One of the biggest challenges for crash victims when it comes to seeking compensation is they are often unaware of their rights and their legal options. In many cases, crash victims realize later they would have made different decisions if they had more information.
For example, do you know what your rights are when it comes to deciding where to take your car for repairs after a crash? Is the decision entirely up to you or can the insurance company limit your options?
Below, our experienced Lafayette car accident lawyers discuss your right to choose where you take your car for repairs. If you were injured and your car was damaged in a crash, our attorneys may be able to help you pursue full compensation for your damages.
Choosing Where to Bring Your Car After a Crash
Under Louisiana Revised Statutes 22:1892 C(3), insurance companies are prohibited from requiring repairs to a motor vehicle to be made “in a particular place or shop or by a particular entity.”
In fact, the insurance company cannot even recommend a particular shop or network of repair services without telling you that you are under no obligation to use that shop or network. Insurance companies also cannot use intimidation, coercion or threats to try to get you to use a particular repair shop.
The first violation of this statute comes with a fine of $1,000. A second offense within one year of the first carries a fine of $2,500. All subsequent offenses within a year of the first offense carry a fine of $5,000.
No matter what the insurance company may say after a crash, the choice of where to get your car repaired is up to you.
If the insurance company tries to steer you away from the repair shop you want to use, they may be breaking state law. For example, if they tell you they do not work with a shop or that working with them will take too long, it might be considered coercion. If they say these things but still tell you the choice is up to you, it may be unethical but not illegal.
Can I Still Choose a Shop the Insurance Company Recommends?
There can be advantages to choosing a repair shop the insurance company recommends. For example, the insurance company may work with a certain shop often, which could help streamline the process. However, there should not be unreasonable delays if you take your car to a repair shop the insurance company does not recommend. If there are delays, you should discuss the situation with your attorney.
Other possible benefits of choosing an insurance company-approved repair shop include lower deductibles and less paperwork. For example, if there is a problem with the repairs down the road, an approved shop should guarantee its work. That means it should be easier to get the problems resolved. The insurance company could also reduce your deductible, reducing your out-of-pocket cost.
If there are additional costs during repairs, the insurance company may simply work things out with the shop without you needing to do much.
All that said, it is important not to rely on the insurance company’s recommendation alone. Do your own research. Talk to friends and family members who were involved in a crash and needed to have their vehicles repaired. You can also read online reviews of repair shops or visit the repair shop.
The most important thing is to find a place that will do good work and get your car back up and running quickly without charging an unreasonable amount of money.
Injured in a Preventable Car Crash? Call for Legal Help
Galloway Jefcoat has recovered hundreds of millions in compensation on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in motor vehicle crashes. We are dedicated to recovering full compensation to help crash victims move forward after a crash caused by another’s negligence.
There is no risk in using our services, as we do not charge up front fees. Our attorneys do not get paid for representing you unless you receive compensation.
Insurance companies routinely undervalue claims, which is why you need a trusted advocate throughout the legal process.
Give us a call today at (337) 984-8020. No upfront fees.