The whole notion of just Lawyering up is completely stupid and those who think that way make those like my Fiancee a TON of money!
I had a similar situation fairly recently....
Saying that, you have many options and non of which will cost you a lawyer or any money out of pocket. If your car does not meet your standards upon delivery from repair, tell them. Spell out every issue that is not up to your satisfaction and have it written out on paper. Now you can choose to take your car then and have the repair facility/dealership/body shop at a later date and time or you just tell them that you are not going to accept the car in its condition until they fix your concerns. KEEP IN MIND THE INSURANCE COMPANY YOURS OR THE OTHER PARTY IS NOT GOING TO PAY FOR THE REPAIRS UNTIL YOU HAVE SIGNED OFF ON THE CAR.
As far as rental, if the other party and their insurance carrier has accepted 100% responsibility to the accident and costs involved, then they are obligated to cover costs such as the rental car for the period that your car is being repaired. They can not just cut off the rental with yours sill being fixed. You may have to talk to them a bit but there is one set of key words you need to know that insurance companies really hate:
The Key words of the day is: BAD FAITH
A potential bad faith claim goes directly against the insurance carrier and has no statutory limits. In my case the other parties carrier agreed to pay for my rental (which lasted for almost 3 months) but when the bill came, though the rental was less than what they told me I could spend for the rental car, they did not want to pay the various "taxes and fees" that the rental agency had charged (which was almost $1000).
I spoke to the carrier and simply pointed out that if they did not pay all costs associated with the repair, not only would I refuse to sign their release but I would sue their insured in small claims for anything I could think of (diminished value, loss of work, time spent dealing with them, ect.) but I would also file a Bad Faith claim against the insurance carrier. It took all of 6 hours for a supervisor to come back and offer to cut me a check for my full rental if I would sign a release.
The key to remember is that it is the insurance carriers duty to minimize the amount of loss on a claim any way possible. This is how, as a company, the insurance carriers stay in business and stay profitable for its investors. Nothing against you, its just business.
And again.... getting a lawyer at this stage is going to get you NOWHERE except more in debt. The average civil suit in Ca takes no less than 28 Months for any type of resolution and I do not want to even tell you how many billable hours attorneys rack up in that time, but lets just say I have a damn good Sugar Mama because of it...
Last edited by spectrumphoto; 01-07-2010 at 03:43 AM.
Reason: Lawyers are better paper weights than advisors...