Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Help Me Howard: Fallen Truck
He went to a shop to have a minor issue with his truck taken care of. He wound up with a major problem after the shop dropped his truck off a lift. Then the shop would not pay for the repairs. It's why he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Billy Gray looks like a rough, tough guy, and after a lifetime in the construction business, the looks may be accurate.
Billy Gray: "I think it must have been his son stood up and wanted to fight with me. I said, 'Hey, what are you standing up for?' And so he sat back down."
Billy can take care of himself, but his truck, that's a whole different thing.
Ever since then it's been a nightmare, and they won't do anything about the truck.
Billy had taken his customized 1997 Ford pickup truck with the skulls on the side to a repair shop for a minor problem.
Billy Gray: "He lifted the truck up on the rack, about eight feet in the air. The truck fell off."
From eight feet in the air crashing to the ground. As you can see, trucks are not built for flying into concrete.
Billy Gray: "The right front fender was totally smashed in, the door was smashed, the third door was completely damaged, the tailgate was gone."
Billy doesn't have to look at the pictures to remember. He watched it fall off the lift.
Billy Gray: "As a matter of fact, I was standing, like, six feet away."
Patrick Fraser: "What's that like, to see your truck fall?"
Billy Gray: "I wanted to shoot the person, to be honest."
Billy says the people at National Tire in Hollywood told him they would get it repaired.
Billy Gray: "They said they would take care of everything, but they backed out of that and didn't want to do nothing."
Billy didn't have collision insurance on the truck, just personal injury protection (PIP), so he had to borrow the money to pay for everything.
Billy Gray: "I am already out about $10,000 in repairs and car rental fees."
The repair shop did offer Billy $2,000 if he would give them his truck. He said no. When he asked for the name of their insurance company, they refused to tell him. When he went by their business to try to talk to them, they didn't welcome him.
Billy Gray: "They called the cops on me to tell me to get off their property."
Well Howard, a company crashes your vehicle and refuses to pay for it. What can you do?
Howard Finkelstein: "First off, they have to either repair or replace the truck with a similar vehicle or pay you the fair market value. In addition, they have to pay for a replacement vehicle in the meantime. And if they won't pay, just sue them, and a judge will make them."
We went by National Tire a couple of times. No one would talk to us. We called several times. They told me they would get back to me. They didn't.
Billy then sued the company in small claims court, and that did it. Two days after the court hearing, the repair shop's insurance company offered Billy $2,500 dollars to settle. He said no, he wanted $5,000. They then sent this check to end his truck repair nightmare.
Patrick Fraser: "It looks like it did before?"
Billy Gray: "Oh yeah, even better."
Billy has his truck back, with new skull emblems, and a little peace of mind.
Billy Gray: "I am happy I have my truck back. I am not happy that I didn't get back what I should have gotten back."
Glad he has his truck back. Now, if a company damages your property and won't pay, and then won't reveal their insurance, the best solution is to file a lawsuit in small claims court. Then the company is almost forced to notify their insurance company so they can defend the lawsuit. That's what did the trick for Billy.
Feel like you have crashed into a wall trying to solve a problem? Wanna be picked up and put back together again? Contact us. We don't do body work, but our body of work isn't bad. With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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