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Auto Insurance Claims/Body shop damaged my vehicle

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Question
Hello,

I had a small minor damage dent damage to my car on the back door and back panel. They fixed the damages alright but when I was driving away from the shop, I noticed that my radio was not working and neither were any of the buttons that control climate and radio( they are all on a bottom panel near the shifter and all the buttons control the screen/radio) I called the shop as soon as I noticed and they said to bring it in the morning. I brought it in, they kept it for a day and then said they cannot find any problems with it and to take it to the dealership because my warranty will cover it. I took it to an expert ( a friend of mine) and he said there might be a problem with the wiring, he said the shop should fix it. I took it back to the shop and he sent me to a friend of his that works with car electronics, and asked me to leave it there. I left it with him and when I picked it up nobody would tell me what was the problem. They said they did not find anything wrong.
I took it back to my expert and they took apart the bottom panel with all the buttons and discovered there was CocaCola spilled inside. When I called the shop and told them what I found they said that they already knew but it is not their problem since they did not work inside my car( they did drive it and they did clean the inside, very well especially at the section where the coke was spilled) and that I cannot prove that the radio was in working order when i dropped off the car and that it is basically my word against his. He was extremely rude and said not to call him unless i have damage with the body work where he worked. We did not spill anything with the car we have had it for 4 years and never had any problems. I am at my wits end, the estimate to fix the car is 1000 just for one part and the shop said they will not pay for anything. I do have a picture that i took of the dashboard when I dropped off the car in the shop (for mileage) so that i could keep as evidence but it does not have a picture of the actual radio; there is a light in the picture that lights up(check engine) that was lit up (due to some electrical configuration that needed to be reset by our manufacturer) that shut off along with the rest of the radio/cd/car settings; but he said that is not enough proof. Any advice, oh the insurance company does work with this shop but gave us the check for the body work and we fixed it later

Answer
Since the insurance company works with this shop, you should tell them about this.  Shops have to meet certain service criteria to stay on the insurance company list.  They might be able to intervene on your behalf.  It might be worth it to the shop to take care of you to make the insurer happy.

Another option would be to file a small clams lawsuit against the shop.  You do not need a lawyer to do this.  Visit the courthouse and the clerk can help you with the paperwork.

Another option would be to contact your state government.  Most states have some sort of consumer protection agency where you can file a complaint.

Auto Insurance Claims

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Claims Guy

Expertise

I am currently an Auto Claims Manager for a large insurance company. I have 20 years experience in the industry, having worked as a Claims Adjuster, Injury Settlement Negotiator, Claims Manager, SIU/Fraud Investigator, and Compliance Officer......I can answer questions related to any aspect of Automobile insurance claims and coverages. I can provide an inside look at how insurers operate. I always treat my customers fairly and want to help make sure you are treated fairly. However, please keep in mind that being treated fairly according to the law does not guarantee that you will get what you want. I can also answer some questions regarding Homeowner's and other types of insurance claims. I have handled all types of auto insurance claims and coverages. I am NOT an automotive repair expert but can give advice re how insurers handle complex repair issues. Please keep in mind that every state has its own set of laws pertaining to rules of the road, liability, and insurance. No one is an expert on every state. I am most familiar with laws in Maryland, DC, West Virginia, and Virginia, but will attempt to answer questions for other states. I am not an attorney an cannot provide legal advice. My advice will be my opinion based on my experience.

Experience

I am currently an Auto Claims Manager for a large insurance company. I have 20 years experience in the industry, having worked as a Claims Adjuster, Injury Settlement Negotiator, Claims Manager, SIU/Fraud Investigator, and Compliance Officer. I am not an attorney an cannot provide legal advice. My advice will be my opinion based on my experience.

Organizations
CPCU Society. Adjusters license in multiple states. International Association of Specal Investigators

Education/Credentials
I have a B.S. in Finance and have completed the AIC and CPCU designations.

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