Visitor Question

Proper reimbursement for transmission repair due to faulty service?

Submitted By: A (Illinois)

My transmission was burnt up due to faulty service performed on the cooler lines.

The service repair shop’s insurance admitted that their insured was liable, but only offered 75% of total repair cost, using depreciation and betterment to calculate actual cash value of the “property” (the transmission in this case).

The adjuster used the invoice amount (I had to pay for the service up front to get my vehicle back) minus 25% (depreciation + betterment due to the fact that the new tranny came with a 2 year warranty) to determine the actual cash value of the transmission.

I have not heard of calculating and paying out only actual cash value of a major component of a vehicle to cover a repair job. Is this standard practice among insurance adjusters for this type of liability, or am I getting the shaft on this? How can I get them to pay the whole cost? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear A,

You are in a difficult situation. Insurance claim adjusters may take into account the year, make, model, and mileage of a car before deciding what amount to pay. In your case, the adjuster used the insurance company’s “schedule” to determine the amount to pay for the repairs to your car.

You aren’t bound by the adjuster’s decision. Just because the insurance company’s schedule determined to pay you only 75% doesn’t mean you have to accept that amount.

Unfortunately, the case isn’t substantial enough for an attorney to accept it in a contingency basis. This means you would probably have to pay the attorney an hourly fee to pursue your claim in an effort to have 100% of the repairs effected to your car (or pay you the full amount of the cost of repairs so you can have the car repaired elsewhere).

That amount should include any towing fees, especially if you have to have the car towed to another repair shop.

If you are intent in pursuing the matter, you can file a lawsuit in small claims court. You can sue not only for the repairs to your car, but also for your out-of-pocket expenses (for parking, towing, etc.), and for any lost wages as as a result of your having to take time off to have your car moved, repaired, etc..

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 7, 2015

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