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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 27191
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
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After an accident, based on my insurance companys warranty

Customer Question

After an accident, based on my insurance company's warranty policy, I took my car to a repair chain to have the repairs done. There were two claims, which totaled the approximate trade-in value of my car. I told the repair shop's person that I wanted to talk to the insurance company about totaling the car. He said they wouldn't, because it was to separate claims. I asked when service would begin and end. He said 3 or 4 days to start, and 2 weeks to finish. I left, and the insurance company said he was right. However, I could cash out and total the car myself. I contacted the repair shop person first thing the following morning. He said both jobs were completed to the point where I would either have to finish, or I'd lose all the money restoring the car back to the condition it was in when he received it. I found it unbelievable that he could do that much of $12,000 in claims in less than 24 hours. However, I had no choice, so I stayed the course. I met with the shop's owner yesterday. When I told him this story, he said that it was not true. My question, therefore, is since I made my decision based on a lie by his employee, do I have any legal rights?

They worked, reworked, and reworked... on my car for basically 10 weeks. All the rental cars run into a few thousand dollars. The stress from dealing with them continually of work that was not done correctly. In the end, someone there purposely scratched my car in several places. Now having to deal with a new repair shop. And on and on. All this could have and should have been avoided, if this employee hadn't lied to me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

JD 1992 :


Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.


JD 1992 :

You would have a cause of action based on fraud and you could sue for the right to put you back to where you would have been if they had not lied to you.

JD 1992 :

You can also sue for attorney's fees.

JD 1992 :

I'm sure you have additional questions so please feel free to ask them in this thread.

JD 1992 :

The website is showing you are offline so I will save and exit so I can assist others. If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask them in this thread. I will be online most of the day but it may take a little while for me to answer if I am assisting others.

Customer:

I have no proof, other than probably circumstantial. For example, my calls to the insurance company, possibly the insurance adjustor hearing the owner saying it was not true, my complaints to everyone, etc.

Customer:

What do you mean get back to where I was. The car has been repair - poorly. So does that mean they would remove parts, scratch paint again, etc. Obviously I'm overstating, but I'm not sure. There were an additional $2,000 in repairs that were not known at that date. Would that money go back to the insurance company? All the rental car monies, would they have to be paid by the repair shop and returned to the appropriate insurance company (some mine, some the other driver's).

JD 1992 :

Do you have a record of the call in later that day when you spoke to the employee?

Customer:

No. I didn't record it. I've changed cell phones recently, so all that information was lost.

JD 1992 :

They may still have it at the other company. However, your testimony is some evidence that it occurred.

Customer:

I don't know if the repair shop logs calls.

JD 1992 :

They may as well.

JD 1992 :

As far as what I mean by put you back into the same position, essentially that means you have the right to be placed into the same financial situation you would have been in had the employee not lied.

Customer:

Am I a reliable person? Would the fact that I'm a Vietnam era vet, had a Q-clearance for 25 years while working at a national labs, no legal problems, no arrests, etc, mean that I would be believed.

JD 1992 :

That would mean that you get your money back and likely they keep the vehicle. If there would have been some value to the vehicle if it was unrepaired, known as the salvage value, then you would get that as well. They could then sell the vehicle and recoup some of their costs.

Customer:

So, since the repair shop did repairs and used parts after the lie, does this mean that they would receive payment for them?

JD 1992 :

No, that doesn't mean you would automatically be believed over someone else.

JD 1992 :

They would likely receive the vehicle and then have to sell it. They would likely end up losing money, the question is how much.

Customer:

What makes someone reliable in a suit?

JD 1992 :

When the insurance person told you the employee was correct, was that on the telephone?

JD 1992 :

No one thing makes someone reliable. It is generally just the way they conduct themselves on the witness stand.

JD 1992 :

You could combine this type of action, also, with a breach of contract action for their failure to properly repair the vehicle.

Customer:

I'm not sure what you are saying. The shop owner told me his employee was incorrect in person when we were reviewing the repairs that the new shop would do. The insurance adjuster was right there.

Customer:

We're talking trade-in value. Probably with a few repairs - since it is a repair shop - if they sold it outright, they would probably make $3,000 or $4,000 more.

JD 1992 :

I misunderstood what all he lied about. Going back and rereading I understand now. However, the answer doesn't change because it was based on him lying about the work already being done.

Customer:

Thank you for all your information.

JD 1992 :

You're welcome.

Customer:

I've never really dealt with lawyers much. Would any lawyer handle this? Is there a certain type I should approach?

JD 1992 :

You are in a pretty strong position here since you have two causes of action against them. You probably want to go and talk to a lawyer that does civil litigation.

JD 1992 :

You can find one at www.lawyers.com.

Customer:

Thank you. Have a wonderful day. You certainly made mine. I really want this stuff to end, and this sounds like a way to do that.

JD 1992 :

You're very welcome and I wish you the same.

JD 1992 :

Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work. The website only gives credit to the expert if you give a Positive Rating.

Dwayne B., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 27191
Experience: Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
Dwayne B. and 3 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
None of this mattered. I found many lawyers that would agree that I was taken advantage of - called screwed most often, but none that would touch any part of this case. They said the case was not able to be won, since there was no evidence. Basically their word against mine. Unwinnable.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I disagree with them and you probably want to talk to a few others. They may not be willing to take the case on a % but they may be willing to take it on a retainer basis and since these are breach of contract type actions you could recover your attorney's fees as well.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I even contacted the some state law board that serves senior citizens to find the right lawyer, and they said there was no proof - no case. The lawyers I contacted were the type you suggested. Several only dealt with businesses - no individuals. But then I contacted probably half a dozen that passed me on to others. Even two people who fight for consumer protection wouldn't touch it.

The owner of the repair shop charged the insurance company to replace scratched trim, but now the scratches that occurred at his place, he is only willing to repair them. Similar scratches. One from sandblast damage from a tornado. The other sand paper.

Here's another great one. The repair shop didn't repair some items, and the repair shop owner pointed out one, then explained how he would have fixed it. My guess is the bill was too close to totaling the car, so if it wasn't obvious, they didn't worry about it.

The repair shop owner said his employee let us all down, in response to a statement I made. The difference is he made $14,000 while being let down. I lost money, time, etc. the only thing I gained was frustration.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I can certainly understand the frustration.

The case is certainly not as good as it could have been if you would have had witnesses, etc. but it not a bad case. I suspect you will make a good witness and the owner will have to explain away what his employee did. Ask around and see if there are any new lawyers in town. Someone trying to make a name and reputation may be interested.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will give it another try tomorrow. I have no idea how to find a new lawyer. I barely know how to find an old one.


 


Thank you for replying to my questions.


 


Have a nice night.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
To you as well.

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