Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

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dm200
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Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:02 pm

The situation: the car my wife drives most of the time is a 2002 Toyota Camry that we bought used about two years ago. it still has under 100,000 miles and is in generally good condition - except for the paint on the hood, roof and top of trunk lid. This is exactly the way it was when we bought the car. The paint on the sides is in very good shape. Since this car has continued to be a very good car (mileage under 100k miles) and seems to fit our needs very well, our plan has been to get it repainted - because of the paint problems listed.

Last week, a very young woman (either High School or college student) hit the car straight into the front passenger side door. Nobody was hurt. The car can be driven - but the door does need to be fixed soon. There seems to, possibly, some small damage beyond just the door - BUT the door took almost all of the hit. This was in a small parking lot - when my wife was leaving a Taco Bell. The girl was clearly 100% at fault. My wife was driving forward very slowly toward the exit when she was hit from the side.

The other driver and my wife exchanged identification and insurance information, etc. We do not carry collision insurance on the 2002 Camry. The other driver also called her father or step father, I think. Later in the day, or first thing the next morning - my wife received a phone call from the "father" (who is the owner of the car and the insured). He has offered/requested that we not file a claim with his insurance company (Progressive) and he will pay for the needed repairs. Since there were no injuries and we do not have collision coverage - as well as our assessment of the overall situation - we are 100% fine with his request.

We have no intention of doing anything to do anything unfair, improper, dishonest, etc. with the father of the driver (owner and insured).

It does seem to us, though, that we could benefit financially if the repair/body shop chosen to do the work - at the same time repaired/replaced the door - and any other damage AND repaint the car to fix the paint damage. My wife is getting more estimates - but she got one already for over $1,600 for the damage only - door and related. Unfortunately, that place does not do car painting beyond actual repairs.

Any suggestions or ideas/experiences doing this kind of thing? Because of the extent of the actual door damage, it is not possible or practical to just have the owner give us the amount of an estimate - and then work out something with a repair/repainting place.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by MotoTrojan » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:07 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:02 pm
Any suggestions or ideas/experiences doing this kind of thing? Because of the extent of the actual door damage, it is not possible or practical to just have the owner give us the amount of an estimate - and then work out something with a repair/repainting place.
I am confused. Why can't the father give you $1600 today? If you think that is a reasonable estimate then that should be that. You have all of the bargaining power.

I would try to get payment as soon as humanly possible. You are doing them a favor by not involving insurance and likely saving them a fair amount. If I didn't have cash in-hand this week I would report it to insurance. There are countless horror stories of people making excuse after excuse and a lot of trouble for the person making the "claim".

Insurance usually pays per the estimate and not after the work is complete (you could just pocket the cash) so there is no reason this person shouldn't do the same.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by mhalley » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:08 pm

Seems simple enough. You take the car and get an estimate on the repairs, plus a separate estimate on how much the total of repairs plus paint job would be. You give the first estimate to the father and collect the money. He doesn't need to know about the second estimate. If I was the one paying, I would want 2 to 3 estimates and write a check for the cheapest one.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by MotoTrojan » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:10 pm

mhalley wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:08 pm
Seems simple enough. You take the car and get an estimate on the repairs, plus a separate estimate on how much the total of repairs plus paint job would be. You give the first estimate to the father and collect the money. He doesn't need to know about the second estimate. If I was the one paying, I would want 2 to 3 estimates and write a check for the cheapest one.
+1 on not mentioning the paint rework to the father, there is no benefit there and it will only cause you headaches.

While they may ask for 2-3 estimates I would have no qualms about saying "this is a shop I have worked with in the past and trust and if we are going without insurance I insist this is the estimate I am going with". Again you have the power here and are doing them a favor.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:12 pm

New information in the last five minutes -

Whole new/different story - my wife just got another body shop estimate - over $5,000 because that place saw or found lot more damage beyond just the door.

$5k is over the value of the car.

