accident advise

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:25 am   Post subject: accident advise  

Please anyone with any good advise. I was in a 3 car accident in NJ almost 2 wks ago and just yesterday I finally received the police report specifying the driver who hit me from behind being at fault as I was driving the car in the middle. I received damage front and back. It is a 08 Infiniti G35. I've filed a claim with my own insurance company and so far their service wasn't good, I took a day off and drove the car to their drive in to get appraised only to be told he estimates around $8k in damage but he couldn't do a good enough appraisal so I decided to have it towed to one of their preferred body shop. This shop has since been urging me to sign a authorization to start the repair for almost 2 weeks and meanwhile I asked them to send me an estimate 1st and had lots of resistance to a point I'm thinking to go elsewhere as the car is actually still drivable. Their excuse was oh it will always change once they tare it down and start the work. Anyways he finally sent me a preliminary estimate totaling $13300 subject to go higher being that it omitted my request to fix seat thigh support, wheel alignment and re-apply Simonize which I guess to be worth an extra $700 together. Here are my questions:

1. I just filed a separate claim with the party at fault's insurance company, will this cause a problem or will I be best to drop the claim with my own ins since I've hard no matter who's at fault my ins premium may still get raised (in NJ we hear crazy things often)



2. the bodyshop is affiliated to the insurance company of the driver at fault, should I stick to my own ins company the fact they back the repair for life even if I move out of state. However I drive $35K miles a year so I don't hold a car more than 4 years anyways.



3. I would rather they total the car, the currently value is around $21 to 25K. Would this be possible considering the loss of market value after the repair, aka diminished value. How should I approach this.



4. the rental allowance from his ins is only $27/day up to intermediate sized car. My car is what I called near luxury and I'm currently in a compact rental that's costing me $40/day so if the repair takes 30 days which i'm told it might I'd be upside down by alot


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:30 am   Post subject:   

Water under the bridge part first....



You don't need to know that the shop or insurance company is writing up 100% of the damages from the start... they will still repair everything and just add items on as they go. Since this is possible, there is no reason to be 100% accurate from the start. Now you may not like the service of one shop as they are writing up the est (example... they don't see to be taking a big interest in explaining things to you or they just rub you the wrong way, etc) and these are good reasons for going elsewhere.



On to your questions:



1) you can notify both carriers but at some point (and quickly) you need to make up your mind who you are going to have pay for the damage. Right now you are compounding the problem and you state that your vehicle is drivable yet it was towed and you now have a rental. Rentals are given out while the vehicle is being repaired... not while you have the vehicle moved from shop to shop and determine which carrier you will have pay for the damage.



2) The body shop should guarantee their own work. To be honest, the insurance companies "guarantee" is almost worthless as any work issues and they will simply ask the shop to address them. That "guarantee" from the insurance company is only there to prevent legal issues with them having your vehicle repaired as their "preferred" shop.



3) An insurance company is only going to total out a vehicle when it's cost to repair is 80% of it's value. It's no where near that at $13k. So their is not much chance of this happening. I work as an adjuster so of course I'm going to tell you that DV is probably not going to be considered by the other carrier. Your carrier won't consider it as I'm 99% sure your policy is going to be worded in such a way as not to allow this.



4) Being that $27/day is an odd number I'm going to guess this allowance is from the other person's carrier. They owe you for a similarly equipped vehicle. That is, 4 wheels, 2/4 doors, automatic transmission, etc. They don't owe you for the excess luxuries built into your vehicle. A compact rental is costing $40/day????? They usually cost about $20. $40/day will get you a mid-size vehicle in most places. You say that they will pay $27/day for an intermediate car but then you say that you have a compact car for $40. I don't understand this.



You need to pick a shop that you feel is going to do good work and have them start repairs on you vehicle. At the same time you need to determine who you are going to have pay for the damages (so the body shop can coordinate the cost of repairs with that company). You need to do this yesterday. If you don't have rental coverage under your policy and you are going to file the claim with your own carrier, don't expect the other carrier to pay up front for the rental. They may... but most adjusters won't... as they can't monitor the rental time if they are not handling the damages to the vehicle up front. Again, they may but this is something you want to ask about. You can ask and argue with the other carriers adjuster about paying more on the rental but if they won't, there is not much you can do about this.



