What are my options in this situation, my truck was damaged through no fault of my own.

Asked about 5 years ago - Beaverton, OR

I was at a local McDonalds and there was a 3rd party contractor working on their HVAC system on the roof. A thunderstorm rolled through and the wind picked up and picked up metal siding he had laying on the ground, and the metal siding smashed into my truck shattering the windshield, slicing a hole in the hood, and causing damage to the roof.

They are giving me a run around, I have talked to 5 different people over the last 4 days. My truck is at a reputable auto repair shop, and has been for 4 days. Their insurance company can not give me any solid answers about anything, everyday I get a new number to call. I am thinking about hiring an attorney as this is getting ridiculous, what are my options in this situation.

Additional information

For fred: This is not really a business situation, I do not work at McDonalds or anything I was just there for dinner and their HVAC company was negligent by working on a roof during a thunderstorm with metal scraps strewn about, and one of them blew off the roof and onto my truck. Now I cant get a strait answer from their insurance, and after 5 days they gave me ANOTHER number and told me they had to have one of their people come out to verify the estimate is accurate, and also determine fault. If I hire an attorney, what can I take them to court for?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Vincent J Bernabei

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . You have a good claim against the restaurant and the contractor. The value of your claim is measured by the decrease in value of your automobile, and the loss of use of your auto while it was being repaired. The decrease in value of your automobile is usually determined by the cost of repair.
    If the claim is a small one, some insurance companies will try to avoid paying full value, thinking that it will not be cost efficient for you to hire an attorney. If your claim is worth $5,500 or less, then you are entitled to recover your attorney fees under Oregon law. This greatly increases the likelihood of the insurance company paying your claim quickly. You will need an attorney to pursue this option.

  2. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . As I am licensed in Florida and Vermont, I cannot offer you specific advice as to Oregon law. However, generally, it would appear that the third-party contractor is primarily responsible for your damages. It is unclear if that is the insurance carrier with whom you are trying to deal or, are you trying to deal with McDonald's?

    You should be dealing with the general liability insurance carrier of the third-party contractor. It is not unusual for them to want to send their own adjuster to evaluate the damages. You should let them make their own estimate and if there is any discrepancy between your repair shop and their estimate, hopefully they can work out a compromise with the repair shop.

    If the insurance carrier is unreasonable, you could file a complaint with the state insurance commissioner's office and they could hopefully follow-up on the problem. It would probably not be economically viable for you to attempt to retain an attorney on a small property damage claim, as the cost of the attorney may equal your damages.

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