Payless/Sidgwick bill for Loss of use/Diminishment of value/Administrative fee - $1,157.09

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Dec 7, 2017
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#1
Brief history:
- rented newer Toyota Corolla in April 2017 in Tampa, Florida from Payless (never again)
- not at my fault accident happened a few days later in downtown St. Pete (fender bender)
- police report was filed along with claims to my insurance (AmFam) and the other party insurance (USAA). My credit card company (visa) was not informed (big mistake) at that time since the other party accepted full responsibility the liability.
- it took almost 6 months for USAA and Payless/Sidgwick to resolve the claim, so now it's too late to file a claim with visa (I did it anyway a few days ago).
- in the end Sidgwick sent me a letter claiming I owe the amount in the subject

I spent some time reading similar cases at the forum and understand that usual strategy would be to ask them for supporting documents (e.g fleet logs for Loss of use, proof of Diminishment of value), etc. Then I re-read my rental contract and it made me thinking that they probably re-wrote the paragraph of Damage/Loss in a response of increasing document demands like mine. It says "As a part of our loss, you'll also pay for loss of use without regard of our fleet utilization, plus administrative fee, plus towing and storage charges, if any". I have attached that paragraph. Now the question, does this paragraph make my case any weaker? Also, I noticed on my rental agreement that they failed to take my initials for another attached form. Does that help me at all?

Thank you View attachment 1546 View attachment 1547 View attachment 1547 View attachment 1547
 
Dec 7, 2017
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#3
it's still damage caused by the person at fault. You might be contractually liable to Payless but they are liable to you for any damages caused by their negligence- resubmit the claim to THEIR carrier. These are all claims that the tortfeasor's carrier should pay -

And loss of use needs to be proven with a fleet log detailing that the 'could' have been rented.

Remember that the insurance carriers often refuse to pay these claims on the grounds that the loss of use cannot be proven.

you should ask for payless entire claim file - they might have a letter from the other carrier denying these amounts- plus - I can't imagine that the towing and other third party fees are not coverred by the other insurance - its a routine fee.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#4
it's still damage caused by the person at fault. You might be contractually liable to Payless but they are liable to you for any damages caused by their negligence- resubmit the claim to THEIR carrier. These are all claims that the tortfeasor's carrier should pay -

And loss of use needs to be proven with a fleet log detailing that the 'could' have been rented.

Remember that the insurance carriers often refuse to pay these claims on the grounds that the loss of use cannot be proven.

you should ask for payless entire claim file - they might have a letter from the other carrier denying these amounts- plus - I can't imagine that the towing and other third party fees are not coverred by the other insurance - its a routine fee.
It’s not me- are you an attorney? We had an attorney that used to post and was very helpful with these type of cases.
 
Oct 22, 2015
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#5
Here's that lawyer.

It is hard to opine without seeing the entire contract, but the ideal way to resolve all the issues (believe it or not) would be for Payless to sue the renter, and then the renter third-party sues the miscreant who hit the renter. Before you say "there goes another lawyer" I will bet dollars to doughnuts that the rental contract has an attorney's fee clause. In Florida that becomes a "prevailing party attorney's fee" clause. That means that whoever wins gets paid by whoever loses.

But here is where the advantage lies: you can ask for files and documents until you are blue in the face and they really can ignore you--but if you are in court with your good lawyer he can file a "request for production" which requires the production of the documents within 30 calendar days or suffer the spectre of a compulsion order along with fees and sanctions if the request is not honored. With those documents in hand you can determine if the claims are authentic or bogus, and move the court to rule accordingly.

You may not choose to believe this, but I have seen property damage claims that were fought so vehemently by the bad guys (which can include insurance companies) that the amount of the attorney's fees due exceeded the value of the injury.

Good Luck

d
 
#6
Here's that lawyer.

It is hard to opine without seeing the entire contract, but the ideal way to resolve all the issues (believe it or not) would be for Payless to sue the renter, and then the renter third-party sues the miscreant who hit the renter. Before you say "there goes another lawyer" I will bet dollars to doughnuts that the rental contract has an attorney's fee clause. In Florida that becomes a "prevailing party attorney's fee" clause. That means that whoever wins gets paid by whoever loses.

But here is where the advantage lies: you can ask for files and documents until you are blue in the face and they really can ignore you--but if you are in court with your good lawyer he can file a "request for production" which requires the production of the documents within 30 calendar days or suffer the spectre of a compulsion order along with fees and sanctions if the request is not honored. With those documents in hand you can determine if the claims are authentic or bogus, and move the court to rule accordingly.

You may not choose to believe this, but I have seen property damage claims that were fought so vehemently by the bad guys (which can include insurance companies) that the amount of the attorney's fees due exceeded the value of the injury.

Good Luck

d
@Texasnole... Disclaimer.. I am not a lawyer. My question to you goes to the verbiage that the OP agreed to in the rental agreement. That is, and I paraphrase...that the renter is responsible for loss of use without regard to fleet utilization [amongst other things]. Once the renter has agreed to that, unless somehow a judge [or maybe the FTC] decides that paragraph is against the public interest, or otherwise unenforceable, how can one argue that the rental company is required to produce documents that the renter has already agreed are not germane to his liability? Not a criticism, truly a question.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#7
I’m not an attorney either but I have have heard that someone can not force you to sign away your rights. Just because they disclaim liability (like a Trader Joe’s who has signs in their parking lots that say they are not responsible for damages caused by shopping carts.) The carts are their property and I am guessing any lawyer could tear up that claim. The sign is there for those people who are gullible enough to believe it - IMO.
 
Likes: sas80
#8
I’m not an attorney either but I have have heard that someone can not force you to sign away your rights. Just because they disclaim liability (like a Trader Joe’s who has signs in their parking lots that say they are not responsible for damages caused by shopping carts.) The carts are their property and I am guessing any lawyer could tear up that claim. The sign is there for those people who are gullible enough to believe it - IMO.
I hear what you are saying, but no one is forcing a renter to sign an agreement to rent a car. It is like saying even though you signed a contract stating that any disputes would be settled via binding arbitration instead of a court, you cannot later say, well, even though I agreed to sign away my right to sue, it doesnt count. Also, a sign in a parking lot probably does not have the same power of enforcement as a contract someone has willingly signed.
 
Oct 10, 2015
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#9
What if you sued the other parties (driver, car owner) directly now as opposed to continue to deal with their insurance company(ies)? Upon their request, the other parties can expect their insurance companies to defend them and to pay any judgment rendered against them.

Meanwhile you have no relationship with the other parties' insurance companies. You start with dealingl with their insurance companies because in most cases the logistics for everyone is expedited.
 
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Likes: mmb
Dec 7, 2017
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#10
Update:
Citi paid everything except Diminished value even after 8 months since the accident. Kudos to them, I was pleasantly surprised. Sidgewick insisted on Diminished value is still due from me and offered 50% off the $632, which I declined and wrote a letter to Avis/Budget/Payless director of customer service. Next day received a note from Sidgewick that Diminished value charge is waived. Thanks, guys!
 
Likes: VoR61 and ADM