Legal insights and tips from the veteran Attorney of 40 years.
MOTOR VEHICLES: YOUR RIGHTS WHEN YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE IS DAMAGED
One needs to understand that vehicle insurance companies are not there to help you. They are there to make a profit. If you have a vehicle accident with damage, the company wants you to use their “certified” repair center. Recently, a client from Corbin was involved in a damage accident in Louisville. The company wanted him to use a repair shop in Louisville. The client wanted to use his choice in Corbin. After intervention, the vehicle was brought to Corbin.
The law on this is very clear, as follows:
KRS 304.12-275 Claimant’s right to repair facility of choice – Appraisal of damaged vehicle to include notice of right to choose - Exemption.
An insurer shall inform a claimant upon notification of a motor vehicle damage claim that he or she has the right to choose the repair facility of his or her choice to repair a damaged vehicle.
After July 12, 2012, all appraisals shall include the following notice, printed in not less than ten (10) point, boldfaced type: “NOTICE: UNDER KENTUCKY LAW, THE CONSUMER AND/OR LESSEE HAS THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE THE REPAIR FACILITY TO MAKE REPAIRS TO HIS OR HER MOTOR VEHICLE.”
The obligations set forth in this section shall not apply to the replacement or repair of automobile glass.
If your vehicle is totaled, the company has to give you a choice of which car rental agency you can use. They do not get to pick the agency or the vehicle.
Further, do not let the company take your vehicle to their impound lot. When this happens, they are no longer paying the wrecker company per day to keep your vehicle and the settlement process on your vehicle goes to the back burner.
Do not let the company pressure you into a low settlement for your loss by saying they are taking back the rental vehicle or you can start paying. When you reach a fair settlement, they will want your title and the right to move your vehicle. They will tell you that you will have your check in three days. If you are dealing with an adjuster face to face, this might happen. But, if you are dealing with a “team” in San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta... forget it. It will be three weeks, and you are out of a vehicle to drive because they have taken back the rental vehicle.
For a meeting with one of our lawyers, call our office in Corbin at 606.528.5001. Personal injury and bankruptcy clients are entitled to a free initial consultation. We maintain flexible office hours to accommodate your needs.
Please Note: David Smith, Marcia Smith are independent attorneys with individual areas of practice.