Unless something else comes to light - I guess I start looking for a similar vintage Camry, Corolla or Avalon - or similar. :( :(

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:14 pm

I personally would handle this through my insurance company. Friends have tried to be nice to young drivers who caused accidents but ended up chasing parents for payment. But main reason is that if the repair shop finds other damage while in the middle of repairs, it could be very difficult to get additional payment from the father or to even involve your insurance company mid-repair.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by JBTX » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:24 pm

If you're you go through an insurance company the repair rates will likely be substantially lower. I was hit by a third party company hit me, and I went to their insurance company Allstate and they estimated a price, let's say $X. The company wanted to handle and pay it directly. So I went to a repair shop and they quoted more than $ 2X. Then I decided to go through my insurance GEICO who has a rep onsite at the repair shop, and after they got quote from shop it was closer to $X.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:30 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:14 pm
I personally would handle this through my insurance company. Friends have tried to be nice to young drivers who caused accidents but ended up chasing parents for payment. But main reason is that if the repair shop finds other damage while in the middle of repairs, it could be very difficult to get additional payment from the father or to even involve your insurance company mid-repair.
Cannot use my insurance company since I do not have collision coverage AND the at fault party is insured.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by daheld » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:34 pm

I suggest re-evaluating the need to repaint a nearly 20 year old Camry. You've found a gem of a car with low miles. Drive it til the wheels fall off and don't worry about what it looks like, unless you have people to impress. I am guessing you don't since you're driving a nearly 20 year old Camry.

As for the collision repairs, I agree this is perfectly fine. Get an estimate, get the money from the father, and pay the shop for the work.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Helo80 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:38 pm

daheld wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:34 pm
I suggest re-evaluating the need to repaint a nearly 20 year old Camry. You've found a gem of a car with low miles. Drive it til the wheels fall off and don't worry about what it looks like, unless you have people to impress. I am guessing you don't since you're driving a nearly 20 year old Camry.

As for the collision repairs, I agree this is perfectly fine. Get an estimate, get the money from the father, and pay the shop for the work.
Agreed --- based upon a comment in another thread, OP, I think you've come to the conclusion that repairing this car to what it was pre-collision will likely exceed the ACV of the car; therefore, it will be written off and you'll have to re-title the car to the insurer. That being said, you may be able to rebuy it from them.

It will also likely be difficult to find an '02 camry with under 100k miles (or any 10+ year old camry under 100k miles without somebody being ridiculous with the price because "they know what they got!!")

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:41 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:30 pm
HomeStretch wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:14 pm
I personally would handle this through my insurance company. Friends have tried to be nice to young drivers who caused accidents but ended up chasing parents for payment. But main reason is that if the repair shop finds other damage while in the middle of repairs, it could be very difficult to get additional payment from the father or to even involve your insurance company mid-repair.
Cannot use my insurance company since I do not have collision coverage AND the at fault party is insured.
:oops: your op about “no collision” didn’t register! Good luck.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by 2pedals » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:45 pm

File a claim with the driver's insurance company. I don't think it is worth the hassle working through an individual, hard to image they would want to hand you over $5,000. Collect the totaled car, buy it back, re-title, fix what you want or save the money for a newer car. This problem is common when very good but older car gets damaged.
Last edited by 2pedals on Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Lalamimi » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:45 pm

Do not file the claim just take the $1600, go to a pick a part junk yard and find a door - get it put on or do it yourself, its not rocket science. Bank the difference, drive it until she decides to get a new car.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by fyre4ce » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:46 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:12 pm
New information in the last five minutes -

Whole new/different story - my wife just got another body shop estimate - over $5,000 because that place saw or found lot more damage beyond just the door.

$5k is over the value of the car.

Unless something else comes to light - I guess I start looking for a similar vintage Camry, Corolla or Avalon - or similar. :( :(
According to what you say here, the car is totaled. The right course of action seems clear - call the father and tell him the shop found additional damage that exceeds the car's value. Ask him to write you a check for the Kelly Blue Book private party value of the car, or to switch to going through insurance. My guess is that he'll either agree to going through insurance, or drag his feet. I'd be polite but direct, and tell him he has one week to cut you a check for the car's value, or you'll contact his insurance company yourself.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by MotoTrojan » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:47 pm

2pedals wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:45 pm
File a claim with the driver's insurance company. I don't think it is worth a hassle working through an individual, hard to image they would want to hand you over $5,000. Collect the totaled car, buy it back, re-title, fix what you want or save the money for a newer car. This is problem is common when very good but older car get damaged.
+1 I would give them a 3 day grace period to pay you the larger estimate (and provide them with a copy of it) but if you don't have cash in-hand by the end of that then file it.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by galawdawg » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:00 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:12 pm
New information in the last five minutes -

Whole new/different story - my wife just got another body shop estimate - over $5,000 because that place saw or found lot more damage beyond just the door.

