My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

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JAZZISCOOL
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My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:35 pm

Hello BH's,

Well, I took my car into the shop (independent mechanic - Subaru/Toyota/Lexus) this morning for some brake work and a few other things. They just called me to tell me one of their employees wrecked it while out test-driving it. :shock:

Needless to say, this has never happened to me and I'm not happy about it. The owners, who I have known for 5 years or so, will give me a loaner car today and then a rental car for as long as it is in the body shop (tow required; fender, side panel for sure, haven't seen photos yet.)

I am still trying to "wrap my head" around this but was wondering if there was anything I should do in terms of notifying my own insurance agent, worrying about the impact of resale value after the body work, etc. is completed? The car is older (Subaru Outback) but I am the original owner and it has never been in an accident before. Are there other things I should think about and/or discuss with the owner of the shop? Should I get photos for my records or other documentation? Other?

Thanks all.

123
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by 123 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:45 pm

I would try to take my own photos of the damage before repair work commences if possible. You should evaluate whether there is a likelihood of hidden damage (whatever that might be) if a body shop just repairs exterior appearance. Things like were the airbags deployed? Was the steering wheel bent? Is there any blood on the windshield, dashboard, upholstery, ceiling, etc of the vehicle?

Was there another vehicle or was it a single car accident? Was there a mechanical failure? Was anyone hurt in the accident (Get a police report)? It could be wise to contact your insurance agent for advice, particularly if there were other people or vehicles involved in the accident, as the owner of a potentially at fault vehicle they might be coming after you.

Employees at repair shops can be just as careless as anywhere else. One time while I was at a shop to pick up my care after new tires and brakes I saw an employee raise a van on a lift. Apparently the employee got distracted and he raised the van right up to the roof and put a big krinkle/dent in the van's roof from an overhead beam. I would have thought the lift would have had some kind of a safety limit/stop but it was a very old established business and maybe the equipment didn't have such features when it was installed.
Last edited by 123 on Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by miamivice » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:48 pm

How old is older?

Are you in the market for a new (or new to you) vehicle? I think that I would probably ask the mechanic to buy the vehicle at market value from me, and then I would buy a new to me vehicle instead. I wouldn't want a car that had been in a collision and repaired, due to no fault of my own.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:54 pm

I would present a reasonable compensation, such as the above suggestion of them buying the vehicle for the pre damaged value. If they don’t agree with this I would sue them.

Find a new mechanic.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by 3-20Characters » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:58 pm

⬆️ I like the previous “they should buy car from you” answers and would prefer it over mine but here is another thought:

Never had it happen to me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s happened to enough people out there and therefore, there is some standard advice you could search out. Common sense would lead me to surmise that you should insist on using your own chosen body shop and having your mechanic reimburse in full. I would assume that they have insurance for such a situation and it’s their choice whether to file a claim or pay out of pocket for repairs. If you simply allow them to repair, there is every incentive for them to cut corners and/or not “be aware” of structural damage. I’m not saying they would do that, but this is a basic conflict of interest situation.
Last edited by 3-20Characters on Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:00 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:48 pm
How old is older?

Are you in the market for a new (or new to you) vehicle? I think that I would probably ask the mechanic to buy the vehicle at market value from me, and then I would buy a new to me vehicle instead. I wouldn't want a car that had been in a collision and repaired, due to no fault of my own.
2006 Subaru Outback. No, I was not in the market for a new vehicle for at least 1-2 years or so.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by FlyAF » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm

Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:05 pm

Do not allow them to repair it - they will cut all possible corners. It is your car and you need to take charge at this point and oversee all repairs. Because your car was damage, regardless of who was driving, call your insurance company and file a claim. The company will then go after the the shop and their insurance for compensation.

Your car will take a permanent hit to its value after repair. In addition any repair is never as good as factory condition. paint will peel, rattles will show up, etc. Consider suing them in small claims court for damages to the value of your car and for the hassle and effort and time required from you in getting the car safely repaired. Before suing I'd go to them and ask for some reasonable amount - perhaps $2500 for reduced value and hassle - this obviously depends on value of the car before and after accident and repair.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by daheld » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:07 pm

So, things happen, but invariably there'll be a chorus of people on here telling you to sue them into next year. They absolutely should make it right, but I don't think this is a situation where you'll "get one over on them".

