Auto Accident/damage

Discussion in 'Auto Insurance Forum' started by thoj, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. thoj
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    thoj Member

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    Hi all,

    Here's the scenario: My car was parked in the parking lot. A driver living in the same apartment complex knocked down my front bumper. A police report was filed, their insurance accessed the damage and determined a total loss, but they're saying my vehicle is old with some damages already and thus has no value. I need them to fix my bumper, but they won't do anything. What can I do?:mad:
     
  2. adjusterjack
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    adjusterjack Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming you don't have collision coverage.

    Take photos of the damage. Have your bumper fixed. Pay for it. Send a copy of the paid invoice to the other driver's insurance company with a letter demanding payment, send a copy to the driver.

    If you don't get paid, sue the driver in small claims court. No guarantees there. If your bumper was already damaged you might only get part of the repair bill.

    Bottom line: That insurance company has no obligation to you unless and until a court of law says the driver is responsible and for how much.
     
  3. thoj
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    thoj Member

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    Correct, now they're saying it'll cost more to fix the bumper than my car's worth (which they believe worth nothing), so they will not fix and will not give me anything. So, should I say anything to their insurance company to fix it or I'll fix it and give them the bill? Should I even bother with Lawyer?
     
  4. adjusterjack
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    adjusterjack Well-Known Member

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    How much will it cost to fix your bumper? Get a price from a repair shop before you reply if you don't already have one. Don't guess.

    What's the year, make, model, and mileage of your car?

    Post a photo of the bumper damage and a photo of your car.

    See Manage Attachments below your reply.

    And, do you have collision coverage?
     
  5. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    The other driver is not responsible to repair pre-existing damage, just the actual damage he caused.

    For instance, I had someone knock the bumper off my wife's Prius, it cost around $7,000 to repair. The car was worth maybe $20,000, so the insurance company wrote the check, no problem.

    If that same bumper had been in an accident previously and was held on by duct tape, then they would have paid me $5 to buy a new roll of duct tape.

    If that same $7000 in damage was done to a car worth $5000, they would only pay the $5000 that the car was worth and they would keep the car, effectively buying it from me.

    In your case, since you say the car had existing damage, my guess is they are saying the damage done didn't cause any repairs that weren't already necessary. This is the issue with existing damage, they only pay for the cost of the incremental damage, not the pre-existing damage. In many cases, this is very little, depending on what actually happened.

    Let me give an example:
    If you have a broken windshield that needs to be replaced to legally drive the car and someone comes along and accidentally hits the windshield with a ball causing more of a crack, the incremental cost to do this repair is actually $0.00. The windshield already had to be replaced to drive the car. On the other hand, if you had a small chip that could have been repaired and they cause a big crack, they may pay the cost of the windshield minus $50 due to the existing chip.

    Lots of variables in these answers. To get more input, we need more details.

    Dan
     
  6. thoj
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    thoj Member

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    I wouldn't ask for any pre-existing damages. All I want is for the other driver & insurance to make me whole again, that's it, which is fix my bumper, and don't tell me my car is worthless - this would be so convenient for the said insurance company. I just want what's rightfully mine, nothing more.
     
  7. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Well-Known Member

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    Well, how long is the vehicle, what condition is it in? It may only be worth scrap value, although you should have been offered at least that.
     
  8. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Technically, no.
    If it was only worth scrap value and its still worth scrap value, then there is no loss of value. This is the problem with pre-existing damage, that is usually at least 75% of the cost of any repair and can be 100% of the cost to do the repair.

    Info about the previous condition to current condition would be helpful, but my guess is, based on the way this was written up, there wasn't a lot of incremental damage done. It may have gone from drivable to not drivable, which is a problem.

    Dan
     
  9. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, somehow I had gotten in my mind they were taking the vehicle but not offering anything in return. Which isn't the case apparently.
     
  10. adjusterjack
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    adjusterjack Well-Known Member

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    OK, ignore my post and get no help. Doesn't matter to me.
     

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