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Collision Assessment Help!


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Guerni
New User

Nov 10, 2016, 6:27 PM

Post #1 of 10 (279 views)
Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

Hi Guys,

Today a student backed up into my 2010 Malibu in the parking lot on my way in to work. She's admitted fault for the accident, but I have to take it in for a damage assessment tomorrow morning, so I don't have much time to get quotes beyond the place they are telling me to go.

The damage I can see outright:
-The passenger side headlight is cracked and seated lower than it should be, leaving a half inch gap above it.
-Passenger side of the front bumper is scuffed
-Front passenger quarter panel is trashed...I am assuming there is no salvaging this and it would require a new panel...is this correct to assume?
-The passenger side door does not open, due to the quarter panel being bent in along the door hinge
-There is a grinding/scraping noise when pavement changes elevation (steep hills, speed bumps, etc). I assume it may be the wheel rubbing on something, but I don't know for sure.
-Car seems out of alignment now...drifts badly to the right.

http://i65.tinypic.com/2zz3x4l.jpg
http://i64.tinypic.com/jfx89w.jpg
http://i65.tinypic.com/x23p1y.jpg
http://i67.tinypic.com/2lwkhfp.jpg

Can I get some thoughts on what it might cost to fix all this? I am really worried about being low-balled by the claims adjuster, because honestly it looks bad...like I got hit at an intersection, not by someone backing out of a parking space with a Ford Ranger (which didn't even get a scratch on it).

Any help is so very appreciated!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 11, 2016, 12:48 AM

Post #2 of 10 (257 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

Hey - Just be happy if nobody is hurt and the car can be fixed.


YOU HOLD ALL THE CARDS - DON'T BLOW IT! 'She' admitted fault so that's over, document that in your report of accident.
Now know if you want YOUR insurance involved or not the other party's insurance can't make the rules now YOU do. Take it to where you wish it to be fixed or declared totaled which is a value vs costs to repair equation.


You are allowed alternative transportation of a similar vehicle while it gets fixed, the storage charges, estimates but if you choose the right shop to handle all the you are sitting pretty to let them dig thru the insurance nightmare AND take care of the fix.


Adjusters should come to the car not the other way around. You've been harmed so doesn't need to be your total hassle if you play this right.


Rules for insurance vary so you need local knowledge and still defer that to the shop you choose - not anyone else.


If you come across with too much to rent another vehicle, storage costs that alone is added to settling the matter right away and hand you a check that will be marked that it ENDS the entire thing so beware of that. Other damages can be found later.


#1 decision is whether to go it alone with you, your chosen shop and the other party's insurance or have your own involved. WATCH OUT FOR THAT - INSURACE COMPANIES ARE PROTECTIVE OF EACH OTHER SO COULD STEP IN POOP WHEN YOU ARE 100% NOT AT FAULT!


This is 1/2 playing insurance and 1/2 getting the car fixed or the most $$ towards the next and you'd be shocked how easy it is to declare a car a total loss money wise.


Find the shop and let them do both. It's part of what they do all the time.
I'd add in writing on any papers signed that you demand time to cover "unseen" damage for like 6 months, 6,000 miles would be fair IMO.


Don't forget now your car even fixed is worth less than before damage and you are owed the difference as that will matter when you go to sell this car - trust me on that,


T



Guerni
New User

Nov 11, 2016, 6:38 AM

Post #3 of 10 (249 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In


In Reply To
Hey - Just be happy if nobody is hurt and the car can be fixed.


YOU HOLD ALL THE CARDS - DON'T BLOW IT! 'She' admitted fault so that's over, document that in your report of accident.
Now know if you want YOUR insurance involved or not the other party's insurance can't make the rules now YOU do. Take it to where you wish it to be fixed or declared totaled which is a value vs costs to repair equation.


You are allowed alternative transportation of a similar vehicle while it gets fixed, the storage charges, estimates but if you choose the right shop to handle all the you are sitting pretty to let them dig thru the insurance nightmare AND take care of the fix.


Adjusters should come to the car not the other way around. You've been harmed so doesn't need to be your total hassle if you play this right.


Rules for insurance vary so you need local knowledge and still defer that to the shop you choose - not anyone else.


If you come across with too much to rent another vehicle, storage costs that alone is added to settling the matter right away and hand you a check that will be marked that it ENDS the entire thing so beware of that. Other damages can be found later.


#1 decision is whether to go it alone with you, your chosen shop and the other party's insurance or have your own involved. WATCH OUT FOR THAT - INSURACE COMPANIES ARE PROTECTIVE OF EACH OTHER SO COULD STEP IN POOP WHEN YOU ARE 100% NOT AT FAULT!


This is 1/2 playing insurance and 1/2 getting the car fixed or the most $$ towards the next and you'd be shocked how easy it is to declare a car a total loss money wise.


Find the shop and let them do both. It's part of what they do all the time.
I'd add in writing on any papers signed that you demand time to cover "unseen" damage for like 6 months, 6,000 miles would be fair IMO.


Don't forget now your car even fixed is worth less than before damage and you are owed the difference as that will matter when you go to sell this car - trust me on that,


T


Goodness this is so helpful, thank you! You mentioned dealing with her insurance vs mine...I am in Michigan, which is a No-Fault state, and so your own insurance covers your own car minus any deductible, regardless of who caused the accident. I don't know if this is good, or bad. Her insurer has offered to cover my deductible without a lawsuit.