My ideas:

1. They fix the car for your free of charge and offer an extended warranty on the car and their work free of charge. They damaged it and should cover their work plus whatever damage they caused.

2. I know you said you weren't in the market for a new car, but if there's $8,000 worth of damage and they're willing to take $12,000 of the usual price of a new or newer car, I think it makes sense to at least consider an upgrade. If you can convince them to sell you a car they have on the lot priced at $20k for $8k, it might be a good deal for you long term.

What's likely to happen:

They repair wreck damage and return the car to you and everyone goes about their business.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by miamivice » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:08 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:05 pm
Do not allow them to repair it - they will cut all possible corners. It is your car and you need to take charge at this pint and oversee all repairs. Because your car was damage, regardless of who was driving, call your insurance company and file a claim. The company will then go after the the shop and their insurance for compensation. Also consider suing them in small claims court for damages to the value of your car and for the hassle and effort and time required from you in getting the car safely repaired.
I honestly don't think this is the case. They admitted they damaged the car, and they are going to want to protect their reputation. Likley they will turn this into their insurance company. I don't forsee them trying to lowball the repair and risk their reputation.

miamivice
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by miamivice » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:08 pm

daheld wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:07 pm
So, things happen, but invariably there'll be a chorus of people on here telling you to sue them into next year. They absolutely should make it right, but I don't think this is a situation where you'll "get one over on them".

My ideas:

1. They fix the car for your free of charge and offer an extended warranty on the car and their work free of charge. They damaged it and should cover their work plus whatever damage they caused.

2. I know you said you weren't in the market for a new car, but if there's $8,000 worth of damage and they're willing to take $12,000 of the usual price of a new or newer car, I think it makes sense to at least consider an upgrade. If you can convince them to sell you a car they have on the lot priced at $20k for $8k, it might be a good deal for you long term.

What's likely to happen:

They repair wreck damage and return the car to you and everyone goes about their business.
This is an independent shop so they probably don't have a used car lot on site.

rebellovw
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by rebellovw » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:11 pm

Car is a 2006 Subaru - what is the big deal? - just get it fixed - accidents happen. Can't believe all the - make them buy it - and sue comments.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by nalor511 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:11 pm

I would ask them to purchase it for pre-repair value, minus the value of any work you had them about to perform (seems fair)

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:14 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
Thanks. Yes, I am actually leaving the body shop choice to them because they said they will use Subaru parts and their insurance company (State Farm) will pay for everything. I'm not inclined to pursue legal action since the owners are good people I've known for about 5 years and they are accommodating me with a loaner/rental. Hopefully they will cover the repairs that I took it for today as well but will have to discuss.

UPDATE ON OTHER ITEMS:
  • Single car accident - employee hit a parked truck's tire
    Police report filed (I requested copy)
    They will provide loaner/rental while car is being fixed
    I asked for photos since car is on the way to body shop
    No blood; no airbags; no one was injured

rebellovw
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by rebellovw » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:15 pm

nalor511 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:11 pm
I would ask them to purchase it for pre-repair value, minus the value of any work you had them about to perform (seems fair)
Why would they do that when they have insurance most likely? Their insurance should take care of the damage - we are talking about a 2006 car here and not a 911 or collectors car.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:17 pm

When you say "wrecked", what's that mean. The car is probably worth what? $5k? If it's dented panels, come to an agreement, they write you a check and just drive it. My son was hit (100% other guy's fault) in the side of our 04, 75k mile Outback 2 years ago. We took the $1800 insurance check, then soon afterwards, I traded it in and got $2k for it at 81k miles. It was in perfect shape before that but it wasn't worth all that much.
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Trader Joe » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:17 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:35 pm
Hello BH's,

Well, I took my car into the shop (independent mechanic - Subaru/Toyota/Lexus) this morning for some brake work and a few other things. They just called me to tell me one of their employees wrecked it while out test-driving it. :shock:

Needless to say, this has never happened to me and I'm not happy about it. The owners, who I have known for 5 years or so, will give me a loaner car today and then a rental car for as long as it is in the body shop (tow required; fender, side panel for sure, haven't seen photos yet.)

