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Old 12-16-2012, 12:45 PM
 
84 posts, read 172,697 times
Reputation: 158

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I was read ended a few days ago in my 2012 Kia Sedona mini-van. The guy who hit me was going close to freeway speed and his bumper hit the unibody of my car, not the bumper. His truck sat higher than my bumper and smashed in the rear right corner of my van. My rear door is wedged shut along with one of my fold down seats. My van now pulls to the right and does not feel as stiff or stable as before the collision. I am waiting for the insurance adjuster to call me from the other guy's insurance company. Before he comes to take a look, what options do I have? What can I do or say to him to make sure he does a good job and I not get screwed? Somebody told me to ask for diminished value of they decide to fix it. What is diminished value? I just purchased this van 2.5 months ago and has not even had it's first oil change. Please take a look at the picture and tell me what you all think?
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I was rear ended.  Need help with options-photo-1-2.jpg   I was rear ended.  Need help with options-photo-2-2.jpg   I was rear ended.  Need help with options-photo-2-copy-2.jpg   I was rear ended.  Need help with options-photo-1.jpg  
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:23 PM
 
3,184 posts, read 6,582,378 times
Reputation: 1818
I assume the adjuster is working for the insurance company of the at fault driver. They have the right to estimate the repair damage. This is ok but YOU also have the right to have an adjuster of your choice make an estimate and then you can pick any repair shop that is licensed to do the repair. You do not have to sign as accepting the car as being 100% repaired until after they fix it and you have a chance to have it inspected . If you owe on the car you wont see the money.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:24 PM
 
11,460 posts, read 49,120,322 times
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With this type of collision damage, there's a liklihood of damage far beyond the cosmetic stuff.

So you need to be an informed claimant against the other guy's insurance company. Take the time to bring your vehicle into at least one body/frame shop for their assessment of the problems. You're not necessarily seeking a complete repair estimate, but an overview of their take of the extent of the damages to your vehicle.

With this new of a vehicle, you definitely need to press the adjuster for a like kind replacement if there is any structure damage, not a cosmetic fix. If the vehicle has anything in the way of frame damage, the only way you'll be made whole will be to replace this vehicle with a new one ... not necessarily brand new, which would be some betterment to what you have ... but one with comparable mileage and condition to yours.

Keep in mind that it is the insurance company's fiduciary responsibility to make you whole at this point. From the moment of impact by their insured, they now have this legal obligation to you. Bear this in mind in any discussion you have with the insurance company adjusters; they aren't your friend and they are not doing you any favors to settle your claims.

Don't forget the possibility of medical injuries as a result of this accident. Absent obvious wounds, it's not uncommon for soft tissue damage problems to show up some time after the accident. So don't be in a hurry to completely settle with these folk until enough time has passed to be assured that you don't have any other problems. The last thing you want is to have released them and then to discover that you have problems that may impact your ability to work or incurr significant treatment to get you back on your feet.

If the adjuster insists that they have a relationship with a body/frame shop that will do the work to the industry standards and that's all they'll pay to have it repaired, make sure that they agree that you will be holding the insurance company accountable for the quality and results of the repairs. Way too often, an adjuster will authorize one of their "participating" body shops to do the repairs for a guaranteed price to the insurance company and then you are left holding the bag if the body shop hasn't done quality or complete repairs.

The "diminshed value" claim against the insurance company deals with the reality that your vehicle, post accident and repairs, is not worth as much in the marketplace as it was prior to the accident. So this is a real loss which you face and again, the insurance company is obligated to make you whole.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,954 posts, read 19,358,525 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFather View Post
I was read ended a few days ago in my 2012 Kia Sedona mini-van. The guy who hit me was going close to freeway speed and his bumper hit the unibody of my car, not the bumper. His truck sat higher than my bumper and smashed in the rear right corner of my van. My rear door is wedged shut along with one of my fold down seats. My van now pulls to the right and does not feel as stiff or stable as before the collision. I am waiting for the insurance adjuster to call me from the other guy's insurance company. Before he comes to take a look, what options do I have? What can I do or say to him to make sure he does a good job and I not get screwed? Somebody told me to ask for diminished value of they decide to fix it. What is diminished value? I just purchased this van 2.5 months ago and has not even had it's first oil change. Please take a look at the picture and tell me what you all think?
Sorry to say, this vehicle is no longer safe to drive!!

In fact, (I hope I'm wrong) since this vehicle is a unibody IMO it's a total loss since it will need major work to make drivable but it will never be safe again. It's dead!
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:07 PM
 
84 posts, read 172,697 times
Reputation: 158
Should I call my insurance company and file a claim on top of the claim I filed through the other guy's insurance company?
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:30 PM
 
15,867 posts, read 21,928,002 times
Reputation: 18279
1. get a lawyer
2. get a lawyer
3. get a lawyer

