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Deeply Scared posted 6/16/2014 17:25 PM

MH got in a car accident here in the driveway. He always backs his car into the garage and he was in the driveway and got out to do something and his car slipped out of gear and started to back up. So he jumped in it and accidently hit the gas pedal instead of the break and he slammed into the brick pillar in between our two garage doors. The entire left side of his car is all pushed in, his door won't shut and is cracked almost down the center of it.

The pillar to the garage is a mess and his garage door won't go down unless we manually pull it and lock it into position.

He has a pretty deep gash on his left shin and a huge knot on his knee. He's ok...just really shook up. Thank God! It could have been so much worse...I was inside the house and if he would have gotten pinned between the garage and his car, I don't know if I would have heard him...that's a horrible thought and feeling

So our insurance (auto) adjuster will be out this Wednesday (home adjuster this Friday) and what I'm needing help with is if they want to total his car.

He has a very clean (or was clean ) 1995 Camaro with extremely low mileage. Every time I take his car to get serviced or inspected, I *always* get offers from the guys on wanting to buy it over Blue book value...usually the offers are around $5500 - $6000.

What if our insurance wants to total it? Do we have any options? MH is in love with his car and really doesn't want to get rid of it. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated

wifehad5 posted 6/16/2014 17:39 PM

Documentation is your friend

Look for other similar age cars for sale to get an idea of what they're going for. Ebay or are two good options. There are also some Camaro clubs online.

For a point of reference, a good friend of mine is selling an 01 SS with 176,000 miles and has two people wanting it at $4,000.

Deeply Scared posted 6/16/2014 17:41 PM

Ohhhh...excellent...thank you!!!

gahurts posted 6/16/2014 17:52 PM

My experience is very limited but from what I've seen, it is the mileage more than the age that helps decide these things. If you have less than 100,000 miles on it then from what I've seen they often try to fix the car but if you have over 100,000 then they are quick to want to write it off. In the end it all comes down to how much it costs to fix vs what the car is worth.

Another factor is if it is drive-able right now.

If they do want to total it maybe you can negotiate a way to keep the car and just get the value in cash and then restore/fix it yourself

Deeply Scared posted 6/16/2014 17:56 PM

Thanks GA!!

It's drive-able but not sure if it's street legal since the door won't shut. But the frame, rims and tires are sound.

jrc1963 posted 6/16/2014 18:09 PM

I'm no help on the car insurance front... but I wanted to say Thank Goodness MH wasn't badly hurt and I hope everything works out for you guys the way you want!

kernel posted 6/16/2014 18:15 PM

I'm glad MH is okay. Scary stuff.

Deeply Scared posted 6/16/2014 18:22 PM

Thanks you guys...that's really sweet of you both

We watched our security camera footage which really drove home just how scary it was.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:26 PM, June 16th (Monday)]

Pentup posted 6/16/2014 22:03 PM

No car advice, just hugs for both of you. That is scary!!

Lyonesse posted 6/17/2014 08:40 AM

I'm glad MH is OK.

If they do want to total it maybe you can negotiate a way to keep the car and just get the value in cash and then restore/fix it yourself

My insurance declared my car a total loss when some idiot ran a light and hit me. I wanted to keep the car, it was also very low mileage, but the inspector convinced me the damage to the frame meant the car would be unsafe.

However, I seem to remember that I had options, and could have rejected their total loss decision, and kept the car to have the repairs done on my own. I am not sure if that would have affected the amount of their offer; with the total loss they kept the car and it had many salvageable parts.

It is always worth negotiating everything! I argued for a higher value for the car than their initial evaluation, since the body had been in very good condition and the mileage was low.

You might want to have someone from a body shop look at it before the insurance guy gets there, to let you know if there is real frame damage or if it could be fixed, and have his estimate. Of course, you can do that after the insurance does their inspection, too. It is still your car until you accept their total loss offer.

I used to look for resale values in my area.

Aubrie posted 6/17/2014 09:06 AM

My Bronco was totalled last summer. (No frame damage.) We were able to buy it back for a very small amount. Toyed with keeping it for a project truck. QS decided later he wasn't in the mood for another project so we sold it on CL. Someone else was very eager to have a project.

