New car accident --- need opinions

dlynn2December 6, 2005

I have a very new SUV and we were involved in an accident recently that was totally the fault of another driver (we were stopped and the other driver T-boned us). Our car has approximately $20,000 damage to the entire driver's side, some enterior damage, the pasenger side was knocked into a pole and has a little damage from that, the tires were knocked off of the rims and it possibly has damage to the suspension. The windows are broken and it is snowing and very windy out, but the windows are covered with some thin plastic now, but I'm concerned about damage that could be happening to some of the electrical things like the DVD player, navigation system, etc. We also had soft drinks inside the car that flew everywhere spilling on everything. It will take at least a month for the body shop to repair. My questions are do you think it can be repaired like new again and how much value has my car lost? Since none of this is my fault, should I insist on replacement with a new car since mine was just a few months old (we just reached enough mileage to have the first oil change!).

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airforceguy

Wow, sorry to hear about the accident,hope everyone is doing OK. I personally think (i'm no expert) after any type of major accident like yours, the cars are never the same. I had a brand new 1999 Acura Integra, a few months old and a kid fell asleep at the wheel(at 6 pm???) and rear ended me. At first they said was only $5000 (Canadian) damage, but slowly grew, the insurance company said they were going to fix it. I dug in my heels and said I wanted a new one. I had total replacement insurance (paid extra for it) Eventually after many phone calls I got what I paid for the car, plus the extras I put into it back!! Had to fight for it. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:53PM
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gooseberry_guy

Sounds like it should have been totaled out by the insurance co..

Like new? Never. If the damage is as you describe. It may look fine with the exterior cosmetics restored and repainted, but it will never be brought back to factory tolerances no matter how much you spend for repairs. If you knew how little tolerance the manufacturers allow for fitting and assembling a vehicle, you wouldn't consider repairs made to yours as being acceptable for a new vehicle. I wouldn't want to buy it from you if you were to sell it after it is repaired.

GG

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 12:11AM
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jemdandy

If you can wrangle a replacement vehicle, even a like new used one, do it. You have extensive damage, but a good body shop can rebuild it to new like new condition.

The problem lies with an undiscovered condition that does not get repaired. I think that the wheel bearings on the side where the tires were torn off should be replaced. When the wheels takes a side blow that is enough to rip the tires off, the rims could have hit the curb or other object as well. (Look for dents or heavy scrapes on the rim.) Sometime, wheel bearing damage may not show until a few 1000 miles later. (I've had a personl experince with this.)

However, at $20,000 cost, its time to consider totaling it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 9:16AM
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gooseberry_guy

Undiscovered damage can be a problem. Brother had a car that hit a guy and had major front end damage. The frame around the windshield didn't get put back to specs, so the windshield was stressed when reinstalled and cracked a few months after. Two more windshields went in before the car was traded in for a new one.

GG

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 10:01AM
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dlynn2

To answer a few questions.

$20,000 is a lot of damage, but the MSRP was $53,000 and we paid $45,000. So, they say it needs to be about $26,000 to be totalled.

Yes, the wheels did hit a curb and that's what ripped the tires off. The tires are on the opposite side from the impact. Thanks for the tip on the wheel bearings. I'll check on that.

I'm having the car repaired at the dealership where I purchased the car (highly recommended by MY insurance agent and several others here in town). The sales manger at the dealership has already looked at my car and has told me it will have very little trade-in value if I were to trade it in. In fact, he recommended that if I want a new car I take it to another dealer to trade it in and buy a car from someone else since they would not have seen how much damge my car actually had and "might" take it as a trade in. They told me it will be very close to having a salvage title.

I'm also concerned about the soft drinks that were spilled all into the dashboard and into the dvd player, navigation system and cd players. No mention has been made of any of that part. I'm afraid damage from that might not show up for some time and then I'll be stuck with that. Also, wondering what kind of damage is being done by the car being outside without windows in this freezing, snowy weather. They are doing their best to keep plastic taped to it, but some is still getting in.

I'm just not sure how to go about convincing the other insurance company of all of this.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 11:07AM
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gooseberry_guy

Sounds like you need to be asking for legal help.

If the car is repaired, and it is not worth as much as a car that hasn't required major repairs, then you have a difference in the value of your investment. Will you get anything from this settlement that will make up for this difference when the car gets traded in, and this accident and the repairs are discovered?

It's like accepting a counterfeit 20 from someone and then you, trying to pass it off as legal. You may have it in your pocket, but it has no value. Your car lost major value when it got wrecked so severely, and you can't make up that difference if you accept the repairs as being equal to an unblemished vechicle. JMO.

