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Why is the insurance company delaying the repairs on my car?

By William J. Price

Your car is sitting in the tow yard. You’ve left over six messages with the property damage adjuster to find out why your car has not been moved or even examined to be repaired. At the end of each message, you ask as nicely as you can to have them return your car. You call your insurance company, and the same occurs – no answer. You feel like you are getting “jerked around.”

Your suspicions may be correct. You, the victim, have no legitimate power to force the insurance carrier to come to the table and fix your car in a timely manner. For more information, speak to a Columbus car accident lawyer today.

General Recommendations for Settlement of Claims

Under the Ohio Administrative Code, an insurance carrier is given 21 days to decide whether they will accept or deny a claim after a ‘proof of loss’ is received.  A proof of loss is a document sent by you (the claimant) to the insurance carrier outlining sufficient information for them  to determine the existence and amount of the claim.  Over the next three weeks, the insurance carrier investigates the claim to determine who is at fault.  All of these activities must be completed before your body shop even begins to repair your vehicle.

Additionally, the insurance carrier is not always limited to 21 days to complete their investigation. If the insurance carrier decides they need more time to investigate, they only need to contact the victim within the initial three weeks and provide an explanation for their need for more time. Routinely, insurance carriers will send victims a letter stating “we have not completed our investigation and we will contact you when it is complete.” The insurance carrier does not have to speak with the victim or obtain consent to prolong this process. Furthermore, victims have no recourse to force the insurance carrier to come to a decision.

No Deadlines for Decisions

As if all of this is not concerning enough, the State of Ohio does not set a deadline for which the insurance carrier has to come to a decision. If the investigation of a simple rear-end collision becomes overtly complicated for an insurance carrier, they are only required to send a letter every 45 days stating the status of their investigation. If your vehicle is destroyed in a crash caused by another party, leaving you without transportation to get to work or medical appointments, the insurance carrier can hypothetically delay the repairs of your car indefinitely.

No repair facility or body shop will begin to work on a vehicle damaged in an auto accident until they receive notification they will be paid for their services. A victim is at the mercy of the insurance carrier, who can legitimately delay the repairs as they “investigate” a simple fender bender. This is truly unfair.

About William Price

William J. Price focuses his practice on personal injury litigation for people who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, negligence in construction sites and trucking and auto accidents. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.