Allegation: (Small) previous damage concealed – Is there now no compensation at all?

After a traffic accident in the spring of 2017 that was not her fault, our client initially contacted a repair shop and filled out a (multi-page) questionnaire with them at the request of the insurance company.

What she did not know, however – and what the insurance company did not point out to her, of course – is that the advice familiar from American crime series always applies to insurance companies:

“Anything you say now can and will be used against you in a court of law”

The liability insurers of accident claimants are usually not interested in providing the injured party with the highest possible compensation, but just the opposite: cost savings!

As a result, the answer “none” to the question as to whether the vehicle had prior damage led to the insurance company refusing all settlement out of court and only after protracted court proceedings and a verdict more than 2 years after the traffic accident was at least required to compensate for the majority of the damage.

The actual previous damage – a small indentation on the lower edge of the bumper – ultimately meant that our client had to pay a small part of the repair costs herself. However, the trouble and the time-consuming court proceedings could have been saved by sound legal advice and an expert opinion obtained beforehand (at the insurance company’s expense). It is therefore advisable in any case to make use of the option granted by case law to always seek legal assistance for the settlement of claims in the event of a traffic accident for which the party is not at fault, and not to contact the insurance company first.

At this point, we would like to point out that it is generally advisable to take out legal protection insurance, ideally without a deductible. Without such insurance, private individuals are regularly at the mercy of the corresponding settlement behavior of the insurance companies, as the cost risk is extremely high.

To clarify the relations: The full repair costs did not even amount to €2,000, whereas the legal costs of almost €3,000 exceeded the actual vehicle damage by as much as 50%. If there is no legal protection insurance, the injured party must even pay a share of the costs in cases like this.

Ihr Ansprechpartner

Rechtsanwalt und Fachanwalt fr Verkehrsrecht Gnter Grne in Schweinfurt

Günter Grüne
Rechtsanwalt | Partner

Fachanwalt für Verkehrsrecht
Mitglied der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Verkehrsrecht im DAV

Informationen zu RA Grüne

Jetzt Kontakt aufnehmen

Telefon: 09721 / 1269