I live in Fall River Massachusetts and got into a car accident in Somerset, which was not my fault. The other guys insurance company agreed to pay for the damages and gave me a list of body shops to repair the car. I decided to take it to a body shop of my choice, and the body shop gave me an estimate, but the bill came out to $1000 more than the initial estimate was. The body shop has submitted additional paperwork for the additional funds, but the other guys insurance company is still refusing to pay. My body shop told me I can either file with my insurance company, but I’ll have to pay the deductible or I can take the money from the other insurance company and pay the additional $1000 myself. I don’t think it is right that the body shop finish the work before they got the money from the insurance company. What should I do in this situation?
This is actually a very good example of why you should always go to an experienced personal injury, automobile accident attorney, because the insurance companies will always try to do something like this to you. The simple fact is you chose the body shop, and did not go to one on the insurance companies list. Furthermore just as you stated, the body shop you chose gave you an estimate, not a bill for the final damages to be repaired. Many times body shops will provide estimates, as you can almost never tell exactly how much it’s going to cost to do such repairs. You need to do certain level of work on an automobile and remove a number of parts, before you can even find all the damage. This is why it’s critical to have an attorney representing you to the insurance company, and not try to going it alone. You do not want to deal with the body shop, as they do not have to give you back your car until they are paid. You may attempt to take the body shop to court, but you will not have your car until the case is completed and if the work performed by the body shop is required to finish the job, then that is your problem and not the body shops. Also you can get the money from the your insurance company, but then you’ll be paying the deductible also, which is usually the case when the other driver is under-insured. In this particular situation, since the case is not close I would suggest you seek the advice of an attorney to remedy the situation. It is not the body shop’s responsibility to fight with insurance companies and normal people have absolutely no leverage to argue with insurance companies, this is the reason you get an attorney. Many people feel that the cost of an attorney is not worth it, but the simple fact is the vast majority of people obtain more money in the long run with the help of an attorney, even after the attorney gets their share of the money.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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