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So I plowed into the back of a parked car. Does this seem right?

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So I plowed into the back of a parked car. Does this seem right?

Old 01-11-10, 08:41 AM
  #76  
jputnam
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
i just did a NADA on a 2001 civic dx sedan (base model) with 100k on the clock:

average trade = $3,699
clean trade = $4,225
retail = $6,200

edit:

200k changes to these numbers:

$3,050
$3,675
$5,650

So $3900 could easily be well short of totaling even a base model car with 200,000 miles on it. (Unless the car owner is a dealer, he can't buy a replacement vehicle at the average trade-in price, or even the clean trade-in price. Insurance values usually come in lower than retail, unless it was in great shape or customized.)

If the car owner has comprehensive coverage, his insurance will cover the repair then come after the negligent party in subrogation. They won't take a low-ball offer, if they decided the car wasn't totalled and paid to fix it, they'll stand by their valuation and demand compensation.
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Old 01-11-10, 01:02 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Wrong. First, there is no thing as a mint condition car once it is driven off the lot.
You're picking nits. It could be in perfect condition with 100 miles total, kept in a garage the entire 20 years, etc. Technically that may not be mint condition (besides, cars aren't made in mints!) but it's still really really good, far better than average.
Second, they can sue the OP and the judge decide to give them only the blue book value, which is the most likely outcome in court.
The outcome in court depends on what they can prove. If they can prove that the car only had 100 miles and was in absolutely perfect condition (which should be pretty easy -- just look at the rest of the car, at the odometer) the judge is likely to rule that the car is worth more than blue book.

Granted, this scenario is really unlikely, because such a car almost never makes it to the road. But don't delude yourself into thinking a car can't be worth more than the blue book value, or that a judge will always decide the car isn't worth more than the blue book value.
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Old 01-11-10, 02:14 PM
  #78  
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^^
You must be having a hard time understanding the meaning of "most likely outcome". Those words clearly leave open the possiblity of other outcomes, even if very unlikely.
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Old 01-11-10, 02:22 PM
  #79  
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next we investigate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin
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Old 01-11-10, 02:34 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
You must be having a hard time understanding the meaning of "most likely outcome". Those words clearly leave open the possiblity of other outcomes, even if very unlikely.
If an old but in absolutely perfect condition car (antique? collectible? fully restored? etc.) involved in an accident, and it goes to court to determine it's value, "the most likely outcome" is NOT that the judge will say it's worth the blue book value and nothing more.

(Just so we're clear, what I'm referring to was this statement -- Wrong. First, there is no thing as a mint condition car once it is driven off the lot. Second, they can sue the OP and the judge decide to give them only the blue book value, which is the most likely outcome in court.) If the car truly is something special (near perfect condition, almost zero miles, totally restored, etc.) it's likely worth significantly more than the blue book value, and the judge is likely to realize that if given the appropriate details about the car.

(Of course, I'm not aware of the Honda in this case being such a special car, but it's not my hypothetical situation anyways ...)

Last edited by dougmc; 01-11-10 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 01-11-10, 04:15 PM
  #81  
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Hey, just offer the guy $2500 and see what happens.
If you are very affluent then just pay the $3900-not worth the bother.

I know CA folks are reputed to love their cars, but I sure as heck wouldn't fix anything cosmetic on a 9 yo car. He can probably get the window-junk yard-for several hundred, tail light + brackets maybe $200-pull the trunk dent out-heck with the dinky bumper.
If the car owner is smart he can do what needs to be done for well under $1000, and he can pocket the rest-nothing wrong with doing that.

I invite any reasonably affluent, honest bike rider to ram my 1998 Suburban(212,000 miles) just as hard as you would like.Putting your head thru a window is strictly optional(one I would pass on).
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Old 01-11-10, 05:26 PM
  #82  
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Kind of a bizarre range of answers.

1. Most ethical and fair: I don't see why answering their first demand is required. Get two other estimates, pay the middle one.

2. If you're poor, decline to pay anything, let the owner go for $$ to fix from his own company. They'll most likely not come after you if you're really poor and can't pay regardless. You're essentially judgment proof. Do not feel too bad; the compensation will come from the pool of money set aside for damage from un- or underinsured drivers.

