a question w.r.t my unfortunate situation invovling a car accident

Well, some of you may notice that I was aiming to buy a new car very soon - was planning to trade in my current car if I don't have it sold
by the time I go to purchase the new car. I was thinking to get the new car by the end of the first week of June or early second week. That has to be postponed now because of damage on my car from the car accident last Thursday - I was not at fault.
Two nights ago, as I began to turn right into a parking lot entrance (campus parking) from the right end lane, the driver in a truck on the bicycle lane hit me on the right side. Highway Patrol was called; I didn't get a ticket; also the oficer said this to me after I made a comment that the other side's lying: If he's lying to you, he is lying to me.
I have never been in this situation and so I'd like to understand how the insurance works. Here are some facts:
1) I have full converage insurance on my car, with $500 deductable for the collision. Also have rental provision for $25 per day rate for 30 days per accident.
2) the other side's insurance was in his mother's name; I am not sure whether he (21 or 22 year old) was on the policy.
I contacted my insurance and took the option to drop off my car to an autobody shop near where I live which, the lady from my insurance company said, "it's one of ours."
I am posting my question here because I felt uneasy about this aubody place which I have used before for hitting a curb and damaging the body - that time, I paid for it since I only had liability insurance at that time.
The damage on my car from this accident is - the right side mirror broken - the area on the door near the mirror was hit: BIG dent - the right fender was hit: BIG dent - the right side of the front bumper: MEDIUM dent
My concern is w.r.t the way how this shop would fix the damage on the right side of the bumper. My car's bumper on the right side corner area had pre-existing big scratch though no dent and also in the front area of the bumper, there was a small chipped area.
I assumed that because of the dent caused by this accident, the bumper would be replaced. The shop is saying that they wouldn't replace the bumper but they would fix the damage caused by this accident (on the bumper) with life time warranty. I pointed out that they would apply paint which, when fades, would become noticebaly different from the paint on the other areas of the bumper. But, she kept insiting that no one can tell the difference, also insisting that it's the same paint used when the car was manufactired.
I am concern that that this autobody place works with the best interest of my insurance company rather than mine and hence do not plan to replace the bumper, which, BTW, I know would be much better than the bumper condition before the accident. I am not trying to get a new bumper but ... I just don't think I should settle for the way they plan to fix the damage on the bumper caused by this accident. I felt that the kind of repair they plan to do would depreciate my car's value. I mean, how would they fix the dent such that it would be restored to the same condition before the accident. The only way to ensure that would be replacing the bumper.
I had told the lady at that autobody shop to contact me after they come with an estimate but before they start working on it. She used the line, "I am sure Joy will contact you..." I repeated so that she would understand that no work was to be started without talking to me first. This was yesterday morning.
The other concern I had with this autobody place was the way they told me that I would have to pay the $500 deductible if the other insurance company had not paid for it yet. That greatly disturbed me. The way I saw it was that my insurance should have paid for it all if the other side has not paid yet. So I felt that that this autobody place works with the best interest of my insurance company, period.
A few hours later, I learned that I had the right to get more than one estimate. So I called the local dealer and got autobody place name. I talked with this new autobody place, mentioning how this autbody place told me that I would have to come up with the $500 out of my pocket if the other insurance company had not paid yet. I also mentioned about the police report and a bout the other party at fault. This new shop told me that they would call the other insurance company right infornt of me and make arrangement for the other insurance to pay for it.
My QUESTIONS are (1) Is it possible that the autobody place that works with my insurance companies would do work on my car such that it would benefit my insurance company while that work would depreciate my car's value?
(2) If the other insurance company is not paying yet at the time my car is completely fixed, shouldn't my insurance compnay knowing that I wasn't the one at fault, pay the $500 deductible and then get that money from the other insurance company?
(3) How many estimate am I allowed to get?
(4) Since my car was in drivable condition after the accident, if I want to take my car for another estimate, would my insurance tow it for me or do I need to drive it to the new shop?
(5) Since I could get the rental car only after I dropped my car at the autobody place where an inspector from the insurance company would come check, what happens when, assuming that the insurance company wouldn't tow my car, I take my car to another shop for the estimate?
BTW, would anyone suggest that I just trade in this car the way it is and purchase a new car and get the money from the insurance company? Frankly, I am reluctant to do it that way but I want to hear some opinion.
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<snip>
Ok. You should be allowed 2 or 3 quotes, if the car is drivable then drive it to the repair shop, get a quote. Take it to how many you choose, asking for a quote only. You will most probably need to get the car repaired at a shop certified by your insurance company.
You shouldn't have to pay a cent as you are not at fault; the other party or other partys' insurance will pay for damages.
Always, always, PICK YOUR OWN CAR UP from the repair shop. Do not allow them to tow it to you or drive it back to your place.
Inspect it in full sun, middle of the day, not undercover. If there is a panel 1/4inch out of place or any dent or scratch not fixed, do not drive the car away. If everything appears to be in order externally, then drive it harder than normal around the block.
Again, if anything is not 100%, or comes to your attention soon after, return the car to the shop immediately and do not remove it until it is perfect. Otherwise you'll have an extremely hard time trying to get your insurance to review the car post-repair and book it in again. Had the same thing happen to me.
If you are unsure of this type of thing, at all, get someone who has done this kind of thing before and take them with you.
Rental cars I can't help with; but remember a rental car can carry 15 bags of cement, take speed humps, curbs, roundabouts or any other form of traffic hindrance at double the normal speed, and are immune to speeding fines.
Don't trade it in. That would be quite stupid, as the other insurance company will pay for the damage. No point doing it when damaged - wait until its repaired if you are now unhappy to drive it.
And finally, of course the repair shop is going to work in the interests of their own financial wellbeing, and to a lesser extent that of the insurance company.
Get a copy of the repairs sheet with costs, and inform your insurance company of any discrepancies, eg "Bumper bar replaced" when it is obvious they have just repaired it. A classic is respraying a completely unrelated part - in my accident, my front passenger door was resprayed for a collision on the front RHS... Relatively minor collision, just a bodgy repair job that took near 3 months to get fixed properly.
Good luck.
-mark
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Mark H wrote:

