As a car owner, you understand that you can’t always repair a vehicle after a major accident. Sometimes, a damaged vehicle must be totaled. However, there are times when total loss decisions in Georgia and elsewhere don’t seem to make a lot of sense. Insurance adjusters don’t always act in good faith, and there is often a lack of transparency and a severe information asymmetry in the way that insurers deal with their clients. This can lead to cars being totaled when they don’t need to be, or repaired when they should be written off. More often than not, it results in insurers paying less than they are expected and obligated to do when a claim is made. Georgia has no statutory total loss threshold, which means that insurance adjusters must use a total loss formula (TLF) to calculate whether or not your vehicle will be saved or replaced. The above-mentioned information asymmetry means that there is no guarantee that adjustors will make their calculations in good faith.
In cases where insurance companies don’t give clients their due on motor vehicle claims, the consumers are well within their rights to contact a total loss lawyer and take legal action.
Can A Total Loss Vehicle Be Repaired?
In some cases, mechanics might undertake repairs on a vehicle that probably should have been declared a total loss. This could result in an unsafe vehicle being put back on the road. Mechanics have a duty of care to their customers, meaning they have an obligation to ensure that any car they repair is safe to use. If they fail to do so, then consumers can sue them for negligence. If such repairs have taken place under the direction of an insurance company, then that insurer should also face legal action for their decision.
What Is Auto Dealer Fraud and Bad Faith Insurance Law?
Insurance companies are legally bound to act in good faith and to put their clients’ needs ahead of their own. However, the sad truth is that this is seldom what happens in practice. Insurers want to look after their profits, which means reducing liabilities wherever possible. As a result, they can underpay claims or refuse to pay them at all. When this happens, the client in question has a right to pursue legal action for bad faith failure to settle.
If I Live In Georgia, Can I Sue Insurance Companies For Bad Faith?
- When the insurance company denies coverage after a legitimate claim is lodged.
- When the insurer denies payment even though a proper investigation has not been conducted.
- If the insurer refuses to settle even when liability is proven.
- If the company fails to respond to policy limits demands with the allotted time.
- If the insurance company fails to disclose all necessary information on available coverage, as well as the proper policy limits.
- If the insurer replaces the vehicle but do not reimburse customers for the full value. Companies sometimes violate their own contracts by failing to reimburse policyholders for sales tax, title transfer fees, tag transfer fees, and more after a total loss car accident.
There are several important things that insurance companies know and that their clients may not. These include the following:
- Insurers are obligated to pay you diminished value on an affected vehicle.
- Your insurance premium cannot increase after a diminished value payout.
- Your insurer may not cancel your policy after a diminished value or total loss payout.
- In Georgia, you can file a diminished value claim regardless of whether you were at fault in the accident.
Finding the right lawyer in Georgia to represent you
If you have dealt with any bad faith behavior on the part of a car insurance company, if your insurer has underpaid or denied your claim, you can take legal action. If you were insured under an auto insurance policy, experienced a total loss car accident, and were not reimbursed for sales tax and other fees by your insurance company in the last 5 years, you may qualify to join a total loss car accident class action lawsuit investigation. Contact Shamis & Gentile and book a free consultation with one of our insurance claim lawyers. We have the experience necessary to deal with any total loss case in Georgia.