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View Full Version : URGENT, advice by 18th Oct 16, Question on common law - Tort



Mr Spock
15-10-2016, 11:54 PM
Question on legal obligations and procedures in Tort... common law ?

Issue is minor car accident, and insurance company carrying out some highly questionable activities then demanding inflated extortionate repair costs.

At an intersection, vehicle B nudges back bumper of vehicle A. (10 year old vehicle)
No damage to vehicle B, vehicle A bumper plastic cover slightly dislodged from mounting clips on one side. Small marks on paint. Boot opened and closed, to check alignment, photographs taken, all lined up perfectly.
Driver B tells Driver A to take vehicle to nearby (very high quality) panelbeater. (to repaint and refit bumper)
Driver A declines, and contacts insurance company.
Driver B thinks, no problem, panel repaint is 300+ gst, so including refitting will be less than $500.

Question: What are the legal obligations on driver B?, to "make good" the damage?
ie, to return the vehicle to the same condition as prior to the incident, or to return that part of the vehicle to brand-new condition? other?

Then insurance company of driver A, we'll call that company AA sends vehicle for "assessment" and returns an estimate of $1200.
Driver B tells company AA that they want to get an independent assessment.
AA says, "no you can't get independent inspection, if you don't agree with the price, just get a quote, and use these photos"
Driver B complies and gets 2 quotes based on photos (as requested), the more expensive of which is $420 inc.

AA sends vehicle A to (insurance-job-rort) panelbeater that replaces the bumper cover with a brand new one, when it was not necessary, and replaces the rear metal panel behind the bumper. Total repair price $2000

Driver B asks for evidence that the rear metal panel was damaged "beyond repair" and needed to be replaced.
AA reply, with 2 photos, one is AFTER the original metal panel had been removed and another photo AFTER a new panel had been fitted.
Driver B reiterates to AA, "no I want evidence the panel was damaged beyond repair"
AA replies.... (paraphrased) there you go...these 2 photos, that's all you get

Summary
Driver A declines offer of fully paid repair at high quality panelbeating company
company AA provides ludicrous estimate, then refuses to allow independent inspection,
AA Tells driver B, if driver B disagrees on repair price then to provide an independent quote, which driver B does,
AA totally ignores independent quote and demands $2000, despite instructing driver B to provide quote.
AA is unable to provide proof the rear metal panel was damaged beyond repair, let alone damaged at all.
AA sends the vehicle to insurance-job-rort repair company (seems to be some questionable arrangement with the AA assessors)
and vehicle returned to "totally brand new" condition on any parts on, or hidden by rear bumper, and not "prior to incident" condition

Question:
What is the liability of driver B?
> Repair Quote of $420, as per independent quote and all available confirmed evidence. ?
> or... Rort charge of $2000 because that's what AA was able to inflate it to ?
> Other ?
> and why ?

Thanks,
Mr Spock.
AA company is very illogical.

Crimewatch
16-10-2016, 08:44 PM
- "AA company is very illogical."

Or very "Bold" knowing they have the "ear of the Court" - Or the experience of knowing how to play the court.... (and therefore logic need not be a component)

My suggestion is to "fill the gallery" there is a greater chance that the adjudicator will play fairer before an audience if he/she is unaware of the makeup of that audience ....

good luck :)

Dixpat
17-10-2016, 11:44 AM
AA company is very illogical.

Perhaps they are not

When the insurance company approved the repair costs they had no certainty that they would be able to recover the costs.

Tell me the name of any insurance company that spends more than they have to???

Ergo, they approved what was a reasonable cost to indemnify their customer as they are obliged by the policy to do

They then look to the offending driver to recover those costs

They will produce evidence that the damage was assessed by their assessor who has X years in the trade and has Y qualifications

Unless you are going to drag along to the hearing the person who says it was only $420 to repair then you may well be pushing the proverbial up the hill!

Mr Spock
18-10-2016, 03:39 PM
Tell me the name of any insurance company that spends more than they have to???
That would be AA insurance, there seems to be collusion between the "assessors" and their designated repairers. These are not open market price repairs, but highly inflated.

Dixpat, while I agree, that they will attempt to "produce evidence that the damage was assessed by their assessor who has X years in the trade and has Y qualifications"
surely there should be some weight put on the fact that
> They refused an independent inspection
> They indicated a quote based on photos would be adequate
> They ignored the quote
> They replaced parts with brand new that were unnecessary
> When (due to implausibility) I asked to provide evidence that a certain part was damaged beyond repair and needed to be replaced with new, they were not even able to provide evidence that it was damaged at all.

In my view their actions constitute bad faith.
Surely allowing an independent inspection would have lead to the matter being resolved agreeably.

Do you think there is any weight to the above bullet points?

Thanks, Mike

Dixpat
18-10-2016, 06:03 PM
Do you think there is any weight to the above bullet points?


Mike - the insurer has an obligation to their client under the policy contract.

They can't sit on their hands and wait while a potential Third Party views the damage, gets the vehicle taken to two or more other repairers of the Third Parties choice to get alternative quotes

They get the car repaired as quickly as possible to get their client back on the road

To ensure that they pay a fair price for the repairs they employ qualified personnel to assess and negotiate the repair price [and if you asked most panelbeaters they would say that do not receive enough $$ from insurers for the work they are being asked to undertake]

If a part needs to be replaced insurers will endeavour to source good quality second hand parts before reverting to new unless the car is generally less than 2 years old.

If a second hand part is not available then the only option is to replace with new.

The modern car is not a cheap piece of equipment to repair

So in short Mike unless you can prove collusion between the assessor and the repair shop I still think you are pushing it up the hill!