Agreed. Get as many quotes as you need to feel comfortable.

I think she lives in California and we are a no-fault state. Which means that if the other person doesn't have insurance or not enough and she doesn't have uninsured motorist, she might end up stuck having to sue him. And most people that don't have insurance don't pay liens.

Oh yeah. Most definitely

Excellent advice.

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Thanks.
It if were not from my classmates (during the final exam day) and this ng, I wouldn't even find out about it. My oldets sister thinks I should just drop the car off at my insurance repair place and be done with it. She is rich; she can act like that.
Though they didn't say in words, my insurance acted as if I could only pick one choice and have to stick to it. And if it were not for my bf (who followed me when I dropped off the car) who said "the bumper should be replaced", I would not have questioned the way the autobody place was going to fix my car, i.e apply paint on the damage cause by the accident, after sanding it.
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In article <1116907680.436175.59660
@yahoo.com says...

Let the insurance co's pro shop do the work. That way, if you're not satisfied, you've got a leg to stand on--"This is the shop you recommended to me."
Pro shop status is highly desired by shops (it brings them MORE BUSINESS), so if you complain to the adjustor about the quality of work, he has a lot of leverage on the shop...they don't want to be deleted from the list.
On the other hand, if you go against the adjustor's recommendation and pick a shop on your own, you assume the responsibility of trying to get THE SHOP to make it "right". The adjustor can pretty much say "hands off--I told you to take it to ABC Collision!"
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not satisfied, you've got a leg to stand on--"This is the hop