I am still trying to "wrap my head" around this but was wondering if there was anything I should do in terms of notifying my own insurance agent, worrying about the impact of resale value after the body work, etc. is completed? The car is older (Subaru Outback) but I am the original owner and it has never been in an accident before. Are there other things I should think about and/or discuss with the owner of the shop? Should I get photos for my records or other documentation? Other?

Thanks all.
I would notify my insurance and take photos. I would also make sure to take my vehicle to a dealership for service moving forward.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by daheld » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:19 pm

rebellovw wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:11 pm
Car is a 2006 Subaru - what is the big deal? - just get it fixed - accidents happen. Can't believe all the - make them buy it - and sue comments.
People get behind a keyboard and become smarter, tougher, and more intimidating. It's science.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:20 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
I didn’t say just go and sue them, I said propose a *reasonable* compensation, such as purchasing the car for the pre damaged price, and if they don’t agree THEN sue. Otherwise you’re in a negotiation and this isn’t a negotiation.

Of course it depends on the damage. If it is a fender than needs to be replaced, then on a 13 year old vehicle you likely will get a fender replaced. “Wrecked” to me means “totaled”.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:23 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:08 pm
jabberwockOG wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:05 pm
Do not allow them to repair it - they will cut all possible corners. It is your car and you need to take charge at this pint and oversee all repairs. Because your car was damage, regardless of who was driving, call your insurance company and file a claim. The company will then go after the the shop and their insurance for compensation. Also consider suing them in small claims court for damages to the value of your car and for the hassle and effort and time required from you in getting the car safely repaired.
I honestly don't think this is the case. They admitted they damaged the car, and they are going to want to protect their reputation. Likley they will turn this into their insurance company. I don't forsee them trying to lowball the repair and risk their reputation.
State Farm is their insurance company who has already started the ball rolling and body shop will use original parts to repair it. They have a GREAT reputation in my neighborhood and I don't think they would jeopardize that.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:23 pm

My son was in a not at fault wreck with our Toyota Camry. We got offered about 5 k for it and I thought it was worth more at the time so I had them fix it. Once fixed the wife didn't like the noise out of one of the rear wheels (bearings possibly) so we drove it for a while and then traded the car in and got our 5k that way. We didn't ask them about the wheel noise after the repair which might have been a good idea to ask about.

I don't like owning cars that have had major wrecks, hopefully you can come to some sort of agreement that satisfies you with your wrecked car.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:24 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:20 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
I didn’t say just go and sue them, I said propose a *reasonable* compensation, such as purchasing the car for the pre damaged price, and if they don’t agree THEN sue. Otherwise you’re in a negotiation and this isn’t a negotiation.

Of course it depends on the damage. If it is a fender than needs to be replaced, then on a 13 year old vehicle you likely will get a fender replaced. “Wrecked” to me means “totaled”.
No, it wasn't totaled. The owner said front bumper, head light, fender, wheel and a couple suspension items.

If it was a 2018-19 Lexus, for example, the discussion would be different. They did just drop off a Lexus SUV as a loaner until I get my rental car.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by FlyAF » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:29 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:20 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
I didn’t say just go and sue them, I said propose a *reasonable* compensation, such as purchasing the car for the pre damaged price, and if they don’t agree THEN sue. Otherwise you’re in a negotiation and this isn’t a negotiation.

Of course it depends on the damage. If it is a fender than needs to be replaced, then on a 13 year old vehicle you likely will get a fender replaced. “Wrecked” to me means “totaled”.
Except your proposal is not reasonable.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:29 pm

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:23 pm
My son was in a not at fault wreck with our Toyota Camry. We got offered about 5 k for it and I thought it was worth more at the time so I had them fix it. Once fixed the wife didn't like the noise out of one of the rear wheels (bearings possibly) so we drove it for a while and then traded the car in and got our 5k that way. We didn't ask them about the wheel noise after the repair which might have been a good idea to ask about.

I don't like owning cars that have had major wrecks, hopefully you can come to some sort of agreement that satisfies you with your wrecked car.
Good point. They said they would warranty all of the work that needs to be done (e.g. noises, issues, etc.) after the repairs. I know they are good for that because they do the same with their mechanical work for a certain period of time or mileage (and they have honored that in the past with some head gasket repairs.)

