Winter is a time when fender benders are more common. It’s darker, and roads are icy, so chances of an accident increase. Regardless of who was at fault, your car needs to be fixed, and sometimes things go wrong in the repair process.
Maybe it just takes a lot longer than anticipated. Maybe the garage or the insurance adjuster couldn’t see all the damage until the work began. It always seems to take longer and cost more than expected. Some typical complaints are:
- The paint isn’t a good match, or shows scratches, drips, runs, or overspray.
- There are parts missing, such as trim pieces.
- The windshield or sunroof now leaks.
- They didn’t fix a dent that you believe was part of the accident damage.
- They forgot some electrical connections when they put the car back together, so your automatic windows don’t work.
- They didn’t transfer your expensive speakers from the old door to the new one.
- Something you left in the back seat is now missing.
- It took 10 days longer than estimated, so the rental car allowance ran out and you have to pay for the extra days.
- The insurance company won’t cover all the costs, because the repair shop is replacing older (depreciated) parts with brand new ones, but the accident wasn’t your fault, so why should you have to pay?
Some problems really aren’t the fault of the shop. When additional damages are discovered, the shop may have to wait for the insurance adjuster to approve extra costs before they order parts or do the work. The shop can’t do anything about insurance companies’ policies.
Not transferring special equipment from the old units is a difficult issue, because the shop may not have known it was special, and now the old part is in a junkyard. It’s also difficult to assign blame for missing items, because the tow truck driver, the storage lot attendant, and the shop workers all had access to the car.
Some problems are the shop’s fault. Missing trim pieces, mismatched paint, drips and runs in the paint, overspray, missed damage, and forgotten wiring connections are clearly the shop’s responsibility and you should hold them accountable for making it right. Most shops will fix such problems promptly.
There may be a legitimate disagreement about some part of the repair (example: it’s very difficult to get a perfect match on the paint, especially if your paint is a few years old). If you still think you aren’t getting proper treatment, maybe it’s time to try mediation.
JCMS offers FREE mediation to Jefferson County citizens and businesses. Mediation is a good way to discuss a dispute reasonably, with a neutral third party (a mediator) to facilitate the conversation. The mediators won’t tell you what to do, give legal advice, or say who is right or wrong, but they are trained to help people with disagreements to work together to find a resolution, instead of having a shouting match. You won’t lose any legal rights – if you can’t come to an agreement in mediation, you can still take your case to court. For more information on mediation, go to our website at www.JeffcoMediation.com, or call us at 303.271.5060. Para Espanol, 720-577-5826.