$5k is over the value of the car.

Unless something else comes to light - I guess I start looking for a similar vintage Camry, Corolla or Avalon - or similar. :( :(
It went from $1500 to over $5000? What additional damage did the second body shop find?

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:06 pm

galawdawg wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:00 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:12 pm
New information in the last five minutes -
Whole new/different story - my wife just got another body shop estimate - over $5,000 because that place saw or found lot more damage beyond just the door.
$5k is over the value of the car.
Unless something else comes to light - I guess I start looking for a similar vintage Camry, Corolla or Avalon - or similar. :( :(
It went from $1500 to over $5000? What additional damage did the second body shop find?
I do not know - just a brief message from my wife. I will try to find out when I see her later this evening. I think, though, she will be out when I get home - and not be home until later in the evening.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by delamer » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:19 pm

The one time my car was hit (minor damage) and I allowed the person-at-fault to pay me directly, it turned into a hassle.

You owe this young woman and her father nothing. They already have caused you/your wife a significant inconvenience because you’ve had to get estimates and not had use of the vehicle. Are they going to pay for your wife to get a rental while it’s being repaired?

Go through their insurance.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:26 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:19 pm
The one time my car was hit (minor damage) and I allowed the person-at-fault to pay me directly, it turned into a hassle.
You owe this young woman and her father nothing. They already have caused you/your wife a significant inconvenience because you’ve had to get estimates and not had use of the vehicle. Are they going to pay for your wife to get a rental while it’s being repaired?
Go through their insurance.
Thanks.

Over the decades, we have dealt several times with the 'at fault" driver paying directly - not going through their insurance. never had a problem.

Paying or nor paying for a rental is something I will suggest my wife discuss with him. As long as we have our other car - that is not a big deal for a few days. Without going into the whole sad story - our other car (1998 Camry) is back on the road after a long and complicated repair history. Just hope we do not need to get two "new to us" cars!

With both of our car situations, though, we would have faced the same challenges if these cars were both brand new - instead of 20 year vintages.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by 3-20Characters » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:29 pm

I tried to be nice to a young delivery dude a long time ago. You can guess how it ended up. I never saw a cent. Lesson learned. Many people have every intention of doing the right thing at time of accident but something changes for many of them as time goes by.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by galawdawg » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:55 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:06 pm
galawdawg wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:00 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:12 pm
New information in the last five minutes -
Whole new/different story - my wife just got another body shop estimate - over $5,000 because that place saw or found lot more damage beyond just the door.
$5k is over the value of the car.
Unless something else comes to light - I guess I start looking for a similar vintage Camry, Corolla or Avalon - or similar. :( :(
It went from $1500 to over $5000? What additional damage did the second body shop find?
I do not know - just a brief message from my wife. I will try to find out when I see her later this evening. I think, though, she will be out when I get home - and not be home until later in the evening.
I'd recommend that you get a third estimate and then look at each of them carefully to see where there is consensus about the extent of the damage and if one of the estimates is an "outlier". I wouldn't make any decisions until you and your wife can get some clarification on the extent of the damage. If the vehicle can be driven, has only "cosmetic" body damage other than perhaps the functioning of the door, and if replacement of the door will put it back to 99.9% of the condition prior to the collision, you'll want to seriously consider the other owner's offer. Particularly since the mileage of the vehicle is extremely low considering the age and finding a replacement that you are happy with may be difficult.
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:02 pm
Last week, a very young woman (either High School or college student) hit the car straight into the front passenger side door. Nobody was hurt. The car can be driven - but the door does need to be fixed soon. There seems to, possibly, some small damage beyond just the door - BUT the door took almost all of the hit. This was in a small parking lot - when my wife was leaving a Taco Bell. The girl was clearly 100% at fault. My wife was driving forward very slowly toward the exit when she was hit from the side.
Because the wreck occurred in a parking lot involving two moving vehicles, liability is not always as clear cut as some may think. Collisions on private property can be more difficult to settle when both vehicles are in motion. If one party is in a travel lane and is struck by a vehicle pulling out of a parking space, that is more clear than when both vehicles are in travel lanes. Because you have no collision coverage on your vehicle, you'll be dealing with the other vehicle's insurer and once it is in their hands, all bets are off. They may deny that their insured is at fault and where do you stand at that point? As others pointed out, sometimes settling privately doesn't always work out well, but if the other owner is the type of person to offer to pay for the damages but later refuses, what do you suppose they will tell their insurance carrier? "Not our fault, they caused the wreck"....

