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[Car Accident] Now With Insurance Goosery

MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain?ChicagoRegistered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
In what's occurring with disturbing regularity, I was involved in another car accident today. No injuries for either car, so that's good.

I was coming east across a controlled (light) intersection, the light turned yellow either right as I arrived, or right before, either way it was well within my rights & best interest to continue through. Car in westbound lanes was in turn lane, and when I entered the intersection and was about 1/2 through, turned left. I tried to avoid, but struck them in the rear panel. My car (05 'rolla) was pretty much destroyed - airbag, fluids leaking out, hood and grill crumpled, radiator pushed back to the engine.

Other driver got ticket for going through a yellow, I got one for "failure to not reduce speed at intersection". 3rd party who came to pick the other driver & passenger decided to bitch at the cop, even though she and the cop (obviously) wasn't even there.

So suggestions? I've filed insurance claim against them, my agent believed it was 100% them, for whatever that's worth.

Is this a lawyer-up case? Should I be more relieved or worried the other woman decided to lay into the cop? It doesn't sound like a good idea to me, since the paperwork was done.

UPDATE 6/24: Ok, so they did total my car. Initial offer was for 7,000. I sent paperwork showing new tires and $900 in brake work this year, bumped up to $8,200. Adjuster sent list of similar cars for around 8k, but any searches I do, they're coming up more around 10,000 which I sent to him. Anything else I can do? Any codewords to get more money? At-fault is still not settled, which is un-settling to me, since it seems pretty clear. Trying not to freak just yet, but can't really afford a bump in my rates.

MichaelLC on
Excision wrote: »
My girlfriend is going down tonight!

Steam:MichaelLC

Posts

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I may be wrong, but I am fairly certain who the cop places blame on isn't necessarily who the insurance company will.

    It sounds like you weren't at fault. Were there witnesses that told the cop that you were gunning it through the light? Did you perhaps speed up even a little bit when you saw that light change?

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    I may be wrong, but I am fairly certain who the cop places blame on isn't necessarily who the insurance company will.

    It sounds like you weren't at fault. Were there witnesses that told the cop that you were gunning it through the light? Did you perhaps speed up even a little bit when you saw that light change?

    Sorry, post was getting long already. Yes, witness stayed to say light was yellow, so good for me. I wasn't accelerating, but didn't brake either - not until her goosey self started turning into me.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I don't understand what your ticket is for. Is that failure to yield? If so, that's the cop's error, since you had the right of way in that case. By definition, the other driver had to yield to you.

    If your ticket is hefty and includes points, I would contest it. You don't need a lawyer for traffic court. Most people don't use them, and since this isn't potentially an enormous fine or penalty, I wouldn't. But the judge should side with you simply because:

    1) You have a witness that says the light was not red when you were in the intersection.
    2) The other driver was turning left and you hit their rear panel.*

    Show up in a suit. Act polite. Speak when spoken to. Wait your turn. Etc.

    * This could work against you perhaps if the cop's reasoning is that since you hit the other driver's rear fender, it means their car was nearly through the intersection. It may appear that you had time to slow down, since the other driver aparrently turned earlier than you entered the intersection. Otherwise, you would have hit the car closer to the front fender. There are factors and variables that would make that theory worthless though, but it mayb e where the cop was coming from.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    I don't understand what your ticket is for. Is that failure to yield? If so, that's the cop's error, since you had the right of way in that case. By definition, the other driver had to yield to you.

    The cop wrote, "Accelerating at an intersection" as the reason for the ticket. It sounds pretty minor, but I know I wasn't. I'm just upset because that'd be a moving violation. This is in Chicago, btw.
    Figgy wrote: »
    This could work against you perhaps if the cop's reasoning is that since you hit the other driver's rear fender, it means their car was nearly through the intersection.

    Yeah, the goose didn't start moving until I was 1/2 way into the crossing, so all I could do was swerve to her rear so I didn't T-bone her or any passengers. Guess I'll just explain that to the judge and see how it goes.