I wouldn't know how to check a good job was done except by basing on what I was told how repair will be done. I know that the shop would replace the right front door, and the right fender. I strongly feel that the bumper should be replaced instead of the current shop wanting to repair the damage area due to the accident which means applying paint PARTIALLY. If they change their tune and offer to replace the bumper in order to keep me, I think I should go for it.
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Just to let you know that I do appreciate your advice. Except from my some classmates whom I won't see anymore since the semester is over, noting my family (actaully my bully oldest sister - 16 years older than me) or my neighbor told me were encouraging. Their suggestion basically equates to taking it like a sitting duck.
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I was on my way to a dealer to shop for a new car when mine was hit in a parking lot. Fortunately the person who hit it had the same insurance company as I do so I did not have the deductible issue. I ordered a new car and drove my damaged one until it was delivered. So I went ahead and traded the car damaged and they took the insurance money. This dealer has their own body shop, so while my old car was being repaired I was driving my new car.
This saved me from having to worry how good a job they would do, and I got an excellent deal on my trade in because they could fix it for less than was quoted, they allowed me more on my trade than I had been offered before the accident.
Blair
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I am glad that it worked out well for you. Obviously, in your case, the party at fault took responsibility, i.e never lied.
I just got to talk with the insurance company of the other side and was told that the statement I gave about the accident was different from the other driver's and so they cannot honor the repair at this time and needs investigation. He said that to me after he stopped recording my statement. IS THAT NORMAL? At that point, I told him what the highway patrol office pointed out to me: the skid mark from his car (SUV) on the motorcycle lane and also that the patrol office made this statement to me after I told him that the other driver's lying: IF HE'S LYIGN TO YOU, HE'S LYING TO ME. I also called back their insurance and told him that I didn't get a ticket and that he should check what kind of ticke the pther driver got and take that into consideration. He interrupted me and said that he would look into it when he gets accident report, which, I found out this morning would take 2 weeks.
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In article <1116883540.242458.4650
@yahoo.com says...