Good luck.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by delamer » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:20 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:26 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:19 pm
The one time my car was hit (minor damage) and I allowed the person-at-fault to pay me directly, it turned into a hassle.
You owe this young woman and her father nothing. They already have caused you/your wife a significant inconvenience because you’ve had to get estimates and not had use of the vehicle. Are they going to pay for your wife to get a rental while it’s being repaired?
Go through their insurance.
Thanks.

Over the decades, we have dealt several times with the 'at fault" driver paying directly - not going through their insurance. never had a problem.

Paying or nor paying for a rental is something I will suggest my wife discuss with him. As long as we have our other car - that is not a big deal for a few days.
To each their own.

But if the father can afford to pay a few thousand dollars out-of-pocket for repairs and a car rental, he can afford a bump in his insurance rates.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Big Dog » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:35 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:26 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:19 pm
The one time my car was hit (minor damage) and I allowed the person-at-fault to pay me directly, it turned into a hassle.
You owe this young woman and her father nothing. They already have caused you/your wife a significant inconvenience because you’ve had to get estimates and not had use of the vehicle. Are they going to pay for your wife to get a rental while it’s being repaired?
Go through their insurance.
Thanks.

Over the decades, we have dealt several times with the 'at fault" driver paying directly - not going through their insurance. never had a problem.

Paying or nor paying for a rental is something I will suggest my wife discuss with him. As long as we have our other car - that is not a big deal for a few days.
A few days? hahaahahaha

Methinks that you significantly understate how long body/paint/repair work takes. It could be a "few" weeks easy.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:37 pm

fyre4ce wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:46 pm
tell him he has one week to cut you a check for the car's value, or you'll contact his insurance company yourself.
+1

This is what I would do as well. I've had bad luck getting at fault people to pay for the full amount of damage. Either they don't pay to start with, only want to fork over money for cheap aftermarket parts or as your wife may have found out, there is more damage than the initial estimate guessed so you are on the hook for the difference or trying to get a second check if you already deposited the first check.

On the flip side, having been involved in a parking lot incident, the police and insurance agent both called parking lots the "wild west" of insurance since there are no traffic signs, rules, etc. Essentially I was told there was no "at fault" unless it could be proven that there was extreme negligence involved. I was told at the time to essentially try to handle the matter privately or collect on my insurance policy which wouldn't help you in this case.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:43 pm

When someone hits your car always call the police and get an accident report. Get on record with a quick call that you were in an accident and requested police. Even on private property it is a good idea to call the police when in an accident. Let the police or the dispatcher decide (instead of you or the other driver) if it is appropriate for them to come on scene, or make a report, or write a ticket. After the fact people have been known to lie through their teeth regarding every detail of an accident in the most bizarre ways , including denying they were even there, or that you fled the scene.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:45 pm

Was the A pillar pushed in?

A $5,000 quote means "we don't want to work on this".

I had a similar accident for a kids car. I bought a used door on eBay that was the same color. I found a quality shop that would accept the part.

They pulled out the A pillar and installed the new door for $600. The door was $350.

2 shops told me the car was totaled. One quote was $7,000.

The girl's insurance should be paying. You should not be talking to the person. Your agent should be talking to the girl's agent. The other party was at fault. Your insurance should help you get paid.
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Miakis » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:59 pm

Went through practically this exact thing. Young college girl rear ended me at a light, but car was driveable and damage was only a minor dent and paint. Her father asked me not to file a claim and to do it directly.

