If I was not at fault for an accident and the other person’s insurer took liability for the repairs, shouldn’t it be held responsible to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition?

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If I was not at fault for an accident and the other person’s insurer took liability for the repairs, shouldn’t it be held responsible to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition?

One of the tires and wheel was damaged in the collision. They’ve said they will replace the one tire only and the wheel cannot be replaced (it’s aftermarket). They offered me some cash in place of the wheel being replaced instead. Is the insurance company trying to pull a fast one on me and trying to get me to settle? I had 4 custom wheels before the accident, they want to return my truck to me with 3 wheels.

Asked on April 6, 2015 under Accident Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

They are not required to return the vehicle to pre-accident condition, or to go to any length or any expense to repair custom work or out-of-production items. Rather, they need to pay the *reasonable* cost of repairs. If the wheel is a custom aftermarket wheel that cannot, as you write, be replaced, then offering you cash for it is reasonable; they would not, for example, be required to buy 4 new custom wheels so you'd have a matching set.


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