When serving clients who suffered injuries due to auto accidents, we handle the property damages portion of the claim–free of charge–while working on the personal injury claim. Often, when handling an auto accident property damage claim, we receive complaints that “preferred insurance” auto body shops are being suggested by several insurance adjusters. We have also received reports of adjusters threatening to cut off or take away a rental car if the vehicle is not towed to a certain shop. However, in Montana, the law is very clear on this. Learn more about your right to choose an auto body repair shop below.
Montana Law and Auto Body Repair Shops
Under Sec. 33-18-224 of Montana Code the law states that an insurance company may not:
- Require that the claimant select a specific auto repair shop for an estimate or the repair.
- Intimidate or otherwise attempt to persuade the claimant to use a particular auto body repair shop
- Deny the claimant, if requested, a list that includes all automobile body repair shops in the area
Why Hiring an Independent Repair Shop is Important
Many times insurance companies will, even in subtle ways, suggest a preferred shop or recommend a shop. This is strictly prohibited. An auto body shop with a special deal or side agreement with the insurance company does not serve the customer but instead the insurance company.
If you have a car accident property damage claim in Montana your interests are in finding the best possible repair shop available.
Our Montana car accident lawyers have found that some shops that work with insurance companies repeatedly overlook certain hard to see damage such as:
- Transmission damage
- Frame damage
- Engine damage
They may also use inferior parts or techniques that are not up to industry standards.
There are some excellent, high-end auto body repair shops here in the Flathead Valley that pride themselves on a reputation of excellence. If the insurance adjuster finds a questionable item, the auto shop gives the claimant the benefit of the doubt and fixes the issue in question. As part of our full-service philosophy, we help guide our clients to the best available shop for their needs. It is a small thing we do because we want to see our clients fully recover.
What You Should Know About Comparative Estimates
Many people believe they have to get three comparative estimates for your auto accident property damage claim. Montana Law not only allows you to independently choose your auto shop for repairs it also does not require you to obtain comparative estimates. Insurance adjusters may try to make you believe this is the case hoping that you will choose their shop. This shop may cut corners to get this business from the insurance company.
Protecting Your Auto Accident Property Damage Claim
There are many things that can substantially decrease the value of a property damage insurance claim. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident or motorcycle accident, contact our law firm today. Our team can take care of the statement and help coordinate the vehicle damage settlement, repairs and the rental car. We offer these services without charge when we handle your personal injury case.
Contact Our Property Damage Attorneys Today
When someone else’s negligence causes serious harm, you need someone who will fight for the compensation you need. Bliven Law Firm, P.C. is a full-service law firm, serving Montana for over 25 years. We have helped thousands of clients with their personal injury, property damage and illness claims, ultimately recovering millions of dollars in settlements, awards, and judgments. Get started by giving us a call at (406) 625-0100 or submit an email inquiry.