But when I took it for an estimate, the body shop said the only way to fix the dent was to replace and repaint the bumper to match. I can't remember the quote - $1000 or something.

So I send them the quote and then have to follow up several times to get a response. Finally, her father responds and says the quote is too high and he thinks I'm not going to get my car fixed anyway. He offered me $500.

Wasn't I doing him a favor? Dude had a lot of nerve.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by ponyboy » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:44 pm

Do you really want the hassle of dealing with some joe nobody to pay you for repairs? Let the insurance deal with this. Sucks to be this guy. There is a reason insurance exists. Let them deal with the headache of collecting the money.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by ponyboy » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:47 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:43 pm
When someone hits your car always call the police and get an accident report. Get on record with a quick call that you were in an accident and requested police. Even on private property it is a good idea to call the police when in an accident. Let the police or the dispatcher decide (instead of you or the other driver) if it is appropriate for them to come on scene, or make a report, or write a ticket. After the fact people have been known to lie through their teeth regarding every detail of an accident in the most bizarre ways , including denying they were even there, or that you fled the scene.
A police report does not guarantee an insurance payment. To the insurance company, it means nothing. I cant come up with a single reason why this is the case, but it is. Makes no sense.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:06 pm

If I’m the girls father and we talk about $1,600 then you come back with $5,000+, then I’m absolutely calling my insurance instead of trying to go under the table. Given the low intrinsic value of a 17-18 year old low- to mid-range sedan, that may be better for you in this instance as well, but if your goal is to move on quickly and keep driving your car, then I’d take the $1,600 and call it a day.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Momus » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:18 pm

If you don't have collision coverage, and file a claim thru the at fault party insurance. Your insurance will be useless and will not spend anytime to defend you. If they don't admit fault on recorded phone statement/written statement, most likely your claim WILL be denied (whether you have a police report or not), they will say it's your fault and you wont get anything from this accident. Then, you have to sue them thru small claim court.

Good luck, I have a feeling you won't get a dime.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Goal33 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:22 pm

'02 Camry? What is it worth?

I'd want the title for $1600.
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by F150HD » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:31 pm

if the frame is compromised many companies will total the vehicle. I know this, move quickly before that father disappears and/or starts to deny (as no police report etc) and you're stuck paying for this issue.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by F150HD » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:32 pm

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Fire2030 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:35 pm

I own a 2002 Camry with 167K miles, last year I was rear ended by a teen driver. The kid called his Dad and he was the phone with me trying to pay out of pocket.
It was just a bumper replacement.. estimate was $900, he did pay me, so it all got worked out.

Your situation seems complicated as the 2nd estimate will definitely total the car , the value is around 3 to 5K , so $1600 shud be fine if true. The issue maybe if they find more damage when they replace the door then the estimate could go beyond the value of the car.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:50 pm

I had a problem once with the "other driver paying direct" option. They turned around and wanted me to drive the vehicle over 500 miles to another state so that a friend who was a mechanic could fix it for cheap. I went through insurance instead.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by zengolf2011 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:52 pm

This is an absolute no-brainer (now that I have done the no-brainer mistake). Our car was rear-ended while sitting at a red light. The guy who hit us (quite elderly, nice fellow) begged us not to report it to insurance, begged us to let him pay for it. Took it to a body shop and got a quote. He blanched at the amount, and asked us to take it to another shop. Went to two more (with him along), still the quotes didn't satisfy him. Then took it to the shop he finally requested, and he still wouldn't accept their estimate. They knew the guy when we went there together...turns out he was a regular because this happened to him often. Even though he was a regular customer, they weren't the least bit sympathetic to him. They were on to his game.

I went to the police (AZ), and was informed that there was never any possibility of a police report because the damage didn't meet their minimum dollar amount, unless there was an injury. They did tell me that a person could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident if they did not supply insurance info, which he didn't. Very, very fortunately, a sympathetic policeman gave the guy a call after I left. This got his attention, and we settled for a cash amount that was a fraction of what it cost to repair the damage.