Par for the course. YOU should be looking to get a copy of the accident report, also, btw...and while they say "ten business days", it will probably be available in half that. Find out now where and how you can get a copy.
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Fortunately, when the patrol officer wrote down the report number on a piece of paper, he also wrote down the address and phone number of his office. He was very professional and thorough. I let him do his work and didn't even bother to tell him things like the big brother of the driver pointing fingers at me yelling "it's your fault", his mother saying "You have a bad attitude" (which wasn't true; I was just doing what I was supposed to do to get a police report) while their side obviously said negative things about me to the officer.
I kind of thought that the report might become ready earlier than I was told when I called the office yesterday morning. Now, with your suggestion, I will definitely call a week from now, after Memorial day, inform the patrol office of my new address and ask for a copy.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Hi,
Since you're in California, you have the option of using whatever body shop you wish. If you're not comfortable w/ one shop, talk to your insurance person about getting quotes from other shops. They may stall, since a lot of times there's a "comfortable" relationship between a shop and the insurance co. That's not to say there's anything wrong going on, but you know how you like to do business with one person more than another? You know what's gonna happen in one store, but not the other? Same idea.
Plus, as my insurance lady once told me, you have to watch body shops. Turnover is high, both among employees, AND owners, especially with the large chains trying to buy up all the local guys. One week the shop may be fantastic, next week a whole new crew's there and it's not, third week things get better. (Time compressed, but you see where it's going.)
California has the B.A.R. (Bureau of Automotive Repair) who watches over most of the auto business in this State. You should be able to find them easily on the Net. Check w/ them for advice on getting your car fixed, as well as checking for complaints about a business (they can't "recommend" anyone, but may be allowed to disclose problems--I'm not sure what with changing privacy rules and all.) If you can't find them, shops are supposed to have a sign posted that gives you the contact info.
Best of luck!
Rick
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Thanks everyone for the info. I have learned a little more about my rights to get multiple estimates, etc.
The other driver is lying to their insurance (and to my insurance too I am sure); so I was told by the other insurance that they would not honorr the repair at this time and need more investigation. I know that the family of the other driver (seems to be the baby in the family, 21 year old) is upset that I didn't just exchange the insurance info and let them avoid having the ticket and so doing this stupid thing even though the skid marks from their car was on bycle lane (the officer pointed out to me) which doesn't support their claim that he was driving on the right lane and I was on left lane and then made a right turn, causing the accident.
Anyway, when I stopped by this morning at the autobody place where I dropped my car last friday morning - I took my boyfriend to witness my conversation - to get something from my car, I stressed what I had told them specificlly on the phone last Friday by saying this to the girl at front office: You mut be the one I talked to last Friday to pass the message to Trish and Joy that I would get a second estimate. Trish, the person who did the paper work Friday morning, is sitting next to her. The girl said "Yes".
When I took the car there, I told Trish REPEATEDLY (because she was evasive in the way she spoke) to inform me of the estimate before starting any work on my car to imply that they couldn't work on my car w/o my authorization regardless of the fact that my insurance already gave the auhorization for repair.
After my bf left, I went inside again to find out whether my insurance company sent a person last Friday to inspect. The girl replied, 'NO." When I said, 'May be he will come today", Trish said, "They won't send anyone. We do work for them, etc." I casually said, "Anyway, after I get estimate from here, I'll go get a second etimate." Trish was like, "They are not going to senda anyone; we do work for them. You dropped off the car for repair.....
I interrupted her and said, I dropped the car off to get estimate. (My bf was with me that day too because he was going to take me for rental pick-up because I didn't want to wait for Enterprise pickign me up). I am going to get a second estimate, find out what kind of work will be done and then I will decide which place would do the best work on my car. She was like, "you are going to pull the car and go there?" as if I was commiting a sin. I said, I don't know how I will take it but I will get a second estimate.
Trish said, you might want to talk to Joy and sent the other girl to go get Joy. Joy office was in view and she was NOT at her desk and as the other girl started walking back, saying "Joy's not in..". I told Trish that "I don't need your permission. I have a legal right to get second etimate and prepared to start heading to the door". When the other girl said , it takes only 15 minutes to get estimate, I replied, you had the car for more than 24 hours already and still do not have an estimate for me and walked off the door.
I got to talk to Joy later. She said things like "it wouldn't matter where you do, it'd be the same", and asking why I would want to get second estimate. I flatly, without anger in my tone, told her that she doesn't need to know why and that it's my business. I informed her how Trish was unpleasant and turned me off from the very beginning.
Joy is a friendly person to begin with but now, it seems that she would work on me to deicde fixing the car at her place. She asked me to come by so that she could go over the damage and give me an estimate. I plan to go there before she leaves today as I am already exhaustaed dealing with many things to rush over there.
Now, since the other insurance is going to wait for the police report which will take 2 weeks in stead of taking the responsibiltiy for the repair, I need to find an autobody place that will not ask me to pay for the deductible and get it from my insurance, including the towing fee.
