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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33779
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am having trouble with a car repair shop that did a horrible

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I am having trouble with a car repair shop that did a horrible job on my car. My insurance has approved another repair shop, and the old one will have to pay the job. In other words, it is still being worked on. It will be three months soon, since the accident. Is there any limit that I can stop all this and find a different solution?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 12 months ago.
Hello,

I'm not clear on the question. What is the "different solution" that you would prefer?

Thanks in advance.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.


I don't know. It seems like there should be a way to stop all of this and get the car in working order. Or to force the insurance company to total it after a certain amount of time. Something. Force the first car repair place to reimburse for poor workmanship. Something. I'm so tired of this problem that just goes on forever that I'm looking for a way to make it end.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 12 months ago.
Okay, thanks.

If the insurer chose both repair shops, then you could claim that the insurer is acting in bad faith and deliberately selecting inferior mechanics to save money, and that this is causing you damage by delay. That would give you a lawsuit against the insurer, which would include both damages for the vehicle repair, but also punitive damages to discourage future bad acts by the insurer.

If you chose the repair shops, then this is all just bad luck. The odds favor that the second repair ship will be able to fix the vehicle -- but, you have a claim against the first shop, not only for the poor workmanship, but also for the costs incident to the delay (e.g., car rental, lost wages, if you had to skip work to deal with the vehicle, depreciated value of the vehicle during the time that it was under repair, etc.). This is true, even if your insurer covers all of these expenses.

So, while you can't make the insurer total the car, you may have circumstances that will permit you to either hold the repair shop or the insurer liable for your inconvenience -- and if the insurer selected both shops, and they both cannot repair the car, then your damages would probably be sufficient to get the insurer to total the vehicle, because that would be cheaper than defending a lawsuit from you.

Those are the options. I realize that they are not exactly what you would prefer, but I can only suggest things that can actually be accomplished.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.


The insurance company offers three companies that the insurance company will guarantee the work done on the car for the life of the car - or whatever terms they use. But they told me that I can pick one of those or any other company of my choosing, without their added insurance. I chose one of their three for the additional coverage. When Ten painful weeks later, I told them I had enough dealing with the first repair shop, they told me I could pick any shop, and they would cover the charge. Actually they make the first shop pay most or all of it depending on negotiations.


 


The first company told me the work would be done in two weeks from when they received it. This turned into a month. Twice after that they tried unsuccessfully to redo the repairs to their repairs. The repair shop person I had to deal with lied to me continually. In the end, someone at the shop purposefully damaged a few items. I have no proof; i.e., no video tape. However the insurance adjuster and I both saw parts on one day, which were fine. Two weeks later with only the repair shop having possession of the car, the parts were damaged. Not incidental or accidental damage. The owner of the repair shop said he would assume no liability but out of the kindness of his heart he would pay repairs for them.


 


When the owner of this large chain repair shop reviewed the story and the car today, he was allowed to view but not repair. Other than viewing, they will not be allowed access to the car. But it is scary when they purposely damage a car. Who knows what else they did that is not obvious.


 


I realize your answer probably won't really change, but just want to hear what you have to say from a legal standpoint.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 12 months ago.
Interesting...

First, this is your car, and you can remove it from the premises and allow anyone else to do whatever you consent to. Don't let anyone push you around. Refusing you access to your own vehicle is "conversion," which is grounds to sue for the entire value of the car.

The extended repair time, and allegedly poor workmanship gives you grounds for the damages I previously described. You may not be able to get any satisfaction right now, but once the vehicle is repaired and paid for, you may want to turn around and sue the first repair shop for the value of the lost availability of the vehicle.

Cars depreciate over time. And, if you're making payments, it's costing you money to not have the car. So you have damages, and it doesn't matter that the insurer repairs the vehicle.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33779
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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