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Thread: legal liability discussion

  1. Join Date
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    “When truth is blurred by lies and misinformation, perception becomes reality and all is lost.” .

    You are creating your own perception by believing a false illusion

    Nobody will succeed unless he questions everything. (And does something about it)

    You might not change the world, but you will get paid if you demonstrate the truth.
    Last edited by Roger Walling; 02-05-2018 at 10:06 AM.

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    Joplin MOzzuri
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    Ps, it works best if you do not accept a direction to pay.
    What constitutes acceptance of direction to pay? If you are holding a check paid by the insurer on behalf of a third party, is that nothing more than admission of liability if you have not endorsed it and you have a separate contract of repair with the vehicle owner? I can't win the war, but I can succeed in securing victory in skirmishes.
    Last edited by Mike Orton; 02-05-2018 at 09:23 PM.
    If you can't find the time to do it right, how will you ever find the time to do it over?

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    Mike, I am not quite following you.

    My statement was about not releasing the vehicle until it is paid in full.

    Your statement speaks of liability if you are paid by an insurance company.
    Does it make a difference who pays for the repair?
    Does accepting an insurance company's ck mean that you repaired it to their specs?

  4. Join Date
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    Any communication https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication

    with an insurer by a repairer confirms the insurer's position in the process of repair and compensation for repair. It is an aberration. Regardless, my opinion is that from the perspective of a consumer/insured, any communication between a repairer and an insurer could be considered participation in a cooperative effort to deceive the property owner. That is, a co-conspirator either willing, or not.

    Communication is fundamental to the process; it is required by the insurer at all levels of the process in order to receive compensation for work performed, fully entangled and impossible to ignore. As I see it, insurers have only one permitted way to communicate with a repairer. To view the damaged property if in the repairer's care and custody and then only with the property owner's direction.
    Last edited by Roy Smalley; 02-06-2018 at 10:17 AM.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    And that, Roy, is the fundamental error in how we have conducted our businesses for decades. When shops started negotiating with insurance companies and leaving the vehicle owner in the dark about how they plan to go about repairing the vehicle and why, they validated the insurance company's position that they have the right to stand in the shoes of the vehicle owner. Vehicle owners believe that the insurance company is protecting them form the evil, greedy, knuckle dragging collision repairer, all repairs are the same and cost is the only variable. Saving the insurance company money equated to saving the consumer money in the form of unnecessarily increasing premiums. They have never had a clue that savings has led to incomplete and potentially unsafe repairs because most of us have never told them. The ones that try are "problem shops".

  6. Join Date
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    The legal process in Ma. is that a body shop must negotiate with the insurance company in a loss.

    This is not to say that you must come to an agreement on the manner of repair, nor the price.

    This gives the shop an edge when the insurance company insists on a certain way to repair. The two parties must engage in a discussion on the proper repair of the vehicle.

    This is a perfect time to inform the appraiser that you are going to repair it the way the owner requested it, and it is not an agreed figure, or method of repair.

  7. Join Date
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    Joplin MOzzuri
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    Quoting Roy,
    "Oh but were it that simple."

    I have stated that to an estimate review person, asking if he had personally viewed the car and if he was licensed by the state of Ma.
    Not viewing and not licenced, I said Good by.
    It is that simple if you know the laws of your state!

    Ps, it works best if you do not accept a direction to pay.
    Just asking what constitutes accepting a direction to pay? Signing or endorsing the check, negotiating or communicationg with the insurer before repairs are complete?


    It feels like Pro D 1997 all over again.

    Customer walks in with an insurance check and estimate. The customer asked that the insurer (third party) just pay the shop. I tell the vehicle owner that I will contract with him (Ericas contract given to CCRE members) and not the insurer and that I will submit a final bill to the insurer on the vo's behalf and to the vehicle owner to pay and never negotiate my prices or parts. I hold the check and never sign it but accept it as proof the insurer was attempting to settle with the damaged party on their calculations and not a final invoice which they can only prove charges may be fraudulent or unecessary to a judge. They can not dispute that their insured or they can dictate the cost of damages until the job is done. Vehicle owner understands that he is liable and may be compelled to sue the other driver to collect based on my contract for the insurer's underpayment.

    I have not negotiated with the insurer or agreed to their estimate. When I walk in to court with my customer, I hold a contract between me and the vehicle owner, a check made payable to me at the owner's direction and not endorsed, and a final invoice. I haven't had a small claims judge yet to deny my charges. Just saying the check is a form of admission of liability and vehicle owner relied on that admission to contract with me for repairs that a third party accepts that they must settle on behalf of their insured.