Moving the vehicle from shop to shop, driving it into one and then having it towed to another may rub the adjuster the wrong way. Add to this that you have a rental car and the vehicle is not being repaired is not going to sit well. I understand that this is a trying time for you... I understand. But I'm just saying that you need to get the ball rolling at this point.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:24 pm   Post subject:   

I agree with T. Find a shop your comfortable with. Ask questions about the repair process and any concerns you may have. Don't worry about getting an estimate before hand. Find what repair methods will be used, parts etc. Your vehicle will need to be disassembled before a "true" repair cost can be generated. You don't have to go to a shop that the insurer recommends, find one that will work with you. You are entitled to dimished value and the rental, but as T said it is only for conveinece not as a sub for your own vehicle.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:14 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
You are entitled to dimished value
Only if you file the claim with the other carrier...if your state law allows..I think there is only one state that allows 1st party d.v. claims..I want to think it's Oregon, but I could be wrong.



Chances of your vehicle totalling are slim to none.



I'll take exception with the warranty from the carrier part...but preface it with it depends on the company. The carrier I work for takes it very seriously. I've (many times thru the years), had people from other areas/states move into my state, then have a warranty issue. I've been able to quickly get this taken care of, states, and years from the original repair...so while it may be junk from one carrier, I'd say this isn't so for all...



The rental car issue, is a bit of a mess it sounds like. I'd get that straightened out right now, and return the rental you're paying for and get in the rental the 3rd party carrier is paying for. As to what you get, again this is a carrier to carrier, and adjuster to adjuster issue. As an example a couple of months ago I had a clmts whos 2009 audi our ins blasted in the side...About a 10k repair, and the car would be down for nearly a month (try to get audi parts quickly Rolling Eyes )..anyway the inside clms rep put this guy in a little corolla. well, he's a salesman and drives an audi for a reason...he told me about it, I bumped him up to a luxury car, because I understood that 'image' was part of his job, and a corolla wasn't going to cut it. Again, this varies greatly between carriers and adjusters.



As T has pointed out you need to make a decision and make it quickly...your carrier? other carrier? fix the car where? It's very important that you have confidence in the shop that is repairing your vehicle, and (IMO) their reputation for standing behind their own work...is the most important part.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:01 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Only if you file the claim with the other carrier...if your state law allows..I think there is only one state that allows 1st party d.v. claims..I want to think it's Oregon, but I could be wrong.




It is Oregon and yes if he files.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:43 am   Post subject:   

I was going to say GA... so if OR as well, then there are two.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:47 pm   Post subject:   

Your are right T...I can't believe I forgot that! Shocked ...I handle a GA policy twice, in the past two-three years, they do allow 1st party dv...



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:02 pm   Post subject:   

Actually theres 3, Kansas. I don't know how forgot that? Embarassed

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:39 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
While it has been universally accepted that Diminished Value is owed to not-at-fault victims (3rd party claimants), courts are generally taking the position that insurance companies do Not owe Diminished Value damages to their own insureds under their policy’s Collision or Comprehensive coverages. However, there are three states where insurance companies Do owe Diminished Value to their own policyholders – Georgia, Kansas and North Carolina .
www.ican2000.com



Only Oregon and Kansas allows an attorney to collect their fees on DV cases and certain events have to trigger that option. In Kansas, I believe, if the attorney offers to settle the case for one penny less than 7500 dollars and the insurer rejects, the that triggers any attorney's fees to be collected and does not prevent the attorney from asking for higher damages in court. I'm aware of a case where an attorney has triggered this and the case is coming up this year.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:03 pm   Post subject:   

I was hoping you pop in on this one Mike, I knew you knew the answer..so GA, and KS only (for now)?



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:53 am   Post subject: update  

Hi, Thanks for all the great info. Since this is the 1st time that someone else actually hit me, certain things just really confuse me. I found out his ins is State Farm and since I filed the claim with them on Dec. 29th, they have not been able to get a hold of their insured for to record a statement and therefore have not accepted fault. It was surprising to me this insured person never bothered to file a claim with State Farm which is what's dragging this thing on.



I've been calling them everyday to get an update and they mentioned if I'm not able to wait that I should go through my own ins co's collision coverage which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid as many ppl in NJ tells me regardless of who's at fault the ins premium will go up just by filing a claim. My own insurance agent from Allstate also tells me to file with the other person's insurance company so is the info I find from NJ dept of banking and insurance.



I was told by State Farm today the same thing you have mentioned about storage charges while the vehicle is not being repaired that I may not get compensated for all of the charges being a future problem. I just can't believe while I didn't cause the hold up the fact that they haven't accepted responsibility that I have to suffer.



They did already tell me they will most likely be compensating me and the other driver who's not at fault, but they'll have to get their insured's statement which is so unacceptable to me. They also went to appraise the vehicle at the shop and came up with $15,500. I haven't seen this estimate so I can't tell what will be done or not but I would really like to be able to work out a deal with them to get out of the car.



