The Automotive Education & Policy Institute (AEPI) is collecting legal case materials from actions involving recovery for collision repair services and needs your help. Beginning immediately, the AEPI is asking attorneys, consumers and collision repair professionals to get in touch with AEPI about information pertaining to lawsuits, arbitration or appraisal matters that sought to obtain payment in full for professional collision repair services from insurers or at-fault parties.
“Too often, we hear of situations in which an insurer flatly refuses to pay reasonable rates or for activities that the professional repairer has determined to be necessary for the safe and proper repair of a customer’s vehicle. In the current economic times, many consumers simply cannot afford to pay for those repairs themselves and take their insurers to court for reimbursement,” said E. L. Eversman, founder of AEPI. “Insurers know this and engage in what we believe are predatory practices to avoid paying a claim in full. This means that the consumer does not receive a proper repair of the damaged vehicle, or the collision repairer is not fully paid for all of the work performed. Either way, the outcome is unacceptable.”
To document these issues and inform attorneys, judges and consumers of the frequency of occurrence and results of other cases and rulings, the AEPI created the “Legal Cases” section of its website. It includes previously unavailable case decisions, transcripts and hearing materials.
“We already have some great materials posted, including the statement by California Judge James G. Bertoli in which he declared that State Farm’s collision repair labor rate survey ‘from a statistical standpoint would get a first-year college student a flunking grade,’" said Eversman. "That is the type of indictment of an insurance company’s method of paying claims that we should all know about.”
AEPI needs the help of the community to discover that these cases or hearings took place.
“Most of these decisions come from small claims matters,” Eversman explained. “They don’t get reported to any of the national legal databases where they’re readily accessible, but these decisions can be important and influential. We just need to know about them so the AEPI can track down the materials for posting.”
Anyone with knowledge of lawsuits, arbitrations or appraisal hearings on collision or glass repair payments should contact the AEPI at [email protected] and include “Legal” in the subject line.