Stuck with a car rental bill I cannot afford to pay

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:02 am   Post subject: Stuck with a car rental bill I cannot afford to pay  

I was in an accident late last September where the other driver made a left turn and hit me on the driver door/left front fender area; no injury involved (thank goodness). My car was inoperable and was towed to an auto collision shop. After about a week, the other driver's insurance company accepted liability and presented an estimate to the shop. After about another week or so, the shop informed me that there are "supplemental" damages that need to be seen and approved by the insurance company before they can start the repairs. After another week or so, I was told that the adjuster still haven't sent somebody to inspect and present an estimate for the "supplemental" damages. From here on, I was preoccupied with trying to work for a living. Around mid-November (about a month and a half after the accident), I dropped by the shop to check the status of the repair of my car. The shop then told me that the insurance company still hasn't taken care of the "supplemental" and that repairs cannot be initiated until it is approved. I then brought this to the attention of the adjuster who in turn blamed the repair shop for not calling in the "supplemental" or something like that. They are blaming each other for the delay but in the meantime, my car is still sitting on the lot. Anyway, they finally got the ball rolling and parts were ordered albeit further delayed due to the Thanksgiving holiday week/weekend. My car should be done by next week (hopefully by Dec. 14). The total estimate of the damage is around $8000.



Since the day of the accident, I've been on a rented car so I can continue to go to work and go about my daily business. If you're from Southern California, you would understand the importance of a car to survive here. I associated the insurance claim number with the car rental contract . After, leaving several voice mails to the adjuster (no live person ever answers the phone) about my car rental bill for weeks, I finally got a call from an assistant who told me that they're mailing me a check for $600 for the car rental. I told her that that amount is not enough because at that point in time, the bill was already around $2000 (i.e. $30/day rental plus $10/day loss damage waiver for a total of $40/day and possibly plus applicable sales taxes and approaching the second month of the rental). She then suggested that I should mail back the check which I did. Since then, they haven't returned my calls/voice mails. Meanwhile, the car rental company has been hounding me regarding the bill because according to them, the insurance company is not accepting the claim (or to that effect) and therefore cannot set up/establish "direct billing" with them.



Just in case you're wondering why I have to haggle with the other driver's insurance company directly instead of through my insurance company and why I had to opt for the $10/day loss damage waiver for the rental car -- I only have third party liability insurance when the accident happened. I know, I know...but I had to cut down on expenses and had to drop the comprehensive coverage after I had paid off my car last year. I had to take that chance because I know I'm a safe driver and have never been in any collision wherein I was at fault. It's either that or drop my health insurance coverage. I'm one of the many who have been adversely affected by this economy with maxed out credit cards (mostly closed accounts and just paying them off) and currently only having a low-paying job and working long hours to pay them off and survive at the same time. To add insult to injury, this guy broadsides me as if my life is not complicated enough. I couldn't even begin to think where I'd get the money to pay for the car rental bill. I'm also concerned because though I'm heavily in debt, my credit rating is very good (no defaults). This is really stressing me out and is affecting me health wise.



So, what do you think is going on here? What are my options or recourse as far as getting the insurance company or the insured/policy holder to pay for the car rental bill incurred for the loss of use of my car as a direct result of the collision? Should I wait until the repair of my car is done and conclude my car rental and present the final bill to them? The bill would probably be around $3000 by the time my car is out of the shop (about 2-1/2 months rental at $40/day plus applicable sales taxes). What then if they still don't capitulate? I'm aware I can file a complaint against the other driver/policy holder but can I also name his insurance company as a defendant within the same complaint for handling my claim in "bad faith"? If so, would the Small Claims Court be the proper venue for this type of case? It seems to be my only option since I obviously cannot afford a lawyer. I'm also thinking of filing a complaint with CDI (California Department of Insurance) but I'm not sure about the extent of their scope.



I apologize for the long-winded story, folks. I just want to make sure that I present all the details.



Thanks you for your patience and any help/advice is greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:08 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
From here on, I was preoccupied with trying to work for a living. Around mid-November (about a month and a half after the accident), I dropped by the shop to check the status of the repair of my car.




That's your first mistake. It's your car, why ignore the situation? No one is that busy. Unless you are preoccupied with partying when you are not working.



Quote:
I then brought this to the attention of the adjuster who in turn blamed the repair shop for not calling in the "supplemental" or something like that. They are blaming each other for the delay but in the meantime, my car is still sitting on the lot.