NEVER, NEVER give in to your humanitarian feelings to forego insurance reporting. That's what insurance is for. In retrospect, I feel I was even unfair to his insurance company. He had pulled this stuff before, and they didn't know the real risk he represents.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Billavoider » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:06 pm

My car was rear-ended this past summer. Policeman asked the other driver whether she wanted to pay out of pocket or file a claim with her carrier. She indicated that he would pay out of pocket.

I received three estimates with the amount of time to repair the car in order to rent a car while my car was being repaired. I sent her the estimates so she would have an idea what the total cost would be during the process.

I reviewed the estimates; I ended up taking the lowest cost estimate as they could take the car within two weeks of getting the estimate. Car estimates ranged from $811 to $1,200. I ended up paying for the car to be repaired; I provided her with a copy of the paid invoices and in turn she paid me total cost. Fortunately, the body shop also did work for her carrier. If she chose not to pay, the auto body shop could contact her carrier with her insurance policy number and confirm the work performed.

Make sure you get a money order or certified check. Body shop did not accept personal checks; you also do not want to pay bank service charges in case the other driver's check bounces.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by delamer » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:35 pm

zengolf2011 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:52 pm
This is an absolute no-brainer (now that I have done the no-brainer mistake). Our car was rear-ended while sitting at a red light. The guy who hit us (quite elderly, nice fellow) begged us not to report it to insurance, begged us to let him pay for it. Took it to a body shop and got a quote. He blanched at the amount, and asked us to take it to another shop. Went to two more (with him along), still the quotes didn't satisfy him. Then took it to the shop he finally requested, and he still wouldn't accept their estimate. They knew the guy when we went there together...turns out he was a regular because this happened to him often. Even though he was a regular customer, they weren't the least bit sympathetic to him. They were on to his game.

I went to the police (AZ), and was informed that there was never any possibility of a police report because the damage didn't meet their minimum dollar amount, unless there was an injury. They did tell me that a person could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident if they did not supply insurance info, which he didn't. Very, very fortunately, a sympathetic policeman gave the guy a call after I left. This got his attention, and we settled for a cash amount that was a fraction of what it cost to repair the damage.

NEVER, NEVER give in to your humanitarian feelings to forego insurance reporting. That's what insurance is for. In retrospect, I feel I was even unfair to his insurance company. He had pulled this stuff before, and they didn't know the real risk he represents.
Not to mention the risk to the driving — and walking — public.

If he had enough of these accidents he eventually would be uninsurable (or the cost would be too high). And then maybe he’d stop driving, as he should.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by stimulacra » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:55 pm

Get three quotes, ask them to pay for the shop you prefer but be prepared to accept the lowest estimate and move on.

Give them a week after giving the estimates to get the cash or check. If they don't pay up, give them a courtesy call and text before you file an insurance claim.

I've pocketed the cash in last couple of fender benders I've been in. They've both been low speed rear end collisions. The cash is in an emergency car fund for my next ride or urgent repair.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Watty » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:08 pm

One complication is that many states require that accidents be reported if the damage is for more than a modest amount and you are required to file the state form with the DMV within a set number of days.

https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/accident-reporting/

Even if it is not directly reported to the insurance company when the state form is filed the insurance company will find out about that.

Insurance companies may also require that any accidents be promptly reported and if you file a claim with their insurance several weeks after the accident it may be more difficult to collect.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by fundseeker » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:12 pm

stimulacra wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:55 pm
Get three quotes, ask them to pay for the shop you prefer but be prepared to accept the lowest estimate and move on.

Give them a week after giving the estimates to get the cash or check. If they don't pay up, give them a courtesy call and text before you file an insurance claim.

I've pocketed the cash in last couple of fender benders I've been in. They've both been low speed rear end collisions. The cash is in an emergency car fund for my next ride or urgent repair.
+1 for this perfect answer. And I'll add from experience, after a similar incident in our older car, that the two estimates included replacing a rear door, and we received a $2000+ check. The door still opened and closed just fine, so I simply removed the door panel and with a 2x4 and some gentle pressure and leverage, popped it back out most of the way. It still looks dented, but it is fine for commuting. After you collect, and if you don't want to pop it out, maybe a paintless dent repair guy could improve its appearance. Good luck.