I am moving and have a lot of expense going on already and I just do not want to have to put money from my pocket and wait for compensation.
I don't think it is ethical that the other side is making things difficult for me. There should be some type of penalty for lying so blatantly. In this case,t he penalty should incur on all the family members who joined that boy and encouraged him to lie so blatantly esepcially after he said "It's my fault." in fornt of the campus police officer - the accident happened just outside the entrace to a parking lot of the campus.
I don't mean to be mean but I feel that this family hould slapped a little bit. Is there anything I can do, like taking them to a small claim court? I don't even care to get anythign out of it? Just don't think that the big brother and sister and the mommy should be teaching the boy, who obviously was honest until influenced by them, to lie. Of course, I will wait till my car is fixed and this issue is resolved.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Hi,
I'm not generally a fan of the legal profession, but there ARE times when a lawyer should be consulted. This sounds like one, ASAP before the shop starts work, etc. Your first clue should be the runaround you've already gotten.
Ever see the TV commercial where the insurance co. guys are trying to convince their people to keep lawyers OUT of the picture cuz they pay three times as much when a person has counsel? You get the idea...
Good luck!
Rick
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This is just the kind of advice I needed.
Starting the last week of April, I had become so busy with unexpected things - 2 time-consuming issue that needed immediate attention - I had to take care of aside from the semester ending with big programing projects that just when I thought I would get a break after my last exam on Friday and catch up with things I have neglected and then start packing to move - moving next Sunday, buy a new car, and be ready for the summer semester, this accident thing happened and got me all worn out.
Thanks for the SOUND advice; I don't mind spending some money and consult a lawyer when the other side is so unethical and their insurance seems to want to take advantage on it. With clear cut scenario - he got the ticket - I expeced my insurance to pay for all the cost in the mean time but it seems that my inusrance expects me to come up with money out of my pocket while my agent (the conversation a while ago) saying things indicating that the other insurance might not pay to which I responded "how can they get away with it while it's so clear cut". My agent did agree to what I said but at this point, it seems that no one is watching out for my interest.
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They're what's called a "pro shop", the insurance companies designate a list of body shops in the local area that they prefer to deal with, primarily based on the shop's track record in doing good repairs, in a timely manner, all things considered. It's possible that no adjustor will actually COME to the shop, if the shop manager is "that good"---the shop may just email pics to adjustor, with list of parts/materials/labor estimated to complete it.
If they are a pro shop (and the terminology might be different out in Cali), it may well just be a misunderstanding on their part. You never said they'd actually started repairs; had they?
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No, From the beginning, I told the person who did paper work and made me sign about he chips scrath that were not a part of the accident (which I asked for a copy and receievd it after repeatedly havignt o ask for it as she tried to fool me - it was unpleasant experience that tunred me off) to call me when they have an estimate.
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By the way, because the boy was acting so nervous, I told him that my wanting to get the highway patrol was because that's what my insurance would want me to do and that there is nothing between me and him. I said that I have full coverage insurance and that he would just not worry. I said those things to him because of the way he was acting, indicating to me how young he was.
Now, I am wondering whether his family is using that line of mine which their insurance could try to use not to have to pay the total cost.
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Oh Jeeezz!!! Quit being a god damn drama queen! You pay a insurance company for service. You talk ONLY with your claims Dept. Some gave you good advice already. TALK WITH YOUR LAWYER or get legal consultation. DO NOT go by what you read in here. "Hear-say" is just that, laws vary by state. I really hate to be crude, but you don't seem to get the message.(God help your boyfriend) let me try once........ 1> Shut the fuck up! no whining. 2> Get legal advice from a lawyer. 3> Do **EXACTLY** what they reccomend 4> DO NOT talk with him, his family or HIS lawyer, thats what YOUR insurance company is for. 5> Shut the fuck up! Your mouth has caused you problems already, and will cause more. 6> Document EVERYTHING, Who,What,When,Why with dates, times, names, locations. 7> Let your insurance company do your service for you. They will be watching their back and yours. If THEY want 2 or 3 estimates get them. 8> Do not worry about the total amount for repairs, thats what the insurance company is for. You pay the deductable, they pay the rest. 9> DO check the company that is going to do the work, most insurance comapnies have a list of places THEY approve. If you find that the one they want to use has a history of customer complaints, TELL THEM THIS. Ask that another place do the work. 10> MOST IMPORTANT...SHUT THE FUCK UP! Talk to only your agent, make sure it's your agent. If not sure ask if you can call them back and do so.You have said WAY too much, even in here.
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If I could reply on my own insurance to give me correct information - a person from my insurance said they would only cover for towing up to $50 while my agent said it would be only own time - I wouldn't be tryignt o find out my right in the only way I know how for he moment.
You sound like a loser who don't have brain to realize that I am so new to CA and am still learning how to get around town in this city with circular streets with inefficient highway system compared to where I used to live - Houston with one of the top highway ssystem in the world - to know which autobody shops would be close to where I live.
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