Fair market value for my vehicle is probably in the $6k range. It seems to drive the same, so I am not expecting to find a lot of internal damage (still asking for time to assess that beyond the repair is brilliant-thank you). I assume they will try to replace the fender, buff any scratches/rubbing, and hammer out the dent at the edge of the door. The headlight...I'm not sure...I can't see what's causing it to be seated so low in the body of the car. I'm concerned with these adding up to a value where it is easier to declare my car a loss rather than fix it(50% of the value or ~$3k), because I have only a very vague idea of what these would cost.


(This post was edited by Guerni on Nov 11, 2016, 6:44 AM)


kev2
Veteran
kev2 profile image

Nov 11, 2016, 6:41 AM

Post #4 of 10 (248 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

AGREE
You take the vehicle where YOU want, maybe your chevy dealer, but if their selected shop is agreeable to you... ok.
Do not forget about the RENTAL during this inconvenience.
Ask about diminished value.
You advise them as to your decisions and you decide.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 11, 2016, 7:33 AM

Post #5 of 10 (240 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

OK - I'm in and from MA only once a "No-fault" state that didn't work out well so back to the at fault party is 100% responsible to cover the realistic costs to put you back where you were before an accident up to their limits of insurance then would be another issue.


You should still have the right to choose your own shop not only ones YOUR insurance will deal with. Suks, read the fine print if you can find the policy on how they can or might weasel out of what and trust me they don't like paying out they like premiums paid IN!!!!


There's no fun in any of it.


I can't know specifics for your own coverage so default to suggest you find out precisely what you have for "rights" and what you don't so you don't waste time chasing an endless game only to be disappointed.


Good luck,


T



kev2
Veteran
kev2 profile image

Nov 11, 2016, 11:05 AM

Post #6 of 10 (233 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

a little confusion on this no fault issue
" and so your own insurance covers your own car minus any deductible, regardless of who caused the accident. I don't know if this is good, or bad. Her insurer has offered to cover my deductible without a lawsuit. "
They will cover, you decide on who repairs (within reason) they will pay.
rental?
Ask about depreciated asset?


Guerni
New User

Nov 11, 2016, 11:13 AM

Post #7 of 10 (232 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

OK so I spoke with the adjuster. Accomplished absolutely nothing:

-Asked if they use OEM parts: No. if I want OEM parts, I have to pay the difference. They are required to revert my vehicle back to the condition it was pre-accident. He argued that in my case, OEM will not matter as there is mainly aesthetic damage.

-Compensation for Diminished Value: He is claiming GEICO does not pay out claims for diminished value. This is contradictory to what I am finding online. I asked him what is stopping me from filing a claim regardless, and he told me "Nothing, you would just be wasting your time"....for a 2010 Malibu that I hope to have for a while, is it worth it to try to pursue this? It sounds like they will put up a fight to avoid paying out, based on others experiences I have read. Additionally GEICO claims they don't report to CARFAX, like that makes a difference for dealerships assessing a trade in. If they don't, I'm expecting the collision place sure does!

-Trying to get some guarantee for unforeseen issues that come up 6 months from now that may have been overlooked, he told me "we will disassemble that entire portion of your car, and we will be able to see if anything is damaged. Replaced parts are guaranteed for the life of the car".

I feel like I am getting really screwed here and I'm not sure what kind of leverage I have to get them to do what I want without the cost falling back on to me for an accident that wasn't even my fault.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 11, 2016, 11:52 AM

Post #8 of 10 (227 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

Kev2 - What it was in MA for a time was to take all the smaller claims out of your hands and tying up court time over less than a disastrous at fault, totally out of control problem. Like letting the dogs decide on who can tip over the meat wagon - suks.


That's why I said you need you read the fine print of the exact policy you purchased now. Know that it might have snuck in non OE parts if they fit but most wouldn't make them find new just equal or better used painted as it was.


The insurance companies pushed for this as the ancillary costs were way too expensive for smaller claims so take it away as it says "FAULT DOESN'T MATTER!!!!" Guess you'd have to prove it was intentional against just you or something.


The Carfax thing almost has to kick in. That or anyone looking at it will see it lacks OE tiny marks and or the VIN of the car all over parts for ages now. That loss is real if the next person has it checked out or you trade in they see it.


Again, sorry it happened and do your best. Might take a couple bucks of legal advice on how to approach this without getting all involved with those costs.


The common game is wear you down till you give in as they won't come up with a dime till you settle a final cost. That's why they dumped this no-fault crap rather quickly here - tons of ticked of people and idiots getting away with just reckless driving without consequence.


It's never any joy,


Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 11, 2016, 12:19 PM

Post #9 of 10 (223 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

At fault DOES matter in "no fault.

Yes, they will automatically cover your car but after your car is repaired, they WILL go after the "at fault" driver's insurance for reimbursement.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Guerni
New User

Nov 11, 2016, 12:26 PM

Post #10 of 10 (222 views)
Re: Collision Assessment Help! Sign In

Sigh. Yeah. So far it seems like No-fault really screws over people that drive responsibly.

They calculated the final damage at $1600. It would have been about $2000, but they told me an existing dent on the front bumper could compromise the integrity and cause it to crack (which I would then be liable for) if they tried repairing the scuff/paint dings next to the headlight. They applied the savings from what the $400 bumper would have cost to my $500 deductible, so when I collect the car I will owe $100, and when all is said and done, I should get a check from the insurer of the girl that hit me for the original deductible amount of $500.

Thanks Tom for all the great feedback-You've given me much piece of mind. I think after this is taken care of, I will be switching insurers.






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