    So for my car, is it a total loss? Airbag went off, all panels and hood need replacing, all front lights, and like I said, several fluids were leaking, plus I think my radiator is toast, possibly engine as well.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It seems like scrap metal. Though, if you're not at fault, that's for the other insurance company to make right.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    It seems like scrap metal. Though, if you're not at fault, that's for the other insurance company to make right.

    Well, he could still be fucked. If the car is a write off and it's an older car, it's likely worth more to him than the insurance will give him or it.

    I'd only get $1500 for my car if I wrecked it, but I couldn't get a comparable car for that--no way.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    That car is done. You should get wholesale value for it at a minimum, though sometimes you get a bit more.

    For what reason were you wanting to lawyer-up, the accident or the ticket?

    If it's for the accident you don't need to. You'd only need legal representation if it goes to arbitration (which should only be necessary if the insurance companies cannot come to an agreement as to who's at fault) and then your insurance company will make sure you're represented. If you both have the same insurance company it shouldn't come to that. If you have different insurance companies then be prepared to give a statement to the other persons insurance company in addition to what you give to your own insurance company. Be absolutely sure of the events as they occurred from your perspective. If they ask you whose fault it is, have conviction when you say it's the other party's fault.

    The police report does not determine fault from an insurance perspective, but will be consulted by both insurance companies as a 3rd party description of the event. IMO, the "accelerating through an intersection" ticket is a little worrying, and I don't understand how the police officer can make that determination when he wasn't there. I would look into disputing that.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Djeet wrote: »
    That car is done. You should get wholesale value for it at a minimum, though sometimes you get a bit more.

    For what reason were you wanting to lawyer-up, the accident or the ticket?

    It's a 2005 Toyota Corrolla (auto), in very good shape; did all work at dealer, but had some serious body work done.

    More for the accident, since I have a feeling the other driver is going to be...uncooperative. All I want is to be made even for my loss, I'm not interested in 'punishing' anyone, not even France, but I don't want to be paying out for her mistake.

    edit: and damn, they're not kidding about Toyotas' keeping their value. A 2007 Yaris for $10k?

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Djeet wrote: »
    IMO, the "accelerating through an intersection" ticket is a little worrying, and I don't understand how the police officer can make that determination when he wasn't there. I would look into disputing that.

    It's simple. OP says "She turned in front of me when I had the right of way." Okay, ticket her for going through the light.

    Other driver says, "He sped up instead of stopping! He could have stopped!" Okay, ticket for speeding up through an intersection.

    The cop was being lazy, in my opinion. He should have simply ticketed the other driver, not the OP. The OP had the right of way, and unless you're going to say he went through the red (there is a witness that says that didn't happen), I can't see how he is at fault.

    Still, different states and all that.. bleh.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    That car is done. You should get wholesale value for it at a minimum, though sometimes you get a bit more.

    For what reason were you wanting to lawyer-up, the accident or the ticket?

    It's a 2005 Toyota Corrolla (auto), in very good shape; did all work at dealer, but had some serious body work done.

    More for the accident, since I have a feeling the other driver is going to be...uncooperative. All I want is to be made even for my loss, I'm not interested in 'punishing' anyone, not even France, but I don't want to be paying out for her mistake.

    edit: and damn, they're not kidding about Toyotas' keeping their value. A 2007 Yaris for $10k?


    Just a warning, you very likely won't actually be "made whole." I forget the terminology used (Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost or somesuch), but no doubt your insurance policy is worded such that they can pay you some "market rate" for your car if it's deemed a total loss. From information I've collected (friends and colleagues who've been in this situation) this is usually between wholesale and private party value with Honda/Toyota getting a bit more then American makes. The payout amount will likely not be sufficient for you to purchase your make/model of car, with the mileage that you had, in the condition you had it (especially if you keep your cars in very good shape and low miles). Your recourse is either take the insurance company to arbitration (you'll lose) or try to buy the totalled car off them and either drive it asis as a salvage vehicle (unlikely given the extent of the damage) or effect repairs with the payout they give you (a dicey proposition when there's major structural and mechanical damage).

