Accident with (almost) brand new car

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cacophony
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Accident with (almost) brand new car

Post by cacophony »

My girlfriend was just rear-ended while yielding to oncoming traffic in a merge lane. Nobody was hurt and the damage isn't horrible, but what's especially frustrating is the fact that the car was purchased new less than two weeks ago. She didn't even have the plates yet!

Is there any additional recourse in this type of situation given how new the car is? Even if the car is well fixed there's still a loss in resale value should she choose to sell in the future.

Any thoughts?
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serbeer
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Post by serbeer »

When I purchased my first new car, Acura Integra, after graduating from college, I went to automatic car after just 3 days of driving it, and got a pretty long and deep scratch on the side and bumper by automatic washing arm (after problem with getting the wash started and trying to drive away at the same time that it finally did start).

Well, I never fixed the scratch, and never worried again about any scratch and damage to the car (that was totaled 6.5 years later at other party's expense).

I kind of felt a relief after getting this scratch, I have to tell you. Something like, "well, I don't have to worry about dusting off this car every other day"

That said, and unrelated to the topic, I loved every ride in this car and the days I drove it at 120 mph on CA highways are still something I remember with a smile. Once, I made it from San Francisco to a far saburb past Sacramento in 55 minutes, and that's with stopping at gas station to buy gas. Now I still cannot believe how reckless that was, but can't help it but smile when I remember it. And not a single ticket or accident in 3 years of doing it (as I matured and actually started to slow down quite a bit, I got 3 tickets in the 4th year--first at 95mph, second at 68mph in 45 zone, and the last one for .... 70mph in 65 zone--go figure).
centrifuge41
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Post by centrifuge41 »

Get quotes - lots of quotes from various body shops. That way she can secure a higher payout. Now, if she opts to not fix the car, the payout will eventually be higher than the reduced value of the car due to the damage because both the car and the (reduced value number) will be depreciating.
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Kenkat
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Post by Kenkat »

serbeer wrote:When I purchased my first new car, Acura Integra, after graduating from college,
I am curious what year you had? My first car out of college was a 1987 Acura Integra (1st Generation). Loved that car too and drove it into the ground. It was only the second year for the Integra and it was a blast to drive. 7000 RPM redline = fun!
KyleAAA
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Post by KyleAAA »

Your insurance company will pay you diminished value if you ask. I was once rear-ended in a 6-month old car and I think I got something like $1300 in diminished value in addition to having it fixed up like new. Seeing as how I'm still driving it 7 years later, I think I got a good deal. It will be worth almost nothing when I finally sell it anyway.
btenny
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Post by btenny »

I bought an almost new (3k miles - dealer demo) Oldsmobile 442 convertable back in 1971. It was a wonderful car, fun to drive and a real rocket on the road. Plus the yellow car matched my boat that I pulled with it.

I financed it back then, so I did not pick the car up the day I bought it. I went to pick it up 2-3 days later after financing approval and got broadsided by one of the dealer mechanics in the parking lot. The side of the car was a mess. But I loved the car so I let them fix it and picked it up 2 weeks or so later.

We kept that car and drove it for 100K miles or so. We drove it everywhere and towed our boat all over with the top down. It was a blast.

So if you really like the car, assumng it can be fixed properly, just get it fixed and get paid for the reduction in value.

Good luck,
Bill
Skiandswim
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Post by Skiandswim »

There was a similar post on "Insurance Dispute Questions" on Mar 7, 2011 that might help.

As noted before, you have to ask insurance for compensation for diminished value. It sounds like your girlfriend was not responsible, so make the claim.

Best of luck
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serbeer
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Post by serbeer »

kenschmidt wrote:
serbeer wrote:When I purchased my first new car, Acura Integra, after graduating from college,
I am curious what year you had? My first car out of college was a 1987 Acura Integra (1st Generation). Loved that car too and drove it into the ground. It was only the second year for the Integra and it was a blast to drive. 7000 RPM redline = fun!
1996. I nicknamed it "Quicksilver on Wheels" :)I think redline was at 6,800 but it was so long ago, I may be wrong about that one. I purchased the model with manual transmission (which was nice because of 4 cylinder engine's torque somewhat lacking when picking up speed from full stop), and it was starting to go bad after 6 years. I was just going to pay $500 to replace the clutch when it was totaled--with the rest of the car. Perfect timing ;)
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Go Blue 99
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Post by Go Blue 99 »

Yes, look into Diminished Value from your insurance company. My state (Georgia) is a mandatory D.V. state. The insurance company automatically mails you a check even if the accident was your fault. Since the car is new, the amount for you should be quite high.
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Kenkat
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Post by Kenkat »

A friend had that generation - loved the spec-style headlights!

You definitely had to keep the revs up from a dead stop - I'd usually keep the RPM's at about 4000 until the clutch fully engaged if I was "on it". Made for some good times...pt a new clutch in at 115K - guess that's my own fault! 8)

That whole class of car - smaller, high revving engine - has largely disappeared it seems. Oh well, fun while it lasted...
Topic Author
cacophony
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Post by cacophony »

Thanks for all the replies. We'll definitely look into getting diminished value from the insurance company. Any advice on getting a fair diminished value? Or do you just have to accept what's offered?

The damage definitely needs to be fixed. The trunk is now separated from the body, the bumper is bashed in on the right, and rear quarter panel is damaged, and the rear light assembly is also partly dis-attached and damaged. I'm guessing it's ~$3k of damage based on prior body shop experiences. This is on a 2011 Nissan Altima BTW (2 weeks old and 700 miles on the odometer).
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fishnskiguy
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Post by fishnskiguy »

cacophony wrote:Thanks for all the replies. We'll definitely look into getting diminished value from the insurance company. Any advice on getting a fair diminished value? Or do you just have to accept what's offered?