There's little known thing, called "future potential loss of health and ability to work" after any accident, and NO ADJUSTER IN THE WORLD will ever tell you about this. Also, insurance company WILL NOT mention it to you and YOU will NOT get those $$ out of them. Hence, you get a collision attorney. The very moment you get an attorney, you inform BOTH insurance companies, that you have one (that stabs adjuster into treating YOU right) and let them know, that all communication with you is done via your attorney.
If you do not do this, or someone else here advises you against this - I SPOKE. You WILL regret it, and a lot, later.
What kind of coverage do YOU have? File claims with both companies, assumption made, you have comprehensive on yours. If not, if it's 100% not your fault, you stilll let your insurance company fix it, pay any costs involved - and submit it all to attorney for recovery. You WILL have all those $$ back, have my word on this.
Read your insurance policy. You likely to have rental in it(if you don't - I just shake my head...), or the other driver insurance should provide it for you. NOW.
You should be immediately seen by a doctor. Take as many exams as needed, as any whiplash damage takes several days to manifest itself, and after effects last for long, long time. TAKE ANY TREATMENT YOU TOLD TO, and have all clinical records submitted to your attorney, along with every recewipt, even if you drove to medical office and bought gas. EVERYTHING.
You are looking into the future and helping your attorney to build case in your favor, and that is not done by going to chiropractors. It's considered palliative treatment and has little effect on case.
Don't worry about your car. WORSE ones had been fixed so that no one can even tell any difference. But should you decide to let them total it and replace with fair value replacement - NO ONE CAN TELL YOU TO GIVE YOUR TOTALED ONE TO THEM, you keep it and sell "as is" on craigslist.
We had many vehicles rear ended or sideswiped or otherwise damaged at not our fault. When we took a lawyer first time, just out of curiosity, we landed with free treatments for both driver and passenger, and some several thousand cash from insurance company.
From what I remeber, we had another one with $5000 cash back, another one when we had full car value back based on "uninsured motorist" coverage only and bought my wife Lexus after that; another one, when guy decided to run stop sign in front of my truck, and I had 4 months free treatment and $5500 cash, and opened small online business off those money, and so on, and so on, and so on. So did my both sons.
That's my honest to you suggestion. Where do you find a decent attorney? Call any chiropractor in your area, they'll hook you up.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:26 PM
 
Location: WA
5,575 posts, read 23,328,831 times
Reputation: 6388
Even after your car is fully repaired (which your insurance company can help you get from the other insurance company), the record of the wreck and repair will reduce the value of your car for resale or trade.

This reduction in value is the diminished value and should be compensated to you by the other insurance company but you will have to negotiate the deal (your insurance company will not want to be involved). This is sometimes difficult and there are companies/lawyers that will help for a price.

It took me 11 months and much trouble to settle a diminished value claim after my car was rear-ended, and I still only got 70% of what I felt the loss was.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
17,948 posts, read 19,898,153 times
Reputation: 15589
Well, it's pretty minor but there's a possibility there's frame damage. I wouldn't say it's likely, although I'm far from an expert. I've seen accidents 10x that bad with no frame damage numerous times is all. Tracking to the right is meaningless as far as there being frame damage. You won't really know that until the body panels come off and it's up on a lift. If there's any, it'll be minor, but even minor frame damage and the car should be totaled. They'll fight you on that if that's the case.

And yeah, chiropractors know attorneys since most of them only get paid by the "whiplash" crowd if the attorney can collect. Not that there's not legitimate injuries too. But then chiropractors get those too so regardless they'll know the good attorneys =D
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,954 posts, read 19,358,525 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFather View Post
Should I call my insurance company and file a claim on top of the claim I filed through the other guy's insurance company?
You've not notified your insurance company yet!?!? Why not????? That is the first thing you do no matter who's fault is was!!!! Good Grief!

Right now your butt is hanging out a mile!!!! NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE AGENT THIS INSTANT AND BE SURE TO GET THE INSURANCE AGENT A COPY OF THE POLICE REPORT ASAP!!

YOU DID FILE A POLICE REPORT..........DIDN'T YOU????????/
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:58 PM
 
12,434 posts, read 11,743,656 times
Reputation: 39731
Quote:
I was read ended a few days ago in my 2012 Kia Sedona mini-van. The guy who hit me was going close to freeway speed and his bumper hit the unibody of my car, not the bumper. His truck sat higher than my bumper and smashed in the rear right corner of my van. My rear door is wedged shut along with one of my fold down seats. My van now pulls to the right and does not feel as stiff or stable as before the collision. I am waiting for the insurance adjuster to call me from the other guy's insurance company. Before he comes to take a look, what options do I have? What can I do or say to him to make sure he does a good job and I not get screwed? Somebody told me to ask for diminished value of they decide to fix it. What is diminished value? I just purchased this van 2.5 months ago and has not even had it's first oil change. Please take a look at the picture and tell me what you all think?
I am an accident lawyer. Here are my suggestions:

1. Contact an attorney in your state and ask his advice.
2. Demand that you be provided with a rental car while your car is in the shop. You are entitled to have the other guy's insurance pay for one because the accident was clearly his fault and loss of use of your vehicle is one measure of damages. If they are reluctant to do this, in this situation I'd literally rent a car on my own credit card and send them the bill. Don't listen to any crap about how they have to take a bunch of statements before they provide a rental vehicle. You're the one without transportation while they dither and dally.
3. Take the car or have it towed to the body shop of your choice. They can decide whether the car can be fixed or not. If its your body shop than you can trust the decision they make.
4. You may or may not be entitled to "diminished value" as a measure of damages. It depends on the law in your state. A lawyer in your state is the one to answer this question. I can say you are entitled to the cost of repairing your vehicle, if it can be repaired. If not, you are entitled to fair market value if it is a total loss.
5. Don't act paranoid until they give you reason to do so. Sometimes this process takes a little longer than anyone would like. Many times insurance companies are pretty forthright about taking care of these losses. However, it wouldn't hurt you to know your rights and that's why I suggest talking to a lawyer in your state.
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