ELYRIA, Ohio - Kelly McCamey feels lucky to be alive, after her 2014 Ford Taurus was hit by a texting driver on Interstate 480 on Dec. 26, 2013. Now she's concerned her new car will lose thousands in value due to the accident.
"I had no idea I was even getting hit, my car was on two wheels," said McCamey. "He had to have been going about 70 miles an hour."
McCamey's new car sustained $7,000 in damage, the texting driver was cited. But she explained the other driver seemed to show little remorse at the scene just minutes after the collision.
"He was text messaging as he got back," explained McCamey. "He was sitting there text messaging his girlfriend, telling her that he was in an accident because he answered her text message."
McCamey told NewsChannel5 the texting driver's insurance company covered all repairs to her car, but she explained Allstate Insurance has so far refused to cover the diminished value to her car due to the accident.
"I'm going to lose about 30 percent of what the car's value is worth," said McCamey. "I could lose between $5,000 to $8,000 on this car. I trade in my cars every two to three years, and now I'm going to be stuck with this car because it's going to show that it was in an accident."
In Ohio, accident victims can file a "diminished value claim" with the other driver's insurance company. An independent vehicle assessment must also be filed with the claim.
In many cases the other driver's insurance company will not pay for the independent vehicle assessment, which typically costs several hundred dollars.
McCamey believes Allstate should pick-up the cost for the vehicle assessment since the accident clearly wasn't her fault.
"Allstate, all I'm asking you to do is what is fair," explained McCamey.
"You want me to come up with $300 to $500 for something I didn't do. I was hit by a texting driver who is okay today. His car is probably nothing wrong with it. Now I have my car and I can't do anything. I would like to have my diminished claim value paid."
NewsChannel5 contacted Allstate Insurance about this case. The company explained its policy is not to cover vehicle assessment costs, but it is willing to consider McCamey's diminished value claim if she files the proper paperwork.
Allstate told NewsChannel5 not paying for vehicle assessments is "an industry standard."
Allstate Insurance issued the following statement in response to our story;
"Drivers are entitled to present evidence of the market value of their vehicles just prior to the accident and after full repairs are completed. Generally, there are costs incurred by drivers to present the claim, which are not reimbursable."
"Costs such as these passed through an insurer increase the price that everyone pays for auto insurance. It’s important to note, there isn’t always diminished value after a collision, depending on the type of damage incurred, the quality of the repair and the parts used."
NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will follow up on this developing story.
Information on how to file a diminished value claim can be found on this website .
Meanwhile, McCamey has a word of advice for people who text and drive.
"Please do not text and drive," said McCamey. "If your phone is there, wait until you get home, a red light, a parking lot. Don't pull it out, there's no sense, you can wait. Texting you can wait for anything."
Allstate has resources on driving and texting prevention.
"Allstate does not condone texting while driving. In fact, Allstate is on the forefront of educating the public about the dangers of texting while driving. We have many resources available to families who want to learn more about safe driving. I encourage viewers to visit this website . You can also download a family texting pledge at allstate.com ."
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