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One question that clients consistently ask is: Am I entitled to new auto parts after being involved in a motor vehicle accident? Unfortunately, the short answer is: no.
Automobile insurance companies are only required, by the Ohio Department of Insurance, to restore your car to the same condition it was in immediately before the accident. What does that mean? Simply, the insurance company is required to choose the least expensive way to restore your car. The insurance company must replace the parts on your car that were damaged beyond repair. However, the insurance company is not required to use Original Equipment Manufacturer parts or even parts that are brand new. Instead, they can replace your damaged parts with used parts of “like kind and quality” or with aftermarket parts.
If you demand that Original Equipment Manufacturer parts be used to replace the damaged parts, the insurance company will comply: but you will be responsible for paying the difference in price.
The insurance companies have pushed heavily for these regulations, and for obvious reason: it allows them to reap larger profits and to retain the insurance premiums you are forced to pay. The effect on your ability to sell your vehicle with aftermarket parts is, frankly, overlooked by the insurance companies who pressure our lawmakers into driving up their profit margin.
When looking for an attorney to represent you after an automobile accident, you want to hire the person who can answer your questions. You don’t need a lawyer who pretends to know everything and then doesn’t deliver. Trust a lawyer who can give you answers to not only the complex questions, but to even basic questions as well.
Authored by Attorney Jordan D. Lebovitz
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