Oh, and you could consider giving the guy a break if he is paying himself. Someday you might like for someone to give you a break when your child slips up.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Dregob » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:36 pm

I've had mixed success trying to be helpful. A 16 year old kid rear ended me (100K, 15 year old Altima) and his mom did not want to go thru insurance. I took it to a body shop and said do the minimum. They left the bumper with a big scratch (got a new bumper sticker) and the estimate was $1200. She paid cash the next day. Another time a guy backed into the door of my pickup (minor damage) and wanted to avoid an insurance claim. I found an old school body shop who did metal work AND they pulled it out and painted the door for $200. The guy was so thrilled he gave me a custom stone birdbath he made from solid stone.
But a third time a girl sideswiped my truck during a turn. She rubbed her car along my front tire leaving a big black streak on he white car and no obvious damage to my truck. I told the mom if she would pay for an alignment I wouldn't report it. She was thrilled....and then stiffed me for the ~$100 alignment.

I'd get a third estimate. $1600 and $5000? Oh, and I wouldn't bother repainting it.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by drawpoker » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:22 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:43 pm
...... Even on private property it is a good idea to call the police when in an accident. Let the police or the dispatcher decide (instead of you or the other driver) if it is appropriate for them to come on scene, or make a report, or write a ticket.
In our local jurisdiction the police will not respond to a MV accident that did not occur on a public roadway or street, i.e, you're out of luck if it was on private property, like a mall parking lot.

The exceptions are: If there has been report of a personal injury, or it is a hit and run with property damage. In the latter case, leaving the scene with property damage exceeding a certain amount is a criminal offense, thus, police presence.

In the former, it is believed to be just another form of good ole C.Y.A. page taken out of the operations manual.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:28 am

I looked up the NADA values for our car - 2002 Camry SE with 99,000 miles, leather power seats

Looking at "retail" (the highest number), the NADA value is $5,250 - including $900 for low mileage and $250 for power, leather seats.

This $5,250 does not have any deduction for the existing paint problems. Trade-in NADA values are $3,475 for clean trade-in, $2,925 for average trade-in and $2,250 for rough trade-in.

So, if the $5k repair estimate is even close to accurate - we would probably go with "totaling" the car :(

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Tuxedo » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:09 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:28 am
I looked up the NADA values for our car - 2002 Camry SE with 99,000 miles, leather power seats

Looking at "retail" (the highest number), the NADA value is $5,250 - including $900 for low mileage and $250 for power, leather seats.

This $5,250 does not have any deduction for the existing paint problems. Trade-in NADA values are $3,475 for clean trade-in, $2,925 for average trade-in and $2,250 for rough trade-in.

So, if the $5k repair estimate is even close to accurate - we would probably go with "totaling" the car :(

How much did you pay for it when you bought it?

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Ken Reckers » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:46 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:02 pm
The girl was clearly 100% at fault
Your opinion. If they decide to file a claim but you don't report it to your insurance company, how will your liability coverage protect you from the damage that your wife caused to their property, or the bodily injury your wife caused. Your policy may require you to report it even without collision coverage.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:33 am

How much did you pay for it when you bought it?
About $4,000
dm200 wrote: ↑Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:02 pm
The girl was clearly 100% at fault
Your opinion. If they decide to file a claim but you don't report it to your insurance company, how will your liability coverage protect you from the damage that your wife caused to their property, or the bodily injury your wife caused. Your policy may require you to report it even without collision coverage.
My wife did talk with our State Farm agent - but we cannot file a claim since we do not carry collision.

My wife caused NO damage to their car. All of their damage was caused by the girl hitting our car at a 90 degree angle. Nobody was injured or claims to have been injured.

Latest update -

My wife and I have concluded that we will not try to have the paint situation (not related to this damage to the car) fixed at the same time. We will just try to get the collision damage fixed.

It turns out that my wife likes this car very much - and, if not completely financially foolish - would want to keep driving this car - as long as damage can be repaired.

My wife has had several phone conversations (with updated information) with the owner or the young driver.

