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Thegonnec
Thegonnec, Judge
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 1378
Experience:  Judge with Paris Industrial Tribunal (Conseil de Prud'hommes de Paris)
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We had a car accident with our car in France. The car is french

Customer Question

We had a car accident with our car in France. The car is french registered. It is in a garage and the insurance assessor has been there and decided that it's value before the damage does not justify the expense of repairing it. They claim that the car is dangerous to drive as it is. We want a second opinion and ask for another offer to repair the car and we think we have a right to ask for that. We want to pick up the car on a truck and take it to another garage down the road. The insurance will not let us pick up the car. They refuse to hand it over to us. Is that legal in France. What happened to the protection of private property?
Please advice
Best regards
Lisbeth ROSE
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: European Law
Expert:  Thegonnec replied 1 year ago.

Yes. If an expert has decided that the car is too damaged to be repaired, the expert will have informed the registration agency and police authorities and the car cannot be removed unless it is to go to a scrapyard. It is deemed officially un-roadworthy.

 

If you contest this diagnosis you can choose another officially approved assessor (expert automobile) to make another assessment on site. If he deems the car repairable, and if the insurance refuses to have it repaired (they may do so if the amount of the repairs is above car assessed value or if they believe the car would never be entirely safe again and they do not want any liability), they will indemnify you at the base rate set in your contract and let you handle the repairs. Yet the car will not be allowed on the road again before an expert has vetted all repairs and deemed it perfectly roadworthy.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am afraid there is a misunderstanding. The assessor did not say that the car was too damaged to repair, but that the cost of the repair is higher than the value he put on the car.

Expert:  Thegonnec replied 1 year ago.
Ok. But if the car is badly damaged, the assessor at the same time informs police and registration authority that the car is unroadworthy. Which means that if you want another assessment either of the cost of the repairs or of the car value it will have to be done at the place where the car is kept. If you have it moved you lose all claim you can still make on the insurance.

If you have already accepted the insurance settlement, the wreckage of the car now belongs to the insurer and you cannot do anything with it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So you are telling me that we can not have it removed on a transport car that normally remove cars involved in accidents? And we are forced to have the car repaired at this garage? Even if we think their offer is too high?

Expert:  Thegonnec replied 1 year ago.
I am just telling you that if you want to have the car repaired, you will have to forego any payment from the insurance. If you do forego this payment formally, you will keep your car wreck and be able to take anywhere to have it repaired (yet it will be allowed on the roads again only after a certified expert will have vetted it as safe). If you accept the insurance payment, the wreck becomes theirs and you cannot do anything with it.

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Thegonnec
Thegonnec
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Judge with Paris Industrial Tribunal (Conseil de Prud'hommes de Paris)