GG

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 11:52AM
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earthworm

The insurance company should pay the $20 grand PLUS another $5 to 10 grand for loss of value..

A really good body shop should be able to renew this vehicle 99 %...if a good estimate was done - sometimes these people rush too much and fail to consider "hidden damage"..(bearings, beverage spills,bent pieces that appear unbent)...

This must have been a high speed accident, thanks to the modern auto designers and our federal government that no one was killed..

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 12:26PM
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dlynn2

I agree it's not worth as much. The insurance side is that it will be fixed as good as new. I don't agree with that. None of it was my fault, their client caused it all. "Maybe" they can fix it as good as new, but it still has lost significant value, and the insurance doesn't seem to care about that part because they can have it fixed back to the "same" condition and the value doesn't appear to matter to them. I don't even think they can fix it back to EXACTLY the same condition. I just really don't feel like getting into a legal battle right now, but it appears that we probably will.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 12:28PM
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gooseberry_guy

It's hard to gain much when legal help is so expensive and chews up a lot of any proceeds. It's always best to avoid that as much as possible. If you can research something like Arbitration, you may find some help that will keep more of what would go for legal expenses, in your pocket.

An accident occurred near me, where a motorcycle hit a van in the side, causing extensive injuries to the bike rider. Even though the kid was at fault, the insurance company of the van, paid out a lot of money for med care, instead of standing up for the van owner and fighting it in court when the parents of the kid tried to sue.

Perhaps if the insurance company sees that it will lose more than it would gain by not totaling it out, it may settle in your favor. Good luck!

GG

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 12:55PM
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bill_h

mention to the insurance company that you are going to sue for lost value, this may scare them enough that they will total it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 7:19PM
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gary__

**mention to the insurance company that you are going to sue for lost value, this may scare them enough that they will total it.**

I agree. Also, if they haven't done so already, tell them you expect them to provide you with a $50k rental vehicle untill you get yours back.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 7:28PM
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dlynn2

They've already agreed to a rental comparable to what I was driving and that will be costing them $68/day for 4-6 weeks.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 8:56PM
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casey_wa

You mention in your description of there being driver side damage with with "some" internal damage along with broken windows and tires knocked off the rims. (and damage from the passenger side into the pole).

From your description, and nothing mentioned further in detail (like injuries to the occupants), it "seems" that the vehicle colliding into your vehicle was traveling less than 20 mph.

Generally speaking, from an accident reconstruction point of view, a "delta v" or another words, a change of velocity exceeding 30 (fps) results in serious injuries and significant damage.

Without further pictures or details it is difficult to say whether your vehicle is repairable or not. A collision laterally to your vehicle can easily result in the damages you described and still be repairable.

Post some pictures...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 1:24AM
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gary__

I think the main question is around compensation for loss of value. The insurance company and body shop have already determined it is repairable.

People generally don't shell out the money for a brand new car for the privilage of driving around in a rebuilt wreck. I'd be mad as h*ll if it were me.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 8:10AM
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sue36

I know there are independent assessors that will assess damage to a home so you can fight an insurance company. Does the same thing exist for automobiles? I just can't imagine it will ever be the same.

I was t-boned several years ago. I was going about 30-40 and the other guy was going 70. There was no internal damage to the vehicle (except to me). Maybe a 1991 Mercury Sable holds up better than an SUV, but I am just raising the possibility that the other driver was going faster than 20. In my case, I was pushed into a guardrail (he hit the front tire on the driver's side). The exterior was totally demolished. The inside looked fine. Glass didn't even break except for one small crack in the corner on the driver's side. I guess they don't make them like they used to. :)

Could windows really break in a 20 MPH accident?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 3:26PM
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sdello

I agree with the consensus. If the insurance company thinks the car will be as good as new, then let them buy it for what you paid plus some grief money. They can always sell it and recoup thier loss.

hold out for a replacement.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 11:10PM
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dlynn2

I'm not sure how fast the other driver was going when she hit us. We were t-boned right between the front and rear tires, which is probably why our car had some damage to the interior of the car and the glass broke on the windows. The drivers door was pushed in over a foot which could be what caused the window above it to break. Also, my head hit the window which could have been what broke it, too. If we had been hit up by the front tire we probably would not have had any interior damage.