    Those third party estimates have all kinds of dictates based on acceptance of agreeing to work with them that I ignore. I refer to them as hokey pokey agreements or mother may I repair estimates.
    Last edited by Mike Orton; 02-06-2018 at 05:37 PM.
    If you can't find the time to do it right, how will you ever find the time to do it over?

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    Yes Mike it is but deju vu all over again.......and again.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    Today in RDN....I just can't help myself because, from my dim witted perspective truly, it is quite humorous.

    These are excerpts from insurers regarding the multi district case that probably encompasses the cases of Eaves & Bloch, the latter as I recall RICO.

    Anderson and insurers seeking a new outcome from the Eleventh Circuit (here’s State Farm’s petition, for example) argued that with respect to the antitrust claims, the shops hadn’t demonstrated why insurers wouldn’t naturally all seek to pay the same amounts as a rival. Parallel competitive behavior isn’t illegal, only collusion is.
    Anderson and insurers seeking a new outcome from the Eleventh Circuit (here’s State Farm’s petition, for example) argued that with respect to the antitrust claims, the shops hadn’t demonstrated why insurers wouldn’t naturally all seek to pay the same amounts as a rival. Parallel competitive behavior isn’t illegal, only collusion is.

    “State Farm had a clear independent economic interest in setting the rates it would pay through a market survey


    I have a few questions quick and nasty: First the "clear independent economic interest in setting the rates it would pay through a market survey". On the face this statement in it's literal sense is correct; they do have an economic interest. But does that economic interest which is an inter-corporate right, stop at their corporate door, not formed as a market basis for price control of labor? Is this an extra-corporate right and how can that be since they are not contracting with repairers for repairs? But just determining their exposure, their reserves?

    Yet they clearly without equivocation state "in setting rates they would pay". Does that mean they do set the rates....is it THE rate or just something they throw out there and expect folks to charge more or less?

    Additionally does having an economic interest convey the legal right to employ supplementary methods while relating directly with repairers that defy many state and federal statutes dealing with price setting, market allocation and use of coercion? They are using "interest" which first, should force them to back up that statement that their methodology used in a market survey meets acceptable statistical measures in each and every market and compare results statistically to determine if the methods result in a state and or national pricing program. And shouldn't that extend to their supplemental methods...contracting with repairers, use of a standardized pricing matrix other than "rates which one would interpret only as labor rates", not rates for pricing of materials, methods not included, time and omission of other cost factors in running collision business.

    As for the other statement "parallel competitive behavior isn't illegal, only collusion is". Of course 'collusion' would require direct evidence of communications between insurers, and we know that is not going to happen absent a whistle blower. Is parallel behavior based on information and practice that possibly does not comport with legal practices, a great basis to make that statement? In effect to my weak mind, are they admitting that they are engaged in parallel behavior with other insurers? Seems like one insurer has. Even if it is arms length as in oligopsony, shouldn't each insurer have an obligation to know that if illegal methods are employed they are equally guilty? Doesn't a corporation have a duty to know that if they engage with a repairer that affects the outcome of repairs negatively and/or pricing, they don't have a legal right to interfere with arrangements between the repairer and car owner's contract? Shouldn't using a pattern and practice of following a third party pricing matrix may violate interstate commerce rules, regardless of whether the matrix can be demonstrated 'accurate' or not? Not to mention interfering with the flow of business from one repairer to another?

    Oh well what the hell. Just an old man living in what should be perhaps?
    Last edited by Roy Smalley; 04-29-2018 at 08:58 AM.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  10. Join Date
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    A few months ago an insurance company finally made arrangements to pick up a total that we had been keeping inside as the roof had been torn off.

    The agent commented about the rate and stated that the total amount for the storage was too high, she never once told us why it took them almost a month to pick it up.

    Three times she suggested a lower rate to help her out.

    I'm sure if I had lowered the rate, the next time I charged for storage they would have that rate chiseled in stone.

    PS, what are the " usual, customary, and reasonable estimates" that they are talking about?
    They are the rates that were ESTABLISHED YEARS AGO . By them!

    NOT TODAY'S RATES!
    Think about it,!
    What product is selling for the same price as 5 years ago?
    Last edited by Roger Walling; 05-20-2018 at 03:52 PM.

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