3. If you have something to lose, might deny responsibility for the bumper damage; point out that it was likely concealed. How can a bike hurt a bumper? Only pay for the things you obviously caused.

Do watch out for the 4 step folks. Like me. 1. Ask nicely. 2. Send certified demand letter. 3. Have big law firm send certified demand letter. 4. File.

Never a trial yet, although there's one possibly looming. Very few pass step 3. Just be aware those people exist. They're often improbably nice. If someone says "no" with step 1, I explain the steps. So there's no surprises.
Ask for an estimate at shops you pick that are reputable.
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Old 01-12-10, 12:42 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
2. If you're poor, decline to pay anything, let the owner go for $$ to fix from his own company. They'll most likely not come after you if you're really poor and can't pay regardless. You're essentially judgment proof.
"Judgment proof" is a common myth.

The uninsured, unemployed, 19-year old on government allotment who hit me spent more than three years in collections before the insurance company repaid the last of my deductible when they collected it from her. She couldn't get her driver's license reinstated until she reached a payment agreement with the insurance company, and even then she had to get an SR-22 filing, and risked losing her license again if she fell behind on payments.

There is a grain of truth to "judgment proof" poverty, the chances are slim that anyone would hire an attorney by the hour to sue you if you're flat broke and uninsured, and the damages are only a few thousand dollars. But the insurance company has a whole department of folks just for subrogation, and a routine claim won't be consuming many attorney hours vs. low-level staff time.
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Old 01-12-10, 01:34 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
If an old but in absolutely perfect condition car (antique? collectible? fully restored? etc.) involved in an accident, and it goes to court to determine it's value, "the most likely outcome" is NOT that the judge will say it's worth the blue book value and nothing more.

(Just so we're clear, what I'm referring to was this statement -- Wrong. First, there is no thing as a mint condition car once it is driven off the lot. Second, they can sue the OP and the judge decide to give them only the blue book value, which is the most likely outcome in court.) If the car truly is something special (near perfect condition, almost zero miles, totally restored, etc.) it's likely worth significantly more than the blue book value, and the judge is likely to realize that if given the appropriate details about the car.

(Of course, I'm not aware of the Honda in this case being such a special car, but it's not my hypothetical situation anyways ...)
Then why are you arguing so profusely on an issue that does not appear to apply to the OP?
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Old 01-12-10, 02:33 AM
  #85  
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No fault usually does not cover property---- only injuries.

Originally Posted by electrik View Post
Yes, our laws are very different. We have no fault insurance. 5mph bumpers do prevent most damage though can be scrapped/chipped in the process. Our standard again was for a higher speed(not anymore due to political pressure from u know who) and we actually fail cars(Mitsubishi lancer sporty thing was a popular failure) that don't pass it. Not sure why your gov't lets cars be imported and licensed which don't pass safety tests.

Anyways, i doubt he totaled the bumper... but who knows - he doesn't.
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Old 01-12-10, 03:13 AM
  #86  
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Next time watch what you're doing and stop doing that.

I suggest running into a 1957 Chevy BelAir SEDAN. Nothing happened to it the one time I did that and nobody hollered about it. I felt stupid and more damaged and went on once it was noted.

Modern cars are made to deform and save the occupants whereas 1957 BelAirs were made to save the car.
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Old 01-12-10, 05:32 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
"Judgment proof" is a common myth.

The uninsured, unemployed, 19-year old on government allotment who hit me spent more than three years in collections before the insurance company repaid the last of my deductible when they collected it from her. She couldn't get her driver's license reinstated until she reached a payment agreement with the insurance company, and even then she had to get an SR-22 filing, and risked losing her license again if she fell behind on payments.

There is a grain of truth to "judgment proof" poverty, the chances are slim that anyone would hire an attorney by the hour to sue you if you're flat broke and uninsured, and the damages are only a few thousand dollars. But the insurance company has a whole department of folks just for subrogation, and a routine claim won't be consuming many attorney hours vs. low-level staff time.

So there was no judgment?

Just barred from having a driving license.

Good points.