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:30 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:24 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:20 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
I didn’t say just go and sue them, I said propose a *reasonable* compensation, such as purchasing the car for the pre damaged price, and if they don’t agree THEN sue. Otherwise you’re in a negotiation and this isn’t a negotiation.

Of course it depends on the damage. If it is a fender than needs to be replaced, then on a 13 year old vehicle you likely will get a fender replaced. “Wrecked” to me means “totaled”.
No, it wasn't totaled. The owner said front bumper, head light, fender, wheel and a couple suspension items.

If it was a 2018-19 Lexus, for example, the discussion would be different. They did just drop off a Lexus SUV as a loaner until I get my rental car.
Okay, so my suggestion is to request the car be repaired at a body shop of choice.

At the end of the day, the guy probably wants to do the right thing. If we’re talking $2k - $3k damage he probably has a friend with a body shop who will do him a favor at cost. It’s not in his interest to return the car to you worse than he received it because he wants to continue to get your business going forward.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:31 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:29 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:20 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
I didn’t say just go and sue them, I said propose a *reasonable* compensation, such as purchasing the car for the pre damaged price, and if they don’t agree THEN sue. Otherwise you’re in a negotiation and this isn’t a negotiation.

Of course it depends on the damage. If it is a fender than needs to be replaced, then on a 13 year old vehicle you likely will get a fender replaced. “Wrecked” to me means “totaled”.
Except your proposal is not reasonable.
If a car is totaled, which is what “wrecked” means to me, then yes it is a completely reasonable proposal. It seems the car is NOT totaled therefore repair may be in order.

A 13 year old, high mileage car with significant damage *may* be totaled. If the car is only worth $4k, a bumper, fender, headlight assembly, and suspension equipment may total it.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by beehivehave » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:32 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:00 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:48 pm
How old is older?

Are you in the market for a new (or new to you) vehicle? I think that I would probably ask the mechanic to buy the vehicle at market value from me, and then I would buy a new to me vehicle instead. I wouldn't want a car that had been in a collision and repaired, due to no fault of my own.
2006 Subaru Outback. No, I was not in the market for a new vehicle for at least 1-2 years or so.
So what is it worth? $2000-$3000as a trade-in, $5000 selling as private party with all the hassles?
They did you a favor. Ask for market value and buy a new car with modern safety features a couple years early.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by retiredjg » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:38 pm

There is still only one right answer - notify your insurance company and do what they say.

It sounds to me like all is going well after this unfortunate accident. And all the right things are being offered and done. Nevertheless, you have an obligation to your insurance company to let them know what is going on. I doubt they will interfere and they can be helpful later if things go sideways.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:49 pm

daheld wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:07 pm
So, things happen, but invariably there'll be a chorus of people on here telling you to sue them into next year. They absolutely should make it right, but I don't think this is a situation where you'll "get one over on them".

My ideas:

1. They fix the car for your free of charge and offer an extended warranty on the car and their work free of charge. They damaged it and should cover their work plus whatever damage they caused.

2. I know you said you weren't in the market for a new car, but if there's $8,000 worth of damage and they're willing to take $12,000 of the usual price of a new or newer car, I think it makes sense to at least consider an upgrade. If you can convince them to sell you a car they have on the lot priced at $20k for $8k, it might be a good deal for you long term.

What's likely to happen:

They repair wreck damage and return the car to you and everyone goes about their business.
They do not sell new/used cars; independent shop so not this type of car inventory for them to negotiate with (although could be useful advice if it was a dealer; hopefully won't have to go through this again.)

My car is a 2006 with a KBB value (private party) of $3,300-$5,400; however, Subaru's are very popular in Colorado so private party re-sale is probably $4-5.8 k+ or so.) They command a bit of a premium because they are AWD. This isn't a high dollar vehicle but it has never been in an accident so it's a bit upsetting.
Last edited by JAZZISCOOL on Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:51 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:38 pm
There is still only one right answer - notify your insurance company and do what they say.

