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What to do?

by Michelle Braucher
(Harrisburg, PA)

In sept, a triaxle dump truck full of stone plowed into my 2005 Honda Odyssey 20,000 miles in excellent condition. The driver got out of the vehicle to ask where he was to dump the load...and forgot to put on the brake.

My van was towed to the body shop of our choice and estimated damage is 13,000. The contractors had risk managers at the scene that put us in rental cars and falsely assured us that they would make this problem o.k.

The contractors are using AIG insurance however, there deductible is so large that they are paying for the accident rather than submitting it?

Well, I have made it clear from the beginning that I will not ever drive this vehicle and I want it replaced not FIXED.

The rental car company called and said that AIG is no longer paying for the rental car, bc they sent a certified letter with a settlement for 13,070 to have the van fixed. I want it totaled. The unibody frame will never be structurally the same and I will never trust it. Help me, what are my rights?

Comments for What to do?

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Nov 29, 2007
Let's see
by: Casey

Hi, we are sorry to hear you are in that situation. We understand why you would not want the vehicle back, and we agree (13,000 worth of damage is significant). We have written couple of articles in
what to do to get your vehicle total.

Couple of things we would like to add to your situation.

1. You are dealing with a commercial policy. The people that hit you has a commercial general liability policy. Those polices are a little different than your auto policy. One of the big differences is that the insured (the company owner of the truck) must pay a deductible for third party damage (your damage). They do have high deductibles, but 13,000 seems a little high. You will be better of dealing with an insurance company.

2. If AIG is saying that the vehicle must be fixed , then you are entitled for a rental until your car is returned to you fixed, not when they send a certified letter to have the van fixed.

3. If they are saying that the van is a total loss, then they actually can cut off your rental as soon as three days after a settlement letter is sent. So we are wondering if they are calling this a rental (we are only mentioning this to you).

4. Dealing with contractors and third party people and essentially leaving the insurance companies aside can put you in a very bad spot. Managers and other people don’t really know what the law is and they will probably just want to fix something that should not be fixed. So we believe you really, really, need to get your own insurance company involved. Your insurance company will help you get your car totaled and it is better to be dealing with them, then let them go after who ever caused the accident.

5. We are not sure if anyone was in your vehicle or not. We hate to mention this, but sometimes telling them about your stress, physical pain, etc… will let them see that they better treat you right or you will end up making a claim for emotional distress etc.

6. We love the picture..

Thank you.


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