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No-fault accident and repairs are taking forever. Can I sue insurance and body shop?

Fairfax, VA |

I was in an accident, on February 16th, 2014, where a SUV hit my car on the drivers side near the bumper. I wasn't injured and just had a small bump on my head which I got checked out and is fine now. My car is getting fixed right now with total damages coming to around $15,000 dollars. I contacted my own insurance company - Liberty Mutual - to get the fix process started. They will submit paperwork to the at fault insurance company after that. It has been 3 months since my accident and my car is still in the body shop. The car was towed to the body shop on February 18th and an adjuster looked at the car the same day. He made initial estimate of $8000. Afterwards the body shop came up with an estimate of about $14,000 and other supplements which comes to about $15,000.

The insurance company and body shop are playing chicken with me. It took about a month for the insurance to issue a check for the initial amount. I asked why it took so long and both replied that it was the other party not cooperating. The fix date has been moved 4 times since the first time it was opened up. My latest pickup date is May 16th. I called again today and the body shop told me that they need another supplement and have submitted the paperwork. The adjuster is saying that he has other cases he needs to look at first and then will look at mine. He will issue the check by tomorrow. I was given a rental by Liberty Mutual for a month that is covered by my policy and that ended on March 17th. I've been without a car for 2 months now and using bus/train to commute back and forth to work and home. It's really disappointing and I want to get some kind of compensation for this. Can I sue the body shop or the insurance company in small claims court? Is it worth the trouble?

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Attorney answers 6


Best bet is to hound your adjuster daily. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.


Dear Fairfax - you are vetting messed with!! Liberty Mutual owes you quick repairs, then it can subrogate against the other insurer.


Will the shop get you a rental or loaner? Hassle your own co for its delays. File a complaint with the state ins dept.

L. Vincent Ramunno

L. Vincent Ramunno


fine point


Hope this is resolved by now. If not, contact the supervisor of your adjuster and complain in writing. You can also post online about your bad experience.


In Indiana, we tell people in a situation like yours to get the State Department of Insurance involved as soon as possible. While it is not an immediate "fix" it is amazing how things get going when the Department of Insurance gets involved. Call the adjuster every hour on the hour. You can also contact your local news channels for "call for help"--Good luck and sorry to hear this.

*This information should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


You should consider contained the insurance commissioner for your state and filing a complaint. You should also contact a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

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