Anyone know about car insurance claims?

So I was in a wreck yesterday morning. My first ever with me driving. Three cars stopping fast for some idiot and we smack into each other. I was the rear one, and took almost all the damage. The truck in front had a bent hitch, the SUV I hit was dented in her front bumper by the hitch, and then her rear bumper was scraped up, one of the step pads bent, and her hitch had some paint from me on it. My 1996 ford explorer's front grill was smashed up, the bumper bent up, the headlights broken and my air bags went off. Everyone was fine, ambulance came by and we all refused them, cause we weren;t hurt. (Of course the lady I hit had her husband call my insurance today and claim she was hurt) Cops came by and no one was given a ticket, no faults I guess.

I had it towed to the shop where my Mom in law works, it's an auto repair shop where all my cars are worked on. Today the adjuster came by and my Mom heard from her shop guy that is sounds suspiciously like they will want to total it! For cosmetics and air bags. I bought this thing like 3 months ago! It's a 4wd with leather and ALL the bells and whistles, has like 160k miles yeah but I've put over 1400 in repairs since we got it, Its blue book is like 4.5k, so I mean.. WTF? Does anyone know about fighting this type of thing if/when they try to pull that?

Den 17 years ago
NOpe - sorry hon - I was a property claims adjuster, and really don't know much about auto insurance at all.

Glad to hear you weren't hurt, but don't think just because the cops didn't ticket anyone at the scene that they may not receive a ticket later, or even held as being at fault. I've seen that happen before.

Good luck in your battle.
ROzbeans 17 years ago
Well if the damage is beyond the blue book (still gotta figure condition, good or excellent) they're just going to total you out. You have GAP insurance...right? That's where if you still owe more than what its worth, your insurance covers the gap. I have it automatically through my bank, but some places want to charge you 900 bucks for it...regardless, it's a good thing to have.

If you bent the frame, that's a total. I'm surprised they didn't give you a ticket considering you hit them and caused the chain reaction. You failed to yield or whatever it is, so you should've gotten a ticket - consider yourself lucky on that. Your insurance will go up, regardless and if its a total...ouch. If the insurance guy says its a loss, ask your insurance company for a second opinion, say if the body shop got used parts instead of brand new factory. That's how we were able to get my 10 year old car fixed under the total value. Plus it was in a great condition because it was my mother's car and only had like 10k miles on it.

Glad you're ok and good luck.
Temprah 17 years ago
Well didn't have gap insurance or anything like that.. There is no leinholder. My Dad was going to give me money for a downpayment but we decided to buy the used car from a friend and avoid another car note for a little while longer, so it's technically paid off.. I'm just paying on the repairs and trying to pay my dad back as we can. *sigh* The frame wasn't bent or anything, it is literally just the front bumper, grill, lights / lenses in the front and the air bags and their sensor. Apparently air bags are stupidly expensive. Mom called and said they faxed a bunch of paperwork over to them at just before 6 (she was working late) but the guy who understands all that was gone for the day so I'll find out tomorrow what's up. *crosses fingers*
Prosecution 17 years ago
I got into a small accident earlier this week. 2 mph, guy hit his brakes and I was fucking with the radio thinking he was rolling forward. It was bumper to bumper traffic. Basically I called Geico and said I pay you guys enough as it is to insure my car each month. Take care of this so I don't have to deal with it. They did. Not my problem. Lucky enough for me the damage is below the threshold amount, so I won't see a rate increase.

Here's what you need to know, from dealing with claims through my job. (And I have gotten very very good with dealing with claims) You will get the vechile repaired unless the repairs are quoted more then the blue book, in which case you'll get fair blue book value.

As for the accident. No ticket was issued. As for payouts to other people, remember at this point, its not your money. You pay your insurance, they take care of it for you. You will have a surcharge on your next bills simply because you totaled your car. However this will be on your record for no more then 5 years. Most major companies also offer accident forgiveness, so every billing cycle you don't wreck your car your surcharge will drop.

But as for the car, if your frame is bent. You don't want it back. You have no idea what a shitty car is until you get one with a bent frame.

But all in all, just count your self lucky. You just walked away from an accident at highway speeds. In the end money and things are just a hard days work (or a few hard days work) away from replacement. It could have been a lot worse. Major injuries can follow you for the rest of your life.


Pros
Mylec 17 years ago
Just because you are in an accident, it doesn't mean that anyone is going to get a ticket. Accidents are...accidental. Now, if there is evidence of negligence (i.e. you rear end someone at a red light and you were doing 50) then yeah, its ticket time.