The damage definitely needs to be fixed. The trunk is now separated from the body, the bumper is bashed in on the right, and rear quarter panel is damaged, and the rear light assembly is also partly dis-attached and damaged. I'm guessing it's ~$3k of damage based on prior body shop experiences. This is on a 2011 Nissan Altima BTW (2 weeks old and 700 miles on the odometer).
Get it fixed by a reputable body shop. It will be as good as new. DO NOT do the Maaco and bondo route. All damaged parts should be replaced. Good shops don't try to hammer out sheetmetal these days.

Chris
Trident D-5 SLBM- "When you care enough to send the very best."
Triple digit golfer
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Post by Triple digit golfer »

KyleAAA wrote:Your insurance company will pay you diminished value if you ask. I was once rear-ended in a 6-month old car and I think I got something like $1300 in diminished value in addition to having it fixed up like new. Seeing as how I'm still driving it 7 years later, I think I got a good deal. It will be worth almost nothing when I finally sell it anyway.
Could you explain this in more detail? I bolded and underlined the key part. If you have it fixed up like new, why would your insurance company give you an additional $1,300? Am I missing something? Thanks.
tim1999
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Post by tim1999 »

Triple digit golfer wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:Your insurance company will pay you diminished value if you ask. I was once rear-ended in a 6-month old car and I think I got something like $1300 in diminished value in addition to having it fixed up like new. Seeing as how I'm still driving it 7 years later, I think I got a good deal. It will be worth almost nothing when I finally sell it anyway.
Could you explain this in more detail? I bolded and underlined the key part. If you have it fixed up like new, why would your insurance company give you an additional $1,300? Am I missing something? Thanks.
I'm not Kyle, but a car that has been in an accident, no matter how well the repairs were done, is worth less than a car that was never in an accident. That's just how it is. Doesn't matter how good it looks. You may know (or at least think) it was repaired well, but how does a future buyer know for sure? How does someone know what under-the-surface damage was done that might not be apparent at the present time? Lots of unknowns. Unfortunately the average consumer buying a used car usually must rely on the honesty of the seller and perhaps a carfax report. Dealers aren't going to tell you it was in an accident unless you ask, and even then they might not disclose it unless it shows up on carfax. Even if the carfax is clean, it could still have been in an accident - I know this firsthand.

Car dealers can pick up on accident cars very easily. They use paint meters to test the difference in paint thickness on the repaired vs. original panels, check vin/serial numbers on panels, etc. They for certain are going to offer you less for an accident car vs. a clean one. This especially applies to high end luxury models.
Sam I Am
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Post by Sam I Am »

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Triple digit golfer
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Post by Triple digit golfer »

Cherokee and Sam,

Thanks. But insurance companies actually will pay you for that?????
tim1999
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Post by tim1999 »

Triple digit golfer wrote:Cherokee and Sam,

Thanks. But insurance companies actually will pay you for that?????
The only time I had an accident where I theoretically could have asked for a diminished value payment (rear-ender that wasn't my fault) the car was leased. Since I didn't own the car, I wasn't really entitled to diminished value. I wasn't going to set myself up for some kind of insurance fraud charge if they found out after I requested payment. Instead, the leasing company had to eat the diminished value of the car after the repairs. Due to the severity of the damage, combined with the fact that the residual value was way too optimistic at the inception of the lease (this was when the economy was booming), I came out way ahead on that deal.

I'll also mention that there is a dealer in my area that specializes in selling luxury cars with accident histories, for bargain prices. Sort of for the "I wanted a BMW 535XI but could only afford this one that was smashed on all 4 sides" crowd. That dealer's cars are usually priced 15-20%+ lower than clean cars elsewhere.
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cacophony
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Post by cacophony »

Ok, finally got around to asking the other parties insurance company for diminished value. The response was "California does not recognize diminished value, so you can't get anything for it". I asked to speak to the supervisor and got the same answer.

Is it worth pursuing this further and if so how?

BTW, the damage ended up costing over $8000 to get repaired (this is for a $19k car).

Thanks.
jj
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Post by jj »

I thought I would resurrect this thread as we are in a very similar situation with our 7 month-old car. An older lady drove into our parked car - I was standing about 30 yards away when it happened and heard the impact and then ran across. I was very keen to ensure that she didn't drive away!

We are claiming on her insurance, the car is in the shop now. We took a recommendation from franchised dealer as to a good body shop. The insurance company has provided a rental while it is being worked on.

We have told the insurance company we want to claim for diminished value (been there, done that with a previous vehicle where it cost us real money when it came to the part-ex) but they are giving us the run around.

How do we proceed with this claim? They are trying to ignore us to make us go away. When I search on the internet I see businesses who act for you in these circumstances, how much do they charge, are they worth it, has anyone ever used one?

It irks that someone can damage my new car - admittedly, pay for the repair - but not put me financially back into the position I was in before their damage to my car.

How has it worked out for the OP?
jbmitt
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Post by jbmitt »

Get it fixed by a reputable body shop. It will be as good as new. DO NOT do the Maaco and bondo route. All damaged parts should be replaced. Good shops don't try to hammer out sheetmetal these days.
Good shops always replace quarter panels? That is a minimum 5k to play.. I've seen amazing repair work. Many shops prefer that, because a good body man might repair a panel in less than half the time on the estimate. They make more money of repairs than replacement.

Some shops prefer to replace everything.. but that is more a testament to the (in)abilities of their workers.
rylemdr
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Re: Accident with (almost) brand new car

Post by rylemdr »

cacophony wrote:My girlfriend was just rear-ended...
I was giggling when I was reading this part. :lol:

I'm sorry, I know it's immature but that made me laugh somehow. :oops:

Anyone else had the same reaction?
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