Anyways, regarding rental charges, I found out the $40/day is b/c enterprise gave me the regular rate instead of insurance co rate. As of now they changed it for me to $233/week for an intermediate which I wll ask them to bill State Farm instead of me.



Since I work everyday so I simple don't have time to drive a car around to get estimates, it's still at the same shop who repairs cars for a Nissan dealership so I trust they know what they're doing with an Infiniti. I hope to have better news soon

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:01 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
It was surprising to me this insured person never bothered to file a claim with State Farm which is what's dragging this thing on.
Wish I had a buck for every time I see a claim like this...it makes no sense to ANYONE that is a responsible human being, but believe me there are more of them (I think) than us Wink St. Farm cannot move without that...well maybe they can if a police report exists and it's clear liability.
Quote:
they mentioned if I'm not able to wait that I should go through my own ins co's collision coverage
That's standard, and really the only thing they can tell you at this point...
Quote:
I just can't believe while I didn't cause the hold up the fact that they haven't accepted responsibility that I have to suffer
Well see you don't...that's their point, these charges would stop if your carrier stepped in..or another alternative, is to move the car to your house..course you'd have to pay the charges to date to get it out...You do have to understand from their perspective, you have an alternative, failure on your part to use that alternative is not their fault, nor their insured's and you do have a duty (with both carriers) to mitigate your damages.
Quote:
but they'll have to get their insured's statement which is so unacceptable to me.
Why is this inacceptable to you? I understand your frustation, but let's put the shoe on your foot...let's say someone files a claim against your policy, lets further say that the accident never occured, and further that your carrier cannot reach you, (you're on vacation, had a death in the family, whatever), do you want your carrier to pay the claim without getting your version of the facts? or minimally your admission that an accident even occured? of course not..
Quote:
I would really like to be able to work out a deal with them to get out of the car.
Not likely...what you can always do is accept the repair estimate amount...not fix the car, sell or trade it in it's current condition. They (nor any other carrier) will total your vehicle unless it is more economical to total it rather than repair it..
Quote:
Since I work everyday so I simple don't have time to drive a car around to get estimates,
Who told you that you needed too? Sounds like state farm has already inspected it..you don't need to get estimates..
Quote:
I hope to have better news soon
I hope so too.



"If" there was a police report, call the adjuster back, ask if the report is ready and if so (or not) do they have it, or when will it be ready? Ask if in lue of their insured contacting them can they base their liability decision on that..(police report will list drivers, vehicles etc)...something else that could come up and bite you...What is their insured's PD limits? Didn't you say there was another vehicle involved?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:16 pm   Post subject: police report  

For what it's worth I was the D2 in the middle



Here is the exact wording under #135 Crash Description: D1 stated in effect: I was stopped and got hit from behind. D2 Stated in effect: I was stopped, got hit and pushed into the car in front of me. D3 stated in effect: I saw the cars stopped but couldn't stop in time. Investigation revealed V1, V2 and V3 were traveling on I-287 SB at milepost 55.9 when due to driver inattention V3 struck the rear bumper of V2. V2 was then pushed into the rear bumper of V1. Drivers of V1, V2 and V3 complained of neck pain but all refused medical treatment. Box 118a:(page2) Driver of V3 was not aware of his surroundings.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:25 pm   Post subject: accident  

I didn't want to say this but I took the initiative and faxed this police report to the insurance companies the minute I got it and confirmed they've received them. D3 did not pull over with D1 and D2 to the left of the passing lane we were traveling in. But instead he backed up, drove and crossed 2 lanes of highway to pull over on the other side of the the 3 lane highway. I've waited almost 2 wks to get his insurance info since by the time the police came, stopped traffic, got us all to the right hand side. D1 and D2(me) attempted to get out of the car to get D3's info and was told by the police to stay in our cars and everything will be on the police report. D3 in fact had his car towed away, if he can hit someone without coming out to ask if we're ok, got his car towed away and still be able to not file a claim and go on a vacation, oh boy, I'd love to be him.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:13 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I didn't want to say this but I took the initiative and faxed this police report to the insurance companies the minute I got it and confirmed they've received them
That's fine, a lot of people do that...you have one claim to work on, the adjuster has a ton...I personally am always appreciative (and reimburse) of someone doing this....don't know why you wouldn't want to say it....



What did the adjuster have to say about the report? Can they move forward without insured contact based on the report? Also do you know anything about his PD limits?


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