Is there a good way to prove that damages were not pre-existing?

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Is there a good way to prove that damages were not pre-existing?

About five weeks ago, I was rear ended getting on the freeway. I was found
to not be at fault, but the insurance company responsible Ameriprise
claims that the damages on my car were not from the accident, but pre-
existing. The latch on the trunk of my car a 5 piece had been broken
before the accident, so I had tied it down with a strap. This made the
insurance company think that it had already been wrecked before my car
was totalled. When the car was inspected, the mechanic told me in person
that the damages were clearly recent, but the insurance company told me
the report filed some pre-existing damage which had been a stripe of
paint damaged earlier on the side of the car, rather than the trunk. How
can I prove that the damages were not pre-existing?

Asked on August 13, 2018 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The only ways to prove it are the obvious ways:
1) The testimony of people, including yourself, familiar with the car, who can testify that based on their personal knowledge, it is not pre-existing.
2) Photographs, especially date-stamped ones.
3) A report by a mechanic, etc. who examined the car and will opine that based on his experience, training, etc., the damage is recent.
If the insurer will not agree that it was not-pre-existing, your option is to sue. You sue the at-fault driver, not their insurer.


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