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Rights of A Second Opinion
I was involved in a accident in Georgia where my vehicle was damaged. The 3rd party adjuster hired by GEICO came to my home to look at my truck. They never let me know they were there and didn't stay long enough for me to put clothes and shoes on. They left within 10 minutes.
They assessed damages to the outside of the vehicle but I told them that since the accident I am leaking fluids, the transmission is now messed up (since the car was thrown in neutral during the accident) and the brakes don't seem to be working right.
I took my car to the Chevy dealer where i bought my truck and they told me that unless they do an internal evaluation you may have more serious damages internally and once you accept the settlement check they are not liable to fix anything further. When I told GEICO that they told me that they would only fix what the adjuster said required to be fixed.
They keep telling me to put the truck in the shop but I tell them what if the mechanic realizes more needs to be fixed and fixes it, then what?? They said you will have to pay for it. That is why I don't trust them. My question is do I have the right to get a second opinion from a third party adjuster, one who will go further so that my truck will be truly fixed??
You do have the right to a second opinion or even a third opinion. We all know that 10 minutes to assess damage is not enough time to really estimate internal damages. By ALL I mean judges and juries. You are clearly pointing out other issues with your car and Geico is looking in the other direction.
Remember, adjusters and bodyshops only give estimates. They are estimating or calculating what they think the damage is. 99% of the time the damage is greater than they first expected, no shop or mechanic will guarantee a price unless he does a complete tear down of the vehicle to make sure there are no pieces broken under the car.
Geico knows that they owe for all damage done to your car, Mechanical or body damage. They must pay for 100% of the repairs. You cannot take the car to the dealer because dealers are expensive and insurance companies only pay for reasonable and necessary expenses. They believe the dealer is too expensive for that and the law seems to back them up on that one.
When you get a second opinion, you must have it on writing. All damages related to the accident must be noted. You have the right to choose a body shop, but you can ask Geico to give you a letter or Guarantee. This document is an agreement that Geico will pay for your any repairs if the car was not repaired correctly the first time. Also, have a mechanic look at the breaks and the transmission before any repair start. Make the note the problems in writing.
Once things are on paper, now you are talking. It is evidence in a court of law, regardless of what the adjuster says. It is not what they say the pay, it is what the law entitles you to recover, and that is to put you back in the position you were (a good vehicle).
Argue that you will be making a diminish value claim if the insurance company does not comply with your request. If things to not go your way, visit http://www.gainsurance.org/ and file a complaint. An estimate is not a final bill. They must fix any/and all damage related to your accident (except that they do not have to pay dealer prices).
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