But most of the blame is squarely on your shoulders for not paying attention to what was happening. You have only one car to worry about, the repair shop has dozens, the adjuster perhaps a hundred or more. Who has the easiest "job" here?



Quote:
If you're from Southern California, you would understand the importance of a car to survive here.




Ah, the exuberance of youth! Need to make sure I have a "ride", fine clothes, a wallet full of maxed-out credit cards, and the appearance of money when I go to the parties on the weekend. Won't be able to attract a member of the opposite (or same) sex without them.



I AM in Southern California--30 miles from Downtown LA. I understand the CONVENIENCE (note: not "importance") having one's own car represents. But having one's own car is not a requirement of survival in SoCal -- food and shelter are far more important. There are plenty of transportation alternatives, IF you are willing to use them. What you are willing to do and what you want to do are not necessarily the same. I understand that your date may not be thrilled about going to dinner, a movie, a party, or a concert by way of the bus (or riding on a skateboard or bicycle). But you don't have the money for any of those extracurricular things, do you?



Quote:
I finally got a call from an assistant who told me that they're mailing me a check for $600 for the car rental. I told her that that amount is not enough




Not your decision to make. This is something you should have established at the outset of your claim. If your vehicle is an SUV, for example, and you use it to haul work-related materials, in which case an economy car, which is all the insurance company is really obligated to supply, may not be appropriate, you have to get an agreement to cover the greater cost in advance. This would also have been a prod for the adjuster to get your claim resolved quickly in order to limit the company's loss.



Quote:
She then suggested that I should mail back the check which I did. Since then, they haven't returned my calls/voice mails.




OK, so this you can make a complaint to the CA Dept of Insurance about. www.insurance.ca.gov



Quote:
I only have third party liability insurance when the accident happened. I know, I know...but I had to cut down on expenses and had to drop the comprehensive coverage after I had paid off my car last year




No surprise. But a few less parties and personal extravagances probably would have allowed you to keep the collision portion of your coverage. You're only talking about a few hundred dollars per year. Neither collision nor comprehensive would have paid for your car rental following the collision. Rental coverage adds about $50 per year to your premium.



Quote:
this guy broadsides me as if my life is not complicated enough




Gee, what was he thinking? Probably something like: "Well, what poor schmuck's life is so complicated that I can add to that by demolishing his car and mine at the same time?" in your mind, right? Ever wonder how complicated his life was prior to the collision (and has been ever since)? Good thing he didn't have it in for you, or we might be reading about your life insurance beneficiary who wanted to know how to get paid after discovering that you also dropped your life insurance, too. Oh, you don't have life insurance? Never mind.



Do you hear the violins wailing in the background? Perhaps this will make you feel better:



RoseHugRose



Quote:
I couldn't even begin to think where I'd get the money to pay for the car rental bill. I'm also concerned because though I'm heavily in debt, my credit rating is very good (no defaults). This is really stressing me out and is affecting me health wise.




Heavily in debt and no defaults does not = a "very good" credit rating.



However, you may actually be a modern-day living example of a study done by a group at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1990s -- the one that showed how many people in America were not poor because they were sick, as conventional theories held, but that they were sick because they were poor. Here's to better health in the future . . . when you get your finances under control -- unlike the state of California or the federal government, you cannot continue to live on borrowed money forever.



Quote:
So, what do you think is going on here?




You are the victim of circumstances mostly of your own making. You can save $35 per day by purchasing a Day Pass on the LA Metro bus/light rail system and figure out how to get around SoCal like hundreds of thousands of other persons. You can save even more by purchasing a monthly pass.



Quote:
but can I also name his insurance company as a defendant within the same complaint for handling my claim in "bad faith"?




NO.



Quote:
If so, would the Small Claims Court be the proper venue for this type of case?




NO. If you want to sue an insurance company for "bad faith" you must do that in Civil Court, not Small Claims Court. You can sue the at-fault party for your damages in Small Claims Court, but the maximum amount of damages that can be awarded there is $7500.



Quote:
I'm also thinking of filing a complaint with CDI




Your only issues covered by the Insurance Code are the lack of communication and delaying the prompt resolution of your claim. No help is available for the cost of your rental car. For that, you can try suing the at-fault party.



Quote:
I apologize for the long-winded story, folks. I just want to make sure that I present all the details.