It sounds to me like all is going well after this unfortunate accident. And all the right things are being offered and done. Nevertheless, you have an obligation to your insurance company to let them know what is going on. I doubt they will interfere and they can be helpful later if things go sideways.
Thanks. Yes, I am waiting for my agent to call me back to discuss. They seem to be working with me and just dropped off a (Lexus SUV) loaner at my house (supposed to get snow here tomorrow :shock: ). This business is reputable and I believe the owners are trying to make it right so far.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by retiredjg » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:55 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:51 pm
This business is reputable and I believe the owners are trying to make it right so far.
It sounds like it.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:03 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:14 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
Thanks. Yes, I am actually leaving the body shop choice to them because they said they will use Subaru parts and their insurance company (State Farm) will pay for everything. I'm not inclined to pursue legal action since the owners are good people I've known for about 5 years and they are accommodating me with a loaner/rental. Hopefully they will cover the repairs that I took it for today as well but will have to discuss.

UPDATE ON OTHER ITEMS:
  • Single car accident - employee hit a parked truck's tire
    Police report filed (I requested copy)
    They will provide loaner/rental while car is being fixed
    I asked for photos since car is on the way to body shop
    No blood; no airbags; no one was injured
It doesn't sound like the car is too badly damaged. If it just needs a new bumper or quarter panel I'd let them do it, make sure it looks good and call it a day.

If its near totaled then I like the idea of having them buy the car from you and calling it good.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:06 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:03 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:14 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
Thanks. Yes, I am actually leaving the body shop choice to them because they said they will use Subaru parts and their insurance company (State Farm) will pay for everything. I'm not inclined to pursue legal action since the owners are good people I've known for about 5 years and they are accommodating me with a loaner/rental. Hopefully they will cover the repairs that I took it for today as well but will have to discuss.

UPDATE ON OTHER ITEMS:
  • Single car accident - employee hit a parked truck's tire
    Police report filed (I requested copy)
    They will provide loaner/rental while car is being fixed
    I asked for photos since car is on the way to body shop
    No blood; no airbags; no one was injured
It doesn't sound like the car is too badly damaged. If it just needs a new bumper or quarter panel I'd let them do it, make sure it looks good and call it a day.

If its near totaled then I like the idea of having them buy the car from you and calling it good.
Thank you. This sounds like reasonable advice. I do want to speak to my insurance company to double check.

Katietsu
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Katietsu » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:10 pm

The benefit to me of having a 13 year old low value car is that you do not need to get “upset” when there is a small accident. It sounds like the shop is doing a great job with their response. Enjoy the rental, repair the Subaru, and move until the next accident.

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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:17 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:10 pm
The benefit to me of having a 13 year old low value car is that you do not need to get “upset” when there is a small accident. It sounds like the shop is doing a great job with their response. Enjoy the rental, repair the Subaru, and move until the next accident.
LOL! Yes that is true - I would be more upset if it was a 2018 Lexus or even a Tesla, etc. But, it is still somewhat upsetting since the car has never been in an accident before. It helps that I have known the owners of the shop for several years and know they have a good reputation. And hopefully no "next accident" in the near term. :wink:

But I am thankful no one was injured or anything far worse. :happy

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:21 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:35 pm
Hello BH's,

Well, I took my car into the shop (independent mechanic - Subaru/Toyota/Lexus) this morning for some brake work and a few other things. They just called me to tell me one of their employees wrecked it while out test-driving it. :shock:

Needless to say, this has never happened to me and I'm not happy about it. The owners, who I have known for 5 years or so, will give me a loaner car today and then a rental car for as long as it is in the body shop (tow required; fender, side panel for sure, haven't seen photos yet.)

I am still trying to "wrap my head" around this but was wondering if there was anything I should do in terms of notifying my own insurance agent, worrying about the impact of resale value after the body work, etc. is completed? The car is older (Subaru Outback) but I am the original owner and it has never been in an accident before. Are there other things I should think about and/or discuss with the owner of the shop? Should I get photos for my records or other documentation? Other?

Thanks all.
I'm not even sure the owner's insurance is going to pay. It might be your insurance. I'd at least try to get them to cough up your deductible. Sounds like they're offering a lot more than that so I'd take them up on it.
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:04 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:21 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:35 pm
Hello BH's,

Well, I took my car into the shop (independent mechanic - Subaru/Toyota/Lexus) this morning for some brake work and a few other things. They just called me to tell me one of their employees wrecked it while out test-driving it. :shock:

Needless to say, this has never happened to me and I'm not happy about it. The owners, who I have known for 5 years or so, will give me a loaner car today and then a rental car for as long as it is in the body shop (tow required; fender, side panel for sure, haven't seen photos yet.)