    As to the accident, if you need legal representation your insurance company will provide. Just have your story straight and be sure of it. The insurers are the ones to decide who's at fault or misrepresenting the situation.


    Figgy: while I can see that might be how it played out, I'd think if MichaelLC were to contest the ticket and the officer based it on hearsay, then he might have a good chance of the judge dismissing or reducing the charge.

  • DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Michael, are you hurt or in pain in any way? Mind you, you may not notice pain for a few hours after the accident.

    Edit: And Corolla's keep their value too. An 05 with 60k on it can fetch more than $7k.

    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

    Currently painting: Slowly [flickr]
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Djeet wrote: »
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    That car is done. You should get wholesale value for it at a minimum, though sometimes you get a bit more.

    For what reason were you wanting to lawyer-up, the accident or the ticket?

    It's a 2005 Toyota Corrolla (auto), in very good shape; did all work at dealer, but had some serious body work done.

    More for the accident, since I have a feeling the other driver is going to be...uncooperative. All I want is to be made even for my loss, I'm not interested in 'punishing' anyone, not even France, but I don't want to be paying out for her mistake.

    edit: and damn, they're not kidding about Toyotas' keeping their value. A 2007 Yaris for $10k?


    Just a warning, you very likely won't actually be "made whole." I forget the terminology used (Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost or somesuch), but no doubt your insurance policy is worded such that they can pay you some "market rate" for your car if it's deemed a total loss. From information I've collected (friends and colleagues who've been in this situation) this is usually between wholesale and private party value with Honda/Toyota getting a bit more then American makes. The payout amount will likely not be sufficient for you to purchase your make/model of car, with the mileage that you had, in the condition you had it (especially if you keep your cars in very good shape and low miles). Your recourse is either take the insurance company to arbitration (you'll lose) or try to buy the totalled car off them and either drive it asis as a salvage vehicle (unlikely given the extent of the damage) or effect repairs with the payout they give you (a dicey proposition when there's major structural and mechanical damage).

    If you have a crappy insurance company maybe. Mine gave me what my car would have been worth if I had sold it the day of the accident. It was more than KBB by several thousand with some value knocked off for a dent I put in it but it was a completely fair and legit price. If I had decided to I would have been more than able to go out and buy the same car with it. I stressed like crazy over what I would get for my car and I ended up getting a few more grand than I expected. Hopefully the OP has a policy with a good company.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Djeet wrote: »
    snip

    If you have a crappy insurance company maybe. Mine gave me what my car would have been worth if I had sold it the day of the accident. It was more than KBB by several thousand with some value knocked off for a dent I put in it but it was a completely fair and legit price. If I had decided to I would have been more than able to go out and buy the same car with it. I stressed like crazy over what I would get for my car and I ended up getting a few more grand than I expected. Hopefully the OP has a policy with a good company.

    My information is largely drawn from claimant experiences of State Farm, Allstate, Progressive and Farmers in Texas all of whom were carrying comprehensive coverage. Although I do hope others will find their insurance companies to be more generous.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The OP is in Canada. He's likely covered by one of the major players up here (Belair, State Farm, one of the banks, etc.) and I've heard horror stories from all of them.

    Edit: And if his car is older but in good condition with low miles, he's not going to get what he considers "fair." My current car is a 98 Protege with under 175,000km on it and it's in near perfect body condition. Mechanically it is running beautifully (knock on wood). I'd get $1500 as the high point if I wrecked it, and that wouldn't buy me a clunker.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
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  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    The OP is in Canada. He's likely covered by one of the major players up here (Belair, State Farm, one of the banks, etc.) and I've heard horror stories from all of them.

    Chicago, Canada, eh? Man, I need to see more of my great nation.

    Spoiler:
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    eternalbl wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    The OP is in Canada. He's likely covered by one of the major players up here (Belair, State Farm, one of the banks, etc.) and I've heard horror stories from all of them.