Also, just because you did not receive a ticket does not mean you can not be sued by the person you hit. In PA, if I remember right the person you hit has exactly one year from the time of the accident to file a suit. This happened to me once years ago during a 6 car pile up on the ice (I was the last one in the line, like you were). 11 months after the accident she sued complaining of a back injury (said she was fine at the accident and refused medical treatment on scene). As pros stated, that really isnt anything for you to worry about. A minor fender bender means there is no way in hell her suit would settle for more than the coverage you have (unless you have extremely limited coverage). Your insurance company is responsible for that money up to the limit of your insurance. The only thing you could see out of that is an increase to your premium. And I'm not sure if it varies state by state, but I do know for a fact that accidents drop off you report after 3 years in PA. I had an accident in 2002 that totaled my ride ($24,000) and the other dudes ride (some piece of crap). Once February 2005 hit, it was gone. I have state farm's lowest rates and safe driver stuff on my policy now, and they were the insurer I was with at the time of my accident. And that one was totally my fault and stupidity...trust me
Temprah 17 years ago
Thanks y'all =) Well I think we got lucky. With the paperwork they had faxed over we sent it to a body shop that my Mom's repair shop uses, since their estimate came in under the allotted amount. Work started either Wednesday or Thursday.. then Monday the adjuster calls the repair shop and is like I made a mistake, we want to total it out. After he was told that work had already started he was like OK, lemme check. Called back and said it was a go but any additional things they might find wrong would be our responsibility. I didn't even get the chance to go hysterical on them for wanting to total it. That's a good thing I'm sure

Oh! And the people in front of me are now claiming injuries. How freaking injured can you be..?? I understand whiplash, I've had it pretty bad before and I know it can take days to show up but I was going 20-30 MPH or less when I hit the brakes, no way I hit her THAT hard. I hate how some people view a wreck as winning the lottery. *grumble*
Mylec 17 years ago
Neck and back injuries are tricky. You really can hurt yourself very easily. Once I was getting ready to leave the house and almost forgot my tie so I turned back quick to grab it and just twisted my back the right way that I spent 2 days in bed. I had to literally crawl to the bathroom. The third day I managed to get out of bed and drag my ass to class for an exam but I had to wear a back support belt under my sweater to be able to stand and walk. A few days after that I was fine. And that wasn't anyone running into me, that was simply turning fast. And I was in my 20s at the time and in good shape.

The flip side to that is that because they can be so tricky, they can easily be faked and are hard to refute. I know in my case my insurance settled out for somewhere around 15k for doctor visits and pain and suffering.
Den 17 years ago
Mylec;70349
Neck and back injuries are tricky. You really can hurt yourself very easily. Once I was getting ready to leave the house and almost forgot my tie so I turned back quick to grab it and just twisted my back the right way that I spent 2 days in bed. I had to literally crawl to the bathroom. The third day I managed to get out of bed and drag my ass to class for an exam but I had to wear a back support belt under my sweater to be able to stand and walk. A few days after that I was fine. And that wasn't anyone running into me, that was simply turning fast. And I was in my 20s at the time and in good shape.

The flip side to that is that because they can be so tricky, they can easily be faked and are hard to refute. I know in my case my insurance settled out for somewhere around 15k for doctor visits and pain and suffering.


This is so true. When my daughter was just a toddler, I bent over to pick her up and turned wrong, totally throwing my back out for days. Strangely I had a lot of back problems when I was younger, and for some reason the older I get the less they bother me (knocks wood).

But yes, I can understand how even a slight bump could still cause someone an injury. What would surprise me would be if it turned out to be anything major, that lasted for any serious amount of time.
ROzbeans 17 years ago
20-30 mph is still pretty hard when you think about it. I slipped and fell, hitting my head on the ground and I managed to get a concussion. Slurred talk, dizziness, the whole 9. You'd be amazed. But I'm sure your insurance will cover it. Just thank god it was non-fatal.
Sarah 17 years ago
I think people just like to make life miserable. My hubby rear ended a dodge Ram in our little Kia Spectra and it totaled the car, barely dented her bumper. He was behind her in a right turn lane and figured she would go during a big gap so he push o the gas. He was going less than 10 moh but he drove up uder her truck bed. I'm sure she barely felt it, but she claimed injuries and got a nice little check from our insurance. I've bee rearended in a sedan in that same situation and I wasn't injured, or did I claim to be, though my family told me I should, I guess some of us just have better ethics than others.
Gylius 17 years ago
I fight people, and bears just about everyday and never get hurt. I'm going to say you guys are cursed for throwing out your backs and necks picking up toddlers and ties.

However, I did fuck up my neck river rafting one time. I pretty much couldnt turn my head to either side. I had to turn my entire body. Trying to river raft that way was one of the worst experiences ever.

The moral of the story is do neck and back exercises I guess. I did them almost daily with jiu-jitsu. The last thing you want to do is hurt your neck. It's very, very delicate.