Do I have to prove the mechanical condition of my truck before an accident?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have to prove the mechanical condition of my truck before an accident?

I was rear ended and had bumper damage and my trailer hitch was bent down facing
the ground and after driving away I noticed a bad vibration at speed. The person
who hit me has Geico insurance as do I and my truck was repaired. When I told
them about the vibration Geico said they will drive the truck and if the
vibration was still there they would diagnose it and let me know, however after
telling me my truck was completed and I test drove it the vibration was worse and
Geico said it was on me to prove the vibration was not there before the accident.
I thought insurance was supposed to get my vehicle back to me the way it was
before the accident. What can I do?

Asked on June 3, 2016 under Insurance Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, insurance is is supposed to (more or less) get the truck back to where it was pre-accident, but that means that if the insurer believes a problem or damage was pre-existing, they will not pay. A good way to proceed is to have a mechanic exam the truck and submit a written affidavit or report that the vibration was caused by the accident (and how it was caused). (You will very likely have to pay the mechanic for his time, etc. in doing this.) If that doesn't get them to pay, you have the option of suing them for breach of contract (not honoring their contractual obligations to pay for a covered loss; all insurance policies are contracts), but will have to way whether the amount of additional money, for further repairs, you are seeking is worth the time and cost of a lawsuit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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