The insurance company lowballed us. Bad. I rolled my eyes and said "try again". I had papers and ads to email to the adjuster with comparable vehicles in our area with the same mileage and features. Held out for 2 months before they finally offered real money.

It's a game. Do your research and play the game DS.

Glad MH is ok.

thebighurt posted 6/17/2014 09:09 AM

Gosh, this could have been really bad. I'm so glad MH was not injured.

I know the mileage can make a difference. Xpos had an accident one time with just body damage to his vehicle and the adjuster still totaled it because of the mileage. He was not happy because he liked it and did not want to get another one. As we talked about it, we remembered that the vehicle's odometer recorded in km, not miles, so he called them back and told them. When they calculated that it actually only had around 2/3 the miles they used to reject it, they fixed it instead.

Good luck with both of your adjusters. Just very relieved you are only dealing with damage, not injuries.

stroppy_wanadoo posted 6/17/2014 09:50 AM

If you have had any major work done in the fairly recent past, make sure you have all that paperwork. New tires and transmission work especially.

When I was rear-ended and my car totaled a few years ago, I thought my first offer was a bit of a low ball. I had just put $1,500 worth of new air-conditioning system into the car three weeks before I was hit. 95% of that was compensated in their next offer.

Sorry you guys are faced with this, but so glad MH is well!!!

lieshurt posted 6/17/2014 09:53 AM

I'm so glad MH was not injured.

Me too!

Deeply Scared posted 6/17/2014 10:25 AM

Thank you everyone!! I really appreciate your help and advice.

I'm headed to the body shop at lunch today...I hope I don't get a ticket driving a car with a door hanging off

TrulyReconciled posted 6/17/2014 10:31 AM

I'm glad he's ok! Can't help with the totalling issue but just a heads up that your insurance company might treat this as an "at fault" accident from the standpoint of surcharges. Don't ask me how I know this ... (wasn't me).

The scrapes will probably "buff out"

[This message edited by TrulyReconciled at 10:41 AM, June 17th (Tuesday)]

Tred posted 6/17/2014 10:31 AM

I hope I don't get a ticket driving a car with a door hanging off

Paint a number on the hood :)

Glad MH is fine.

LosferWords posted 6/17/2014 11:15 AM

Really glad to hear MH is okay.

Good luck with the appointment today!

simplydevastated posted 6/17/2014 11:42 AM

Do you have a picture of the car?

In my experience (MA resident) there has to be a LOT of damage and/or damage to the frame to have totaled.

I drive a 97 Honda. A few months after I bought my car brand new (so this is an old story) my husband (then boyfriend) was driving and rear-ended (he swerved too late and clipped the back corner)of a pick-up truck (no brake lights). There wasn't that much damage to the truck but there was $14k worth of damage to my car. The hood was folded in half not to mention tons of other damage. The shop said that my car was $3k shy of being totaled. I told him "give me a hammer, I can find $3k to damage." There was so much wrong with it that the mechanic worked weekends to fix it so he wouldn't forget where he left off. He must have loved the overtime pay on that!

Anywho... long story short (too late) there wasn't enough damage cost wise, and the frame was fine so the didn't total it. I'm still driving that car today.

Good luck with the insurance and tell MH that I'm glad he's all right.

[This message edited by simplydevastated at 11:51 AM, June 17th (Tuesday)]

sisoon posted 6/17/2014 11:52 AM

I, too, am glad MH is basically OK. (I know the injuries are minor, but they're still injuries.)

The insurance company will probably total the car if the cost of repair is more than the worth of the vehicle. In our 2 cases (one ours, one our son's), we were offered one figure if the insco took the car, another figure if we kept it.

If the car was worth more than blue book, some inscos will pay what it's worth. When my brother totaled his immaculate MGB, AMICA paid the average retail price for MGB's at the time + some more for its condition + sales tax.

OTOH, when a friend totaled his Corolla, Allstate paid him the bluebook number for selling the car to a dealer.

Allstate advertises on price. AMICA doesn't; you may not even have heard of them.

At one point, W got into an accident and was unhappy with State Farm's offer. She just wrote the IL insurance commission - we got full payment immediately, even before the commission acted on her complaint. I'd try that even in Texas, if you have any trouble.

Good luck. Regards to MH, and best wishes for a speedy, low pain recovery.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:54 AM, June 17th (Tuesday)]

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