Minor car accident/insurance question

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by BrianB, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Someone I know (not me, honest!) just had a minor collision with her car and another in a restaurant parking lot - she was backing out slowly, car came speeding past & scraped her bumper.

    They swapped insurance details, phone numbers etc. The damage to her car was very very minor - scrape on the bumper (the car was bought a little over a month ago). The other car was a '89 Jaguar :-/ The right rear fender is "loose" but apparently that was the only obvious damage.

    No police were called.

    Any advice for her? Who's likely at fault? What happens next with insurance companies & the like?
     
  2. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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    I just had my first fender bender this summer, and no it wasn't my fault. It was raining, someone hydroplaned on the highway and clipped the side of my rear bumper sending me into a spin. Scariest damn experience of my life and I thank God that I escaped alive, let alone w/ very little damage to either car. It could've been so much worse. Anyway, state police were called and it turns out that (at least under Virginia law) if the damage appears to be under $1000 than it's non-reportable to VA, which means we just exchange info and get in touch w/ the insurance companies.

    Anyway, what happens next is that your friend gets in touch w/ her insurance company ASAP to report the incident, detail what happened, and decide if she'd like to file a claim or not. The Jag is probably at fault since it was speeding. The insurance companies are usually pretty fair and will place fault where it's accountable. Whichever driver is at fault, their insurance company will end up paying the cost of repair.

    You can take your car to a couple places to get an estimate or the insurance company can send out someone to analyze the cost of the repair.

    And if there are any more questions, the insurance company deals with this kind of thing all the time, and will fill your friend in on options. Also, if your friend wasn't at fault, her insurance rates will most likely stay the same. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
     
  3. Edwin_C

    Edwin_C Stunt Coordinator

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    it's your friend's fault. you said the damage to your friends car was done to the bumper, obviously the rear bumper. the damage to the other car was done to the rear fender. that means that your friend should've either been paying attention better, or was backing out way too quickly. it doesn't matter if that car was speeding by, the fact is that your friend had enough time to react, but didn't react until that person was more than halfway past.

    your friends view is subjective... i doubt that other car was "speeding" past hahah.

    tell your friend to call up that person and offer to pay them for the damages caused. whatever bullshit the person may come up with (at most, a new fender) have her pay for it. she's going to get a point on her insurance, and that'll raise the premium about 15-25%.
     
  4. Edwin_C

    Edwin_C Stunt Coordinator

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    whoops... double post
     
  5. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    Because the police weren't called and no accident report was filed, it's basically your friend's word against the other person's word. Since the damage to your friend's car appears to be minimal, I don't think that I would even report it to the insurance. Your friend needs to be careful though because if the other driver reports the accident as your friend's fault, their insurance will go after your friend's insurance to get the car fixed. The next step really depends on the statement from the other driver.
     
  6. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    If it happened today, and she feels its her fault, and has time she can attempt to reach the Other party immediately BEFORE they make a report to their (or your friends) insurance companies. Offering to pay for damages directly (if she can afford it) if they will give her an estimate from a reputable body shop. She can requesting that no report be made to either insurance co. reminding the other party this promotes keeping both parties rates down. (Even for the no-fault driver, a certain # of no-fault incidences on a record will increase the drivers premium) The insurance co begins to feel if you are frequently involved in “no-faults” you become viewed as an unsafe driver who is not practicing defensive avoidance correctly.

    This can be a nerve-wracking experience however. I had a man hit me (from behind) in my two-month-old car. Since I had just been on the receiving end of 3 wrecks over 2 ½ yrs in my family, where suddenly the ‘other side’ is hurt, and asking for injuries. I was fed up with drivers and their insurance companies.

    My damages were tiny, I told him on such a minor I would have let it go if the car were older but due to its newness I would have it repaired.
    The man made me very nervous over the two days after I had extended the offer for him to be able to keep it off his record, if he could afford to foot the repair bill. During negotiations I regretted my offer, wondering if he would pull something strange. I had offered to get an estimate next day from my body shop, faxing him a hard copy of it. And if this came in at an amount agreeable to him or under his insurance deductible he might rather pay it out of pocket. I offered for him to pay it to the body shop direct. I stated clearly I just did not want to “make anything” on the incident just wanted no out of pocket for the repair.

    In the 24 hours we were dealing with this. He offered a $100 bill was really rather strange over two or three phone calls. Then refused to write a check to the body shop, (I thought this would make him feel more at ease) He wanted to get cash out from his bank swing by my house and pay it. (Whole thing seemed a little nerve-racking at the time)
    My estimate for repair was $412 dollars, which he paid. I gave him a copy of the estimate and signed a receipt (which he had not asked for) Stating the details of the incident, date, and what we had agreed upon.

    The reason I had even put myself in the position of making the offer to this man one on one, was I was so thoroughly disgusted by the prior 3 wreaks in this household. (2 of which had been wrecks from a standstill, where numbers were exchanged damage was miniscule everyone is fine, - and then the other party went home, got lawyers and declared injuries.
    This guy had the gall as he was leaving to stand on my porch and tell me Thank you for keeping it off his record yet then related how he had “made” 20K on a wreck when He was driving a city vehicle and had been hit by another car. He stated the damage was pretty good to his work van, but he clearly detailed twice: “I was not even hurt at all, did not even have a stiff neck”. And went on to describe how he got the other insurance to pay 20K in personal injury to him.

    I shut the door feeling sick to my stomach, really wondering about my efforts to be “Nice” to someone and do them a favor by keeping an unpleasant incident as painless as possible for all parties. I don’t know if I’ll do it again. I let a woman go who had sideswiped me in the prior year, releasing her from all kinds of consequences. Sigh, I’m becoming depressed about my attempts to take the nice, or less damaging to all party road. Appears that no-one else feels only the minimum required to deal with the situation is necessary to get through these things.

    GOOD luck!.

    I agree with the earlier post. If the insur co's get involved it will likely be considered your friends fault due to the damage locations. It will be in her best interests to pay it direct if the other party will allow.
     
  7. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Mary; May i suggest you start walking more!!

    Sounds like a buddy of mine never gets a car that lasts more than a year!

    Brent
     
  8. Edwin_C

    Edwin_C Stunt Coordinator

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