My wife got three estimates from three different body shops:
1. About $1,700 - only replacing the passenger front door
2. About $5,000 - replacing passenger front door - and damage related to the post between front and rear doors, as well as some more minor damage on both sides of the door
3. About $3,500 - replacing passenger front door and some other damage (not 100% sure)

We know that it is common that when a body shop gets into doing such work - other damage becomes evident. When such work is covered by insurance, then the body shop knows that the insurance company is "on the hook" for just about whatever they find.

The other car's owner (father or step-father of driver) wants to pay for this without filing a liability claim on his insurance - up to a certain amount (not sure what amount - since my wife spoke with him), but I think somewhere is the $3,000 range.

We are willing to have him pay directly - BUT, for example, if we choose #1 above, and the cost turns out to be a lot more - how can that added financial obligation be on the car owner and not on us? Could, for example, the other car owner supply and authorize a credit card obligation large enough to cover whatever is needed - and then the body shop would then only collect the actual costs of the repair?

My wife will be satisfied even if the repairs are not 100% "perfect" - as long as the car is safe, passes inspection and will not need expensive work done in a few months.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by strafe » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:09 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:33 am
How much did you pay for it when you bought it?
About $4,000
dm200 wrote: ↑Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:02 pm
The girl was clearly 100% at fault
Your opinion. If they decide to file a claim but you don't report it to your insurance company, how will your liability coverage protect you from the damage that your wife caused to their property, or the bodily injury your wife caused. Your policy may require you to report it even without collision coverage.
My wife did talk with our State Farm agent - but we cannot file a claim since we do not carry collision.

My wife caused NO damage to their car. All of their damage was caused by the girl hitting our car at a 90 degree angle. Nobody was injured or claims to have been injured.

Latest update -

My wife and I have concluded that we will not try to have the paint situation (not related to this damage to the car) fixed at the same time. We will just try to get the collision damage fixed.

It turns out that my wife likes this car very much - and, if not completely financially foolish - would want to keep driving this car - as long as damage can be repaired.

My wife has had several phone conversations (with updated information) with the owner or the young driver.

My wife got three estimates from three different body shops:
1. About $1,700 - only replacing the passenger front door
2. About $5,000 - replacing passenger front door - and damage related to the post between front and rear doors, as well as some more minor damage on both sides of the door
3. About $3,500 - replacing passenger front door and some other damage (not 100% sure)

We know that it is common that when a body shop gets into doing such work - other damage becomes evident. When such work is covered by insurance, then the body shop knows that the insurance company is "on the hook" for just about whatever they find.

The other car's owner (father or step-father of driver) wants to pay for this without filing a liability claim on his insurance - up to a certain amount (not sure what amount - since my wife spoke with him), but I think somewhere is the $3,000 range.

We are willing to have him pay directly - BUT, for example, if we choose #1 above, and the cost turns out to be a lot more - how can that added financial obligation be on the car owner and not on us? Could, for example, the other car owner supply and authorize a credit card obligation large enough to cover whatever is needed - and then the body shop would then only collect the actual costs of the repair?

My wife will be satisfied even if the repairs are not 100% "perfect" - as long as the car is safe, passes inspection and will not need expensive work done in a few months.
The car isn't worth much. I sold a 2004 Camry last year for $5,200 in nearly perfect shape and 100k miles. I'm surprised that your 2002 could be worth $5k with peeling paint. (Maybe I under-estimated the value of my own car.)

Your total loss exposure is small if this deal goes south.

But I question the wisdom in keeping the car for reasons of health & safety if the damage is as extensive as shown in estimates 2 & 3.

The "post" between the front and rear doors (from estimate #2) is called the B pillar. It is a structural component. Un-repaired structural damage compromises the safety of the car. Side impacts are the most dangerous collisions. I certainly wouldn't want side impact protection compromised.

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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:34 pm

But I question the wisdom in keeping the car for reasons of health & safety if the damage is as extensive as shown in estimates 2 & 3.
OK - but, for reasons I do not fully comprehend, my wife really likes that car. "Happy wife = Happy life"

One nice thing about this matter is that my wife, without complaining to me, is doing the leg work and phone work dealing with it. She almost always bugs the hell out of me to do more :) :)

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