After Large Judgment In Pennsylvania, The Szantho Law Firm Advocates Drivers Seek Multiple Opinions Regarding Auto Repairs.
Santa Fe, NM, USA – August 26, 2014 /MarketersMedia/ –
A 16 year battle over the handling of an insurance claim ended in Pennsylvania this July when the judge ruled against the insurer. While there were no injuries in the initial collision, which occurred in 1996, subsequent repairs and questions as to the vehicle’s road-worthiness prompted the lawsuit. The Szantho Law Firm, based in New Mexico, points to this case as a prime example as to why drivers need multiple opinions and in some cases may require legal representation even for repair cases.
“This case is unusual in terms of length and in the seriousness of the allegations against the insurance company,” says Andras Szantho, founder of the Szantho Law Firm. “While insurers tend to act in good faith, they also need to ensure that their costs are mitigated and that they are not paying more than actual damages.”
The almost 20 year legal battle can be traced back to 1996, when a Jeep Grand Cherokee was hit hard by a Suburban, spun multiple times and eventually collided with a pole. While there were no injuries, there was extensive damage to the vehicle. Repairs were made at more than $12,000, but according to the family the vehicle didn’t seem to behave correctly after that. When they were later contacted by a mechanic who had worked at the garage they were told that their Jeep had initially been totaled, and then reexamined, allegedly, at the request of the insurer. Repairs were performed after the second review, but were not considered crash-worthy.
The lawsuit was filed not long after, in 1998. Later that same year, after the family’s lease had expired, the insurance company declared the car totaled and purchased it for examination. The insurer then found that frame damage remained, the vehicle was not aligned properly, and that some parts that were to have been replaced had not been. However in an internal report by a damage specialist there was a note that the car was not considered hazardous.
Throughout the proceedings the insurer claimed that nobody at the firm believed the car to be unsafe after the repairs had been made, and that they had acted properly. Szantho points to this case as an example why drivers need to be diligent about insurance matters, even when they believe that their insurer is acting in good faith.
“Just as you would seek a second opinion when dealing with major medical issues, it is wise to take the advice of multiple mechanics when your family’s safety is at stake. Most insurers work with a number of garages, and getting a written estimate from more than one can help you to make the best decision regarding the future of your vehicle. In addition, by having quotes on hand you can compare mechanic suggestions to what your insurance company is proposing and decide if you need to advocate for more than what they recommend,” concludes Szantho. “Even if there are no injuries it is sometimes necessary to involve legal counsel to make you whole again.”
The Szantho Law Firm has offices in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. They handle a variety of personal injury cases, including: bicycle accidents, automobile accidents, slip-and-fall, traumatic brain injury, medical malpractice and more. They can be reached for a free consultation at http://www.szantholaw.com or at (505)-820-3366.
For more information about us, please visit http://www.szantholaw.com/
Name: Andras Szantho
Address: 210 Montezuma Ave. Ste. 200 Santa Fe, NM 87501
Organization: The Szantho Law Firm