No apologies necessary. As one who frequently posts lengthy responses, I won't apologize for failing to offer any sympathy or for giving you truthful answers. This is not a pity-party forum.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:42 am   Post subject:   

Quote:


After about a week, the other driver's insurance company accepted liability and presented an estimate to the shop. After about another week or so, the shop informed me that there are "supplemental" damages that need to be seen and approved by the insurance company before they can start the repairs. After another week or so, I was told that the adjuster still haven't sent somebody to inspect and present an estimate for the "supplemental" damages




Here is the problem, you began repairs based on reliance of the adjuster that wanted to control the costs and scope of your repair by stating on their very document that the costs and addtional reparis must be approved by them. The shop has a certain amount of responsibility for your predicament as they chose to negotiate your repairs on your behalf with the insurer and not you.



The insurer is trying to control the cost of repair by stating on the estimate that all additional damage payment must be approved by them. To me this language places the blame squarely on the insurer. You can not authorize repairs for which you do not have the funds to pay even though you own the property. It's a precarious situation but I think is in your favor. With control of the claim and the costs the insurer, in my opinion, has placed themselves in liability for all your expenses and losses as a result of the negligence of their insured.



I would be willing to bet that there is an attorney in California that would be willing to take your case on contingency on just the loss of value claim that is owed to you. If it were me I would simply send a certified letter to their insured and your adjuster advising them that you will be seeking these additional damages, but would consider dropping the additional claim for loss of value (Diminishment of Value) in exchange for a prompt resolution of your rental expenses upon full completion and inspection of the repairs to your property.



You can send me a private message and I would be happy to assist your in locating such an attorney. Your loss of value claim alone should be around 4000 minimum with 8000 in damages. If they are spending 8000 to repair your vehicle, it must be worth at least 12,000 and will certainly be worth much less even after complete and satisfactory repairs.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:26 am   Post subject:   

Only the most desperate attorneys in California are going to take a case worth not more than $1600 in fees. I'm not sure I would want one of them to represent me.



A "small" diminished value claim such as this could be negotiation on one's own. But our OP didn't have the time to check on the status of his vehicle's repairs for 6 weeks, I doubt he'll have the time to handle that. So maybe he'd be willing to trade $1600 to one of those hungry lawyers for a letter or two.



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:19 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Only the most desperate attorneys in California are going to take a case worth not more than $1600 in fees. I'm not sure I would want one of them to represent me.



A "small" diminished value claim such as this could be negotiation on one's own. But our OP didn't have the time to check on the status of his vehicle's repairs for 6 weeks, I doubt he'll have the time to handle that. So maybe he'd be willing to trade $1600 to one of those hungry lawyers for a letter or two.




I would not think the attorney need to be desperate, only compassionate. There are actually some attornies that will handle property only settlements. Again, I maintain, if the insurer wants to control the claim with adhesion and compliance language on the estimate and they are dealing directly with the shop, both are complicit. Sounds like the shop was working for the insurer and relying on them as well as was the vehicle owner.



The language on most estimate on which payment is made, says the shop must supplement and get approval for any additional repairs. Ultimately a vehicle owner is responsible for authorizing all repairs and is responsible for payment, but once the shop begins negotiating with the insurer on behalf of the owner of the vehicle, reliance is on them and the paying insurer.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:16 am   Post subject: Do you friggin know me?  

@MaxHerr



Just who the fak do you think you are to assume about my lifestyle? Do you faking know me or do I know you? Why the unnecessary trolling? If you have any advice or comment, why not just say so without the self-righteous lecture. You're not my faking mother!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:43 am   Post subject:   

@MikeoftheOzarks



Thank you very much for your articulate thoughts about my situation. I really appreciate.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:26 am   Post subject:   

MaxHerr wrote:
Only the most desperate attorneys in California are going to take a case worth not more than $1600 in fees. I'm not sure I would want one of them to represent me.



A "small" diminished value claim such as this could be negotiation on one's own. But our OP didn't have the time to check on the status of his vehicle's repairs for 6 weeks, I doubt he'll have the time to handle that. So maybe he'd be willing to trade $1600 to one of those hungry lawyers for a letter or two.




Why are you so angry at everybody? Did your "trophy-wife-of-an-insurance-agent" recently run off with a more deserving, younger and well-endowed man?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:54 pm   Post subject:   

OK FIRST! Let me say I hat how condescending most people are on this site! It's horrible.