I am still trying to "wrap my head" around this but was wondering if there was anything I should do in terms of notifying my own insurance agent, worrying about the impact of resale value after the body work, etc. is completed? The car is older (Subaru Outback) but I am the original owner and it has never been in an accident before. Are there other things I should think about and/or discuss with the owner of the shop? Should I get photos for my records or other documentation? Other?

Thanks all.
I'm not even sure the owner's insurance is going to pay. It might be your insurance. I'd at least try to get them to cough up your deductible. Sounds like they're offering a lot more than that so I'd take them up on it.
Thanks. Interesting point. If it goes in this direction, I would absolutely have to ask for the deductible at least or have another conversation about compensation for the damage, etc. I certainly don't WANT to file a claim with my carrier as it could impact my rates when I was not at fault (and in fact, not in the car).

So, according to the shop's owner (who has already spoken to their insurance company (State Farm)), they said they will cover it but I will have to see if that turns out to be correct.

I did hear from MY insurance agent who told me to proceed with the mechanic and State Farm fixing the car. In her opinion, a commercial liability policy called a ‘garagekeepers’ policy that he probably carries, should cover everything and I do not need to file a claim with my own carrier. Keeping my fingers crossed.....

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:42 pm

It sounds as if things are going pretty well. The only thing I would add is to check the location of the accident to ascertain that it was near enough to the shop to be a genuine test drive. There was a story in my local news a couple of years ago where a woman spotted her vehicle being parked at a shopping mall. She used her spare key to get in her car and drive it to the shop to complain. It turned out an employee was using her vehicle to run his personal errands.

Unless I am having major service done, I generally try to stay at the shop while the work is being done. Not that I don't trust mechanics but ...

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:49 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:42 pm
It sounds as if things are going pretty well. The only thing I would add is to check the location of the accident to ascertain that it was near enough to the shop to be a genuine test drive. There was a story in my local news a couple of years ago where a woman spotted her vehicle being parked at a shopping mall. She used her spare key to get in her car and drive it to the shop to complain. It turned out an employee was using her vehicle to run his personal errands.

Unless I am having major service done, I generally try to stay at the shop while the work is being done. Not that I don't trust mechanics but ...
Good point. Yes, I'm pretty sure it was just around the block because of how the owner described it. The tow truck driver also told me it was close to the shop (he towed the loaner car over here.)

I also try to stay at the shop for things if a shorter period of time but this was 7-8 hour job today.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:55 pm

UPDATE - I also wanted to see if anyone had any new info on the doctrine of "diminished value" in the insurance industry?

My agent mentioned it (without specific advice). I found this article and understand the general idea but don't know how to apply it to this situation exactly. I'm not that worried with an older car but was just curious. I will also google it on the BH site to read up on.

https://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Diminished-Value

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by tibbitts » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:30 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:55 pm
UPDATE - I also wanted to see if anyone had any new info on the doctrine of "diminished value" in the insurance industry?

My agent mentioned it (without specific advice). I found this article and understand the general idea but don't know how to apply it to this situation exactly. I'm not that worried with an older car but was just curious. I will also google it on the BH site to read up on.

https://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Diminished-Value
You're stretching credibility in trying to apply diminished value to an ancient Subaru. From what you have said it will not have a salvage title or anything like that. Fenders get dents and bumper bend. They can be repaired. Arguably if they use new Subaru parts, which I think would be serious overkill to use, and do the repair properly, your car may end up better than before it was hit.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by retiredjg » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:34 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:04 pm
I certainly don't WANT to file a claim with my carrier as it could impact my rates when I was not at fault (and in fact, not in the car).
I understand your concern, but this is not necessarily true. I had an at fault accident that totaled 2 vehicles and my rates did not go up a single penny.

There are many factors involved. Do not assume a claim will increase your rates.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by NewbieBogle007 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:37 pm

I'm amazed at the replies.