    Chicago, Canada, eh? Man, I need to see more of my great nation.

    :lol: There's pizza, but the only topping choices are lutefisk or maple syrup.

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions so far, it's helping me reduce my stress a little anyway. It is Chicago, and I've got Allstate, as does the other driver, oddly enough. Yeah, I'm thinking $5-7k, maybe 8k if I'm lucky, but 2005 Corollas are still selling for like 10k or so. Damn my excellent choice in autos!

    I went to the tow yard today to get all my junk, and it's as bad as I remember. Front end at worst point was pushed in about a foot, hood is totally crumpled, but driver side still had lights intact. Took some pics more for memories than anything else.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I forgot to say, but you're planning to contest your ticket right?

    Spoiler:
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    eternalbl wrote: »
    I forgot to say, but you're planning to contest your ticket right?

    Yes, definitely. One because I honestly was not "accelerating," and Two because I don't need a ticket on my record.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • KarrmerKarrmer Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    ..what state is this in?

    I've never heard of a law enforcement officer being able to hand out traffic infractions based on witness accounts. I'm moving to your state and just calling up claiming everyone I see was speeding so I can get some fat tickets doled out

    Basically that is completely ridiculous, fight that in court

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Karrmer wrote: »
    ..what state is this in?

    I've never heard of a law enforcement officer being able to hand out traffic infractions based on witness accounts. I'm moving to your state and just calling up claiming everyone I see was speeding so I can get some fat tickets doled out

    Basically that is completely ridiculous, fight that in court

    Chicago; well, a suburb I'd rather not mention. Gotta get on the Mayor's TIF program before you can get special privileges, though!

    I was a little surprised as well. I think one of the witnesses may have been a mall cop - someone was directing traffic at the mall entrance before the accident. So maybe they can provide an official report or something?

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    My bad.. for some reason I thought I read "Kitchener" under location. Must have been another thread.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    UPDATED OP.

    Totaled car, Allstate offering $8,200 for a 2005 Corolla (75k miles), taking into account all extras and recent work. Should/can I get more, based on my searches coming up with asking price near 10k for similar vehicle?

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    That seems reasonable actually. But I don't know THAT much about Corolla's. YMMV

  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    UPDATED OP.

    Totaled car, Allstate offering $8,200 for a 2005 Corolla (75k miles), taking into account all extras and recent work. Should/can I get more, based on my searches coming up with asking price near 10k for similar vehicle?

    Print out the ads you found and show them to your insurance agency. Suggest that you believe it's worth more than their first offer. Worst that's going to happen is they'll say "nope, $8,200 is all you get."

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Ebay shows '05 corollas that recently sold for $7300-7500. Ebay vehicle transactions are usually close to wholesale value.

    I don't think they're going to budge from $8200, but as said, send them links/examples of comparables that are being listed for more.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    They're lowballing you, they always lowball you.

  • KotenkKotenk Registered User
    edited June 2010
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    UPDATED OP.

    Totaled car, Allstate offering $8,200 for a 2005 Corolla (75k miles), taking into account all extras and recent work. Should/can I get more, based on my searches coming up with asking price near 10k for similar vehicle?

    Look at those Ads, and imagine what you'd actually pay (not what's listed).

    That's why you're getting $8200. The fact that they added $1200 for what you admitted a $900 maintenance task, sounds like they are being cushy as it is.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Djeet wrote: »
    Ebay shows '05 corollas that recently sold for $7300-7500. Ebay vehicle transactions are usually close to wholesale value.

    Thanks for those links, hadn't thought to look there; eBay scares me!

    He (adjuster) talked about how Asking is different from Selling, but then the sheets he sent said Corollas typically get within 5% of the asking, so who knows. I accepted the offer today, since it's not helping me not having a car, so car shopping soon. Expect an Auto Recommendations thread soon!

    Also, best car picture ever?:
    Spoiler:

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
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