I understand that insurance companies make it almost impossible to understand all of the things you have to take care of in order to collect on a claim. And they make it complicated so they do not have to pay you. This has actually happened to me. Threaten to sue your company. They are not providing you with a service you already paid them to do. Therefore, they are stealing from you. I did it and it lit a candle under them. They work for you. If you are not at fault they should be going after the other company. But most importantly, STAY ON TOP OF THEM! If you are and they are avoiding you completely- get a lawyer. Forget the meanial damages to your car. SUE THE AGENCY! You'll get the money to fix your car, pay your rental fees, and then some! They can't just ignore you and get away with that! It IS illegal. They have a responsibility. Make sure its a lawyer that doesn't get paid until you do because they work harder for you!



The rest of this though is to the group of people berrating you! It's obscene!



Someone said:

"That's your first mistake. It's your car, why ignore the situation? No one is that busy. Unless you are preoccupied with partying when you are not working."



Insurance companies make shit confusing on purpose. You were being careless. even though you are working you MUST stay on top of it. But the comment about partying is uncalled for. Maybe this is just a struggling person trying to earn a living and doesn't have anyone to help her. I've been working almost 7 days a week every week for 8 years because I have no one helping me. I don't have time to party- nor is that what i'm interested. Maybe this person is the same? Who is anyone to judge...?



next quote was:

"Ah, the exuberance of youth! Need to make sure I have a "ride", fine clothes, a wallet full of maxed-out credit cards, and the appearance of money when I go to the parties on the weekend. Won't be able to attract a member of the opposite (or same) sex without them. "



THIS PERSON WANTS ADVICE! Not some know-it-all, condescending, psuedo parent. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? STOP TALKING TO HER LIKE THAT! I know southern cali. Maybe it's too far to walk. And public transportation is dangerous for a girl! If this was someone you love would you want them around crack-heads or potential predators? HECK NO! So what is the deal? AND WHY DO YOU KEEP ASSUMING THAT SHE IS A KID?



NEXT...:

"No surprise. But a few less parties and personal extravagances probably would have allowed you to keep the collision portion of your coverage. You're only talking about a few hundred dollars per year."



Dude, Seriously? WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? My dad died when I was 8. My mom was nuts. I had to raise myself and my little sister. Since I was 15 I've been on my own. I don't have money for anything- let alone partying. Do you personally know who this girl is and you hate her or have some kind of vendetta? A lot of people talk to me like I'm a little kid. I'm 25 now. Let me tell you something, I'm more of an adult that most. I put myself through college while raising my sister and working full time, and if I was in her shoes- I don't have any idea what I would do. You should be ashamed as a human being for how you are talking to someone who has already admitted that they don't have all the answers and need help. Where is your humility? Where is your humanity?



"Gee, what was he thinking? Probably something like: "Well, what poor schmuck's life is so complicated that I can add to that by demolishing his car and mine at the same time?" in your mind, right? Ever wonder how complicated his life was prior to the collision (and has been ever since)? Good thing he didn't have it in for you, or we might be reading about your life insurance beneficiary who wanted to know how to get paid after discovering that you also dropped your life insurance, too. Oh, you don't have life insurance? Never mind.



Do you hear the violins wailing in the background? Perhaps this will make you feel better: "



DUDE? WERE YOU THE GUY THAT HIT HER? WAS IT SOMEONE YOU KNOW? Or is this just your outlet to talk horribly to someone because you have no control of your own life- or hate it- and being able to treat people as ugly as you must feel gives you some sense of false superiority?

AND BTW- Most people can't afford, nor do they have life insurance. The old and the rich get it. The rest of us can't afford to die- we owe too many people! HA HA!



But the insurance info was good.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:00 am   Post subject:   

Only the most desperate attorneys in California are going to take a case worth not more than $1600 in fees. I'm not sure I would want one of them to represent me.



A "small" diminished value claim such as this could be negotiation on one's own. But our OP didn't have the time to check on the status of his vehicle's repairs for 6 weeks, I doubt he'll have the time to handle that. So maybe he'd be willing to trade $1600 to one of those hungry lawyers for a letter or two.





Really man? now i'm starting to think your just a snob. This person is already hurting. 1600 is a substantial amount... PAST THE LIMIT IN SOME STATES FOR SMALL CLAIMS! Not cali, but some states.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:43 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
1600 is a substantial amount... PAST THE LIMIT IN SOME STATES FOR SMALL CLAIMS!