Yes, I have found that there are some independent assessors that will assess the damage. My car dealer is also willing to verify for me the loss of value of the car. So is the body shop.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 11:05AM
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jannie

My nearly-new Honda civic was hit on the side in a parking lot. SUV backed into me as I was driving past. Side doors were damaged. It was repaired by Honda at a cost of over $7000. It was not my fault, my insurance company sued the other party and got every cent back, even my deductible. The car runs okay but I see a little ripple in the front fender and the bottom of the frame just looks weird and too dark. And being in the northeast, we get a lot of cold and dampness. That is, rust. I will never be able to sell this car. I wouldn't want to sell this to some unsuspecting person. And the accident is a matter of public record, being reported to the police and court.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 8:28PM
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chuckr

go to AutoMuse and look for recent posts on diminished value recovery. There is one in December and one in the November archives.

I was the victim of a stolen car hit and run accident. The car was fixed, but every accessory device hung off the engine failed prematurely. I had no recourse, as the failures, although premature, were well after the car was 'fixed'. Get the DV settlement to offset those surprise problems.

Good luck

chuckR

Here is a link that might be useful: AutoMuse

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 1:07PM
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gooseberry_guy

DLynn:

The info in the link is something I came across last week in a newspaper, from the Car Talk Guys. It seems to be similar to your problem.

GG

Here is a link that might be useful: Car Talk Guys, December Archive/letters

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 12:22AM
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nine7xbam

Get it fixed,then take it to another dealership and trade it in.The carfax(if they even do it) might show the accident damage,but car dealers are greedy and won't care when a sale is to be made!Especially in the winter months when business is slow.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 1:46AM
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lazy_gardens

"they say it needs to be about $26,000 to be totalled."

"Totalled" is not 100% dependent on the cost of the repairs. It also depends on the . If the frame is damaged, it's UNSAFE to fix most cars.

Ask thr insurance company to get you an equivalent vehicle and scrap out the wrecked one.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 9:35AM
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housenewbie

"Get it fixed,then take it to another dealership and trade it in.The carfax(if they even do it) might show the accident damage,but car dealers are greedy and won't care when a sale is to be made!"

This is why I'll never again buy a used car. It's not worth it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 4:12PM
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irishyankee

I would not settle for anything less than a complete replacement.That's what insurance is for,to cover you or the other driver.This is allways goanna be in your head about the safety concern about long distance traveling and the value your vehicle declined.I could not be at peace of mind knowing my vehicle had 20,000$ damage to it,especially when Tboned.If it was just the front or back that was hit,They could cut it in half and repair that section.But with a hit like that,anything can happen down the road...I wouldn't sign any release papers for a very long time with their insurance company...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 10:18PM
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brad_2009

I am very sorry to hear about your accident. I would have thought that in a case like that the insurance company would have just written off the vehicle???

I would highly recommend you visit www.injuryalliance.com The website will help answer some of your questions. If you still have any after looking through the site, give them a call. They can provide you with the legal and health care professionals you need. They do it for free. So why not check it out

Here is a link that might be useful: Injury Alliance - Your answer to Car Accident Questions

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 1:21PM
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johndeere

It is to late now.Because this is a old post.But in this situation I would.Tell them my neck and back and legs and head and feet and arms hurt.That I will have several MRI,s and tests done and visit the emergency room daily.That it could possibly just be stress and nerves.Because of the loss off a $50.000 vehical they want to ripp me off on.But unless it is totaled and an exact brand new replacement model appears in my driveway.You will have to run up a medical bill for them to deal with.

If some one ever does sever damage to any of my vehicals I had to work hard to pay for.This is the way I will handle the situation.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 1:04PM
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sacheshen

If some one ever does sever damage to any of my vehicals I had to work hard to pay for.This is the way I will handle the situation.

Here is a link that might be useful: best car accident lawyers

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 9:30AM
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chisue

Our old (2005) but good (20K miles) Jaguar X-Type was broadsided in an intersection by a teen girl in October 2012. The driver's father's insurance, Chubb Group, paid to have the car towed to our Jaguar dealer and to a body shop, for body work and for a rental car. After I complained about lost trade-in value, they kicked in another $650 cash.

My DH was driving and suffered only sore ribs. We have not paid for his check-up at the hospital ER on the day of the accident, and he had no lasting physical probems once the bruised ribs improved. Chubb has yet to settle the personal claim.

Yes, we are happy no one was seriously injured, but...this has caused us DAYS of work with the back and forth of getting the car back and the general unsettling effect of the accident.

What should we be expecting from Chubb on the personal injury side of this incident?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 2:50PM
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