We recently moved into a new home. When the moving company came, they drove the truck off the driveway causing several thousand dollars worth of damage to the driveway. This was turned over to their insurance company who sent out appraisers to determine the cost of repairs. They gave a dollar amount they would reimburse us, however, I can't find a company who will make the repairs for the dollar amount they quoted. We don't want the money, we want the driveway fixed. It is a brand new home. Is there anything we can do?
I should be able to sue the moving company for negligence. Whether the amount is worth the hassle is one only you can make.
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I agree with Mr. Paes, let him look at the damage, get an estimate of legal fees and costs, remember, it is only an estimate. Then do your math, see if it is worth it to you to go into litigation, sometimes cooler minds come out better after looking at the economics. Another avenue is to see if you can get them into mediation.
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Yes, you can involve an attorney. Insurance companies love to deal directly with the victims because it's lambs to the slaughter and they will never take you seriously or give you a reasonable offer without one.
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You could advise the insurance company about the estimates for repairs you have received. You might also consider making a claim on your own insurance which will then turn around and negotiate with the moving company to get its (and maybe part of your deductible) repaid.
Ah, the low ball insurance company offer. To expect anything more out of an insurance company would be like expecting the rain to fall upwards or dogs not to bark. Their offer was the opening salvo in this negotiation, which you can win.
While hiring an attorney may very well be required, it shouldn't be your next step.
You asked companies if they could do the repairs for the amount the carrier offered; but did you ask those same contractors to give you a quote? Get 2-3 quotes and send back to the insurance company as attachments to your demand letter explaining how their initial offer was ridiculous given that no local contractors will do the job for less than $____ (fill in the blank). Then reference how you've spoken to _______ contractors. Copy the moving company on this letter. Try to speak to its owner/manager for the purpose of using him as an ally - he/she can pressure the insurance company's adjuster simultaneously. While phone calls to the adjuster can be valuable (help build rapport, show you're reasonable & personable, etc.), always follow up a phone call with an email - a written record is invaluable should the case later be litigated.
Let the negotiations play out (all the while you should be responsive, aggressive (though not impolite), and organized). Their offer will likely increase. You can constantly ask the contractors if they will accept the carrier's latest offers to do the work. if they do, great. Avoid litigation & get your drive way fixed.
But, if at the conclusion of your efforts the carrier has yet to make a reasonable offer, then go interview some lawyers.
Either way, good luck! Don't let them short you on what's owed!
- Danny Goldberg
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