Name one state in the US that has a small claims limit as low as you suggest. I dare you! Just ONE.



As for all the other whining that both you and "Fil" are doing here, sorry, but "Fil's" the one who has screwed up the whole claim by "being too busy" to pay attention to it. Poor thing, suffering the way he is with his maxed out credit cards, and no more money to pay for a rental car.



If "Fil" had attended to the claim as the vast majority of people do, his car would have been repaired a long time ago and neither you nor he would be here asking for sympathy.



Quote:
Why are you so angry at everybody?




The only one who's angry here is you and Fil, sweetie! He wanted sympathy and didn't get any from me.



Quote:
Forget the meanial damages to your car. SUE THE AGENCY!




That plus $5 will get you something with too many calories at Starbucks. The agent and/or agency has no involvement in this. They caused no damages to "Fil" or his vehicle. And, since "Fil" never mentions ever taking the time (which he doesn't have) to call his agent for advice, I assume (1) he may not have an agent because he bought his insurance over the Internet, or (2) he simply never turned to his agent as a resource person, if he has one.



So get a grip, yourself, and don't give such bad advice as that.



Quote:
1600 is a substantial amount.




No doubt. So why give it to the attorney? You fail to understand what's being discussed. The $1600 is going to come FROM the diminished value of "Fil's" vehicle -- leaving him with just $2400, using Mike of the Ozarks estimate and assuming he gets an award for the whole $4000. He could get the same $4000 for himself without the aid of an attorney. Just requires a little bit of effort. But that also requires taking the time to attend to it. "Fil" has no time because he's so busy trying to make money pay off his credit cards.



Very few California attorneys are going to take a case like this for something as minimal TO THEM (not the client) as $1600 (I'm sure lawyerly things are also very different in other parts of the country). It's going to take a minimum of 4-6 hours of "billable time" (aka: justification for the fee) to properly prepare a demand letter -- something other than a boilerplate document (aka: fill in the blanks) that some schlock attorneys use -- and prepare a coherent argument. If the matter even begins to look like it's heading for trial, then an entire pleading has to be written with citations (aka: points and authorities) relevant to the case before filing the suit. That's another 4-6 hours of billable time, plus filing fees (a minimum of $350 in California). So now we're up to 12 hours at $200 per hour = $2400. Return for winning the case if one is filed but settled without a trial, NEGATIVE $1150. If the case goes to trial, where courtroom time is billed at $300 per hour, it's an even bigger losing proposition for the attorney even if he wins the case.



So who's willing to take that case? "Only the most desperate attorneys in California."



Both of you, Fil and DEVONMIG, are ranting and raving about how insurance companies are out to abuse everyone. You talk about how they "make it impossible to understand all the things" necessary to get a claim paid, and how they "make s*** confusing". If any of that were true, they would not be in business.



Mind you, I am no big fan of insurance companies, and I'm just as likely to take them to task when they deserve it, and I am "Fil" here. But the vast majority of claims are handled efficiently, promptly, and to the satisfaction of the parties involved. In many instances, such as "Fil's" where something has not gone right, the insured is at least as much to blame for his/her situation. And that's exactly the case here.



Others have received advice from me about how to handle their claims and come away with exactly what I showed them they could reasonably expect, or more. When I believe someone is entitled to something from an insurance company, especially if it's more than what is being offered, I go out of my way to help. I never ask anyone for money for my assistance, and I don't accept any if they offer it (I can't, legally, in either instance). But when a person has "no case", I tell them so, because it is intended to save them a lot of aggravation, time, and expense.



Quote:
Threaten to sue your company. They are not providing you with a service you already paid them to do.




Apparently, DEVONMIG, you don't read things too well, either. This has nothing to do with Fil's insurance company. He told everyone at the outset that HE DROPPED HIS COLLISION COVERAGE. He hasn't paid anyone a dime to cover his loss in this collision. The insurance company he's dealing with is the one that covered the driver who caused the collision. Only that at-fault party has paid any money to that company. You, sir, need to learn how insurance works before you start spouting off as you do.



And based on Fil's own remarks, I must have touched a nerve close to the truth because he doesn't address any of my points. He just tries to equate me with his mother (who probably tried to give him advice about other things that he ignored, too). Just like the politician who says, "Nothing could be further from the truth," and later has to eat crow because the truth was revealed.



