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Mechanical Issues after tree damaged vehicle

by Lisa

Our F450 incurred storm damage - a large tree got blown down and landed on the front of the truck. Crushed the hood and windshield, various other body damage.

The tree hit so hard that there is a tire imprint on the underside of the tire well! Since the day of the damage we noticed some mechanical issues with the truck that didn't exist before the tree impact.

We had just received an inspection 8 days prior to tree impact. Insurance company is giving us a hard time with proving that the mechanical damage is a direct result from the impact. Took truck to a authorized Ford garage, and because the mechanic couldn’t say 100 percent for a fact that the damage occurred with the impact the insurance company isn't covering the mechanical damage. All I know is that the truck didn't have these problems before the tree impact and now it does.

What proof do they need?

Answer to Mechanical Issues after tree damaged vehicle

Hello Lisa,

What a mess!

I am sorry to hear about this. You are applying the wrong standard. It is not whether a mechanic can know with 100% certainty that this happened because of the tree, but whether the mechanic, and any reasonable person, could conclude that the damage more likely than not caused the mechanical issues.

As a matter of fact, all you have to show is that damage occurred (which you have done with the tree claim), it is not the duty of the insurance company to investigate and to determine that the damage was more likely than not, caused by something else other than the tree. It is their duty and burden to show that.

In addition, remember that the insurance company has a duty to you, the insured. The adjuster must take your side, so if the evidence is the same (50% - 50%) or they cannot conclude that it was something else, then the adjuster must take your side.

If you don’t have a satisfactory answer, contact your state department of insurance (or office of the insurance commissioner) and file a complaint.

Good luck,
Auto Accident Claims

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