injury Lawyers has seen over the years, many insurance companies have “preferred” auto body shops or “Direct Referral Programs.” The dirty secret is that these auto body shops have agreements in place with the insurance companies to make repairs in a certain way to keep the costs low to the insurance company. More jobs, less profit per job for the mechanic.
The auto body shop glued it back on with a JB weld-type substance. A few good rain storms later and the mirror fell off their car as they were driving on the highway and caused damage to a vehicle following close behind it. The client had taken their vehicle to the insurance company’s recommended mechanic for repairs following an accident. Repairs are often rushed (more on why below), and using inferior, not original equipment manufacturer parts can cause a dangerous situation.
Can I use my own mechanic for repairs?
YES! And not only yes, you absolutely should take your vehicle to a mechanic of your choice that you trust, to have the repairs made. And it is okay to ask your mechanic if they are a “preferred” vendor of the insurance company that is paying for the repairs.
They don’t have to tell you, but be wary of any mechanic that won’t answer your question with a simple “No.” Insurance Companies want t make it seem like you have no choice when it comes to where to take your vehicle to be repaired following an accident. But you absolutely have the right to choose your own mechanic in Texas.
However, the insurance company only has to pay the “reasonable” cost of the repairs. So it would be beneficial to get several quotes for the repairs before choosing a shop for the repairs.
Loss Of Use
In Texas, you can also request additional damages from the insurance company for loss of use of the vehicle as a result of the accident. However, it sometimes can take the form of bus money, uber, lyft, etc. for those who may not be able to rent a vehicle or for other extenuating circumstances. Sometimes, in commercial vehicles, the company must lease another vehicle temporarily – say a delivery truck for example. This would be a loss of use damage.
Also in Texas, you should recover from another insurance company, in addition to the cost of the repairs, and diminished value. There is no set way to prove this loss in value and it will be a negotiation. One way of obtaining evidence of the loss in value is to run a Kelly Blue Book value on the vehicle as if it was not in an accident, then run again with the accident reported. This will give some indication as to the loss in value – but it is “some” evidence – not “conclusive evidence.” It will be a negotiation.
We assist our clients with the property portion of their claim in addition to the injuries. And don’t delay. Get a free consultation today! We don’t recover until you recover.
* At Houston Injury Lawyers, our clients are our family. As personal injury attorneys in Houston, Texas, we work to help our clients and their families recover from their injuries. Tip the balance of justice into your favor by hiring us. For a free consultation, contact us at (713) 366-HURT or visit us at www.houinjurylawyers.com.