Fil asked, "So, what do you think is going on here?" and I told him what I thought. He doesn't have to like it or believe it. But if he thinks there is some sort of conspiracy against him taking place, all he needs to do is complain to the CA Dept of Insurance. If there is a problem, they'll find it. But if he gets an attorney involved, they generally cannot help him, by law.



So he has the opportunity to NOT screw up that process . . . by not rushing out to sign a contract with some attorney just yet. The truth is, of all the complaints about claims investigated by Depts of Insurance across the country, only a relative handful of claims are found to be mishandled by the insurance companies. Most policyholders are getting what they pay for. And many of us are paying too much for it. But that's a different story.



That's not to say problems don't happen, because they do. And one health insurer in California is facing a potential multi-billion dollar fine for 100,000 violations of the California Insurance Code at a cost of up to $10,000 each.



But that's also the exception, not the rule.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:13 am   Post subject:   

And please notice what Mike of the Ozarks actually told Fil above:



Quote:
If it were me I would simply send a certified letter to their insured and your adjuster advising them that you will be seeking these additional damages, but would consider dropping the additional claim for loss of value (Diminishment of Value) in exchange for a prompt resolution of your rental expenses upon full completion and inspection of the repairs to your property




He's suggesting giving up the diminished value claim entirely -- forgoing the $4000 -- just to get the car repaired and the few hundred dollars of rental care expense paid.



I'm suggesting exactly the opposite. If you think you're entitled to it -- the diminished value and the rental car expense -- then demand it! And keep hounding them until you get it. You don't need an attorney to fight such a small battle. Just a little time and effort. You will probably get some or all of the diminished value, but you're unlikely to get most of the excess rental car expense.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:44 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
And please notice what Mike of the Ozarks actually told Fil above:



Quote:

If it were me I would simply send a certified letter to their insured and your adjuster advising them that you will be seeking these additional damages, but would consider dropping the additional claim for loss of value (Diminishment of Value) in exchange for a prompt resolution of your rental expenses upon full completion and inspection of the repairs to your property





He's suggesting giving up the diminished value claim entirely -- forgoing the $4000 -- just to get the car repaired and the few hundred dollars of rental care expense paid.




Sounds to me like he has more than a couple hundred dollars rental expense. More like 1400 after the 600 dollars offered. I recommend most people try small claims court, but most are intimidated by any appearance in court. And if an insurer wants to play hard ball, all they have to do is appeal the small claims court decision and force them into a higher court where they will have to hire an attorney. Missouri courts have a 3000 or 3500 dollar limit and you can have no attorney speak on your behalf but the at fault party will be represented by an attorney or adjuster as per policy contract and they will be able to advise their policy holder on how to answer.



Quote:
I'm suggesting exactly the opposite. If you think you're entitled to it -- the diminished value and the rental car expense -- then demand it! And keep hounding them until you get it. You don't need an attorney to fight such a small battle. Just a little time and effort. You will probably get some or all of the diminished value, but you're unlikely to get most of the excess rental car expense.




Quote:
I finally got a call from an assistant who told me that they're mailing me a check for $600 for the car rental. I told her that that amount is not enough because at that point in time, the bill was already around $2000 (i.e. $30/day rental plus $10/day loss damage waiver for a total of $40/day and possibly plus applicable sales taxes and approaching the second month of the rental).


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:40 pm   Post subject:   

My bad. Either way, $2000 or $4000, few attorneys in the bankrupt state of California are going to bite on this case. It ends up being a losing proposition for all parties involved because of the "small" amount of money involved.



The insurance company pays the claim, the at-fault party pays higher premiums, the OP's attorney gets 30%-40% of the settlement, and the OP ends up with only slightly more than he would have obtained without much effort other than a few determined phone calls. And he's still mad as he continues on his way.



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:09 pm   Post subject:   

The problem is that with most collision claims, the adjuster insists they negotiate the claim with the shop. People are told, if there are additional damages found, you need to have your bodyshop contact us for any supplemnents. People drop off their vehicles and most shops gladly attempt to handle the claim on behalf of the vehicle owner. Vehicle owners should stay on top of their claims, no doubt, but most are told, we'll call you when your car is ready. My customers are kept in the loop and all documentation goes to the insurer only after customer notification and approval.



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