1. I would suggest NOT calling your own insurance company.
2. Get your car repaired at a shop of YOUR choice via THEIR insurance company (they should/might actually cut you a check).

Similar thing happened to me years ago when a shop backed into something with my car. I was lucky that they admitted fault after I discovered the damage at home. I did #1 and #2. When my car later got totaled while parked on the street, I the repair history (basically a repainted trunk lid) didn't impact the payout value at all whatsoever.

Suing or experiencing any sort of grief over the damage of a 13yo Subaru is silly IMHO.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:01 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:34 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:04 pm
I certainly don't WANT to file a claim with my carrier as it could impact my rates when I was not at fault (and in fact, not in the car).
I understand your concern, but this is not necessarily true. I had an at fault accident that totaled 2 vehicles and my rates did not go up a single penny.

There are many factors involved. Do not assume a claim will increase your rates.
Yes there are many factors involved, but why exactly would you chance it when there seems to be no benefit?

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:20 pm

Maybe I missed it, but was there a police report? Was a ticket issued? That then begs the question of what was the driver's driving record like? Accidents happen, but if the driver had prior accidents, then should they have had the mechanic behind the wheel?

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by miamivice » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:06 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:55 pm
UPDATE - I also wanted to see if anyone had any new info on the doctrine of "diminished value" in the insurance industry?

My agent mentioned it (without specific advice). I found this article and understand the general idea but don't know how to apply it to this situation exactly. I'm not that worried with an older car but was just curious. I will also google it on the BH site to read up on.

https://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Diminished-Value
For a 13 year old Subaru, you don't have diminished value. It won't be worth less money in case of resale due to the accident. I wouldn't pursue it because the shop probably won't give it to you and then you'd be stuck arguing with a company that treated you well. I'd just move on.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:22 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:34 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:04 pm
I certainly don't WANT to file a claim with my carrier as it could impact my rates when I was not at fault (and in fact, not in the car).
I understand your concern, but this is not necessarily true. I had an at fault accident that totaled 2 vehicles and my rates did not go up a single penny.

There are many factors involved. Do not assume a claim will increase your rates.
That is good to know your rates did not go up afterwards.

Per my insurance agent, I do not need to file a claim as things stand right now but something I will keep in mind in the future. Thanks.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by H-Town » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:25 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Since we're talking about a 13 y/o car, have it sent to a body shop of your choice and have them pick up the tab. Accidents happen.

Love the classy advice to sue.
+1 this.

People keep treating their car like the most valuable thing of their life. It's really not.

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:25 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:06 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:55 pm
UPDATE - I also wanted to see if anyone had any new info on the doctrine of "diminished value" in the insurance industry?

My agent mentioned it (without specific advice). I found this article and understand the general idea but don't know how to apply it to this situation exactly. I'm not that worried with an older car but was just curious. I will also google it on the BH site to read up on.

https://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Diminished-Value
For a 13 year old Subaru, you don't have diminished value. It won't be worth less money in case of resale due to the accident. I wouldn't pursue it because the shop probably won't give it to you and then you'd be stuck arguing with a company that treated you well. I'd just move on.
Thanks. This is good to know. I didn't think it would be a factor but thought I would ask the wise people on BH. :happy

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Re: My mechanic just wrecked my car - advice?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:39 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:30 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:55 pm
UPDATE - I also wanted to see if anyone had any new info on the doctrine of "diminished value" in the insurance industry?

My agent mentioned it (without specific advice). I found this article and understand the general idea but don't know how to apply it to this situation exactly. I'm not that worried with an older car but was just curious. I will also google it on the BH site to read up on.

https://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Diminished-Value
You're stretching credibility in trying to apply diminished value to an ancient Subaru. From what you have said it will not have a salvage title or anything like that. Fenders get dents and bumper bend. They can be repaired. Arguably if they use new Subaru parts, which I think would be serious overkill to use, and do the repair properly, your car may end up better than before it was hit.
No, I am not trying to "apply" diminished value - just understand what it means exactly in this situation. Today was the first I have heard the term "diminished value" w.r.t. auto damage so I'm just trying to understand it and do my research. No one has mentioned a salvage title or "totaling" the car thus far. It seems like the shop has a good plan in place and I do have a loaner now.

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