Where there's not much money, insurance companies don't generally pursue.
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Old 01-12-10, 06:33 AM
  #88  
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Debtors can have their driver's license effectively suspended for non payment?? I thought many government "allotments" aid to dependent children, and SSI etc were judgement "resistant"-so little that a judge couldn't take a bite out of them?
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Old 01-12-10, 07:40 AM
  #89  
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A few thoughts from the OP:

I talked at guy from my homeowners insurance company. He seemed pretty skeptical of some of the damages.

I'd like them to keep the cost low in order that my rates don't go up.

I've seen the car. It's in good condition, but has all the little dings and nicks typical of a 9 year old car. Including bumper damage that I don't think I did.

Why should I pay to have it restored to showroom condition when it's 9 years old?

When my wife's car got hit, they only paid to replace one tire, even though they should be replaced in pairs.
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Old 01-12-10, 09:23 AM
  #90  
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An at fault insurance claim can increase your premiums regardless of the cost of the claim. If your insurance company wants more than one estimate they will ask for it. Giving away free money is not how your insurance company makes money. While they are protecting their bottom line, they also protect yours. Your out of pocket expenses will be the same no matter what the insurance companies decide to do.
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Old 01-12-10, 10:31 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Then why are you arguing so profusely on an issue that does not appear to apply to the OP?
Because you made some claims related to this hypothetical situation (it wasn't my situation) that I felt should be refuted. I though that was pretty clear, but perhaps not ...
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Old 01-12-10, 10:41 AM
  #92  
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Thirdgenbird thats a sweet little 924, i've got one just like it
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Old 01-12-10, 10:59 AM
  #93  
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I have to disagree. You don't have to be moving very fast to get hurt bad. As a Dr., I treat bicycle injuries on a regular basis, and some of the worst have all been under 5 mph (estimated) (not counting being struck by a moving vehicle).

You need to get an attorney. You are being soaked. There is no way a bike can total a car, especially if the rider survives.

Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
where did you get 10mph? the poor guy went through the back window, dented the trunk lid and took a ride in an ambulance. he had to have hit it pretty hard. Like i already said, my guess is about $2000 damage for the described damage and we dont have to test this theory, the OP already did. both my cars have real bumpers anyway:

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Old 01-12-10, 11:05 AM
  #94  
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thanks. its an S (porsche 2.5/audi 5 speed)

ive got a lot of work in her:
clutch/ aluminum flywheel
coilovers
968 sway bars
manual rack
ac deleate
kla parts all over...
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Old 01-12-10, 11:09 AM
  #95  
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edit:

Originally Posted by Schwinnhund View Post
I have to disagree. You don't have to be moving very fast to get hurt bad. As a Dr., I treat bicycle injuries on a regular basis, and some of the worst have all been under 5 mph (estimated) (not counting being struck by a moving vehicle).

You need to get an attorney. You are being soaked. There is no way a bike can total a car, especially if the rider survives.
i know you dont have to be going fast to get hurt (ive been there)

you do have to be going pretty fast to go through the back window of a car. i am speculating here but i doubt 5mph would cut it. we are talking about hitting a convex sheet of glass at about a 45 degree angle (give or take)

list the facts:
the rear window is broken
the trunk lid is dented
contact with the plastic bumper cover was made
taillight was damaged

with this data its safe to say:
replace rear window
pull dent re paint and reinstall trunk lid or buy different lid repaint install
paint bumper cover and install or buy new cover paint and install (depending on damage)
buy and install taillight

this alone is a significant amount of damage for a 9-10 year old car and there could be further damage

Last edited by thirdgenbird; 01-12-10 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 01-12-10, 12:22 PM
  #96  
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You don't have to be moving at all. I am not King Kong, but I can break a rear car window with my fist, and have plenty left over (I have done it before). It doesn't take that much to break a car window. A 160+ lb. man could put his head through a car window at a brisk walking speed, and a good jump.

He is being soaked. It is common in a fender-bender for the car owners to list ALL the damage to their car in a claim, whether or not it was caused by the accident. I have never been involved in an accident, but my wife and children have been in plenty, and I know how crooked the system can be, and usually is, if you don't get your own lawyer. I can assure you, the other person's insurance company has several.

He needs to consult an attorney.

Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
edit:



i know you dont have to be going fast to get hurt (ive been there)

you do have to be going pretty fast to go through the back window of a car (i doubt 5mph would cut it)

list the facts:
the rear window is broken
the trunk lid is dented
contact with the plastic bumper cover was made
taillight was damaged

with this data its safe to say:
replace rear window
pull dent re paint and reinstall trunk lid or buy different lid repaint install
paint bumper cover and install or buy new cover paint and install (depending on damage)
buy and install taillight

this alone is a significant amount of damage for a 9-10 year old car and there could be further damage
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Old 01-12-10, 12:32 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Schwinnhund View Post
You don't have to be moving at all. I am not King Kong, but I can break a rear car window with my fist, and have plenty left over (I have done it before). It doesn't take that much to break a car window. A 160+ lb. man could put his head through a car window at a brisk walking speed, and a good jump.

He is being soaked. It is common in a fender-bender for the car owners to list ALL the damage to their car in a claim, whether or not it was caused by the accident. I have never been involved in an accident, but my wife and children have been in plenty, and I know how crooked the system can be, and usually is, if you don't get your own lawyer. I can assure you, the other person's insurance company has several.

He needs to consult an attorney.
And correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the rear window "weaker" or less strong then the front window? I mean the front window needs to be tempered and strong because it's the one that is most likely to encounter flying debris, and whatnot. So the other windows side and rear don't need to be tempered or as strong, correct?
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Old 01-12-10, 12:43 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Schwinnhund View Post
You don't have to be moving at all. I am not King Kong, but I can break a rear car window with my fist, and have plenty left over (I have done it before). It doesn't take that much to break a car window. A 160+ lb. man could put his head through a car window at a brisk walking speed, and a good jump.

He is being soaked. It is common in a fender-bender for the car owners to list ALL the damage to their car in a claim, whether or not it was caused by the accident. I have never been involved in an accident, but my wife and children have been in plenty, and I know how crooked the system can be, and usually is, if you don't get your own lawyer. I can assure you, the other person's insurance company has several.

He needs to consult an attorney.
your fist has a much smaller surface area than a human head (more psi) and i bet at swing it is easy over 5mph. you probably also hit it at a square 90 degree angle. i am not saying they are strong, i am saying i bet he was easy going 10-15mph like he said. which is also fast enough to cause the other damage on the quote. (taillight, dent in trunk, and paint damage)

it sounds like he already contacted his insurance company. that is plenty. there is nothing a lawyer could do to prove previous condition of the car over the insurance company. like i have repeated, i think he is getting screwed. my estimate is around $2000 and its only that high from the damage we know exists.

Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
And correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the rear window "weaker" or less strong then the front window? I mean the front window needs to be tempered and strong because it's the one that is most likely to encounter flying debris, and whatnot. So the other windows side and rear don't need to be tempered or as strong, correct?
correct, windshields are much stronger. back windows are generally a good deal stronger than side windows due to their convex nature.
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Old 01-12-10, 12:51 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
Debtors can have their driver's license effectively suspended for non payment?? I thought many government "allotments" aid to dependent children, and SSI etc were judgement "resistant"-so little that a judge couldn't take a bite out of them?
Not debtors in general -- negligent motorists who haven't paid for the damages they've caused.

Many states have financial responsibility laws for motorists -- you're responsible for any damage you cause. For most of us, that means car insurance to cover liability for accidents. But not having insurance doesn't mean you escape responsibility, it means you're personally responsible from the first dollar to the last.

If you have an accident without insurance, your license can be suspended until you meet your financial responsibility by both (a) paying for the accident that already happened, and (b) filing proof of insurance with the state in case you cause another accident.

In other words, no more driving until you pay for the driving you've already done.

Of course, if you were already willing to drive without insurance, there's a reasonable chance you'll just keep driving without a license. (Besides not having insurance, the woman who hit me had no license, she was driving on an expired learner's permit. After being cited for the accident, and for driving without insurance, and for driving without a license, and for giving the officer an incorrect address, when the officer told her she was free to go, she got back in her car, right in front of him, and started driving. Some people just don't get it.)

Her allotment was protected, no one could attach that income for payment. That's why she was in collection for so long over a relatively small amount.
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Old 01-12-10, 12:58 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
So there was no judgment?
No, she admitted liability without trying to fight the insurance company in court.

The company would have taken it to court if necessary, but the facts were so heavily against her, I doubt she would have seen any point to running up legal bills.
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