What to do if my truck was parked legally at my residence when the operator of a garbage truck dropped a garbage container which rolled into the truck?

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What to do if my truck was parked legally at my residence when the operator of a garbage truck dropped a garbage container which rolled into the truck?

I obtained an estimate from a body shop recommended by my insurance company (no official claim yet) and now they say in order to settle I have to obtain 3 estimates and they don’t care if it’s an inconvenience. Am I required by law to do this? Law being the key.

Asked on November 24, 2014 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

Edward Carlstead / The Carlstead Law Firm

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Colorado law does not require you to get three estimates.� The simpliest way to handle property damages claims like this, however, is to make a claim with your insurance company if you carry collision or comprehensie coverage.� Your insurance company will make an estimate and pay you the loss (less your deductible) and then they will go after the garbage truck company for reimbursement.� You can still try to recover the deductible from the garbage truck company.

�

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A settlement is voluntary: an insurer is not required to voluntarily settle a claim. If you want them to settle, you have to give them what they want. Otherwise, you could try suing your insurer from breach of contract--on the grounds they are not honoring their obligation to pay you for the damage--but 1) you may lose, on the ground that you did not take reasonable steps of you own (the estimates) to resolve the issue and that because of your failure to take reasonable action, the insurer never actually breached their obligations; and 2) even if you don't lose for this reason, to win the lawsuit, you'd have to show that the amount you sought for repairs was reasonable, and to do that, you may need more than one estimate anyway (the court might not consider a single estimate sufficient to establish what is reasonable). Therefore, you are better off complying.


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