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Old 09-02-2013, 02:14 AM
 
4 posts, read 18,176 times
Reputation: 16

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My husband was involved in an accident today. The other driver ran a red light and right into my lovely van. I'm not sure how much you can tell by the photo, but it looks pretty bad. We aren't even able to open the passenger side door. I'm not sure why we can't as there is no damage there. The airbags didn't deploy, but the lights are on. Not sure what that even means?

I'm just trying to wrap my head around where we stand.

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. 60,000 miles. Worth around 12-13 by the comparables in my area for sale.

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Total loss?-20130901_132826.jpg  
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:30 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 102,566,018 times
Reputation: 29960
If you can't open a door on a side where there's no apparent damage, that's a pretty good indication the frame is bent. Even if the vehicle is reparable, it'll probably never be the same again. I'd wager you're better off if it's declared a total loss.

Did you buy it new or used? That looks like sufficient damage to have caused airbag deployment, particularly if the SRS lights are on. If you bought it used, I wonder if it had been in a previous accident with airbag deployment and the airbags weren't replaced. Airbags cost a lot of money and some unscrupulous shops will pocket the money that's supposed to pay for replacement airbags and just stuff the chambers with rags or newspapers.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
19,719 posts, read 16,650,904 times
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When I worked at a body shop we had a good percentage of cars that had front end hits, some very hard, and the bags only went off sometimes. We were amazed sometimes because the whole front of the car would be demolished and the bags never deployed. Not sure why that happens.

As for totaling it, the general rule, as I remember it, is that if the cost to fix it exceeds 80% of the value of the car then they deem it a total. So a $10,000 car would be totaled if the cost to repair it was $8000.00 ish.

Your car took more of a hit than you know..........newer cars are made to crumple to absorb the impact, and things you can't see are bent back underneath the car. It doesn't take long at a body shop to eat up a lot of money to fix these things when wrecked. We did a Viper and the repair tab was over $30,000.00 and it wasn't all that bad from appearances.

Don
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:21 AM
 
2,341 posts, read 11,948,520 times
Reputation: 2040
This whole thread is a bit of a moot point. Your insurance company will have at least 1 body shop inspect the car, and they'll determine whether or not it's totaled. In most states I think that "point" is 70%, Don - though I could very well be wrong.

I'd guess that the van is "totaled." If the passenger side door isn't opening right, you've got frame damage.

So probably, the only real question is whether or not you want to buy the van back for 10% of the settlement cost, and try to fix it or part it out yourself.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:13 AM
 
18,679 posts, read 27,077,143 times
Reputation: 20033
For the purpose of particular owner, as in - not a mechanic and not having the right friends - that is total loss. That it is repairable, is no doubt. Buddy across the street flips cars and much worse he does weekly. But he knows what he's doing, has access to puller frame and such.
OP, it will go down to your insurance. If you have comprehensive, you will have it totaled and they should either give you check for the proper market value to replace the car (be careful, as they will look price up on craigslist cheapest), or simply replace the car. One way or another, you will have a brave period of frustration with them.
If you do NOT have comprehensive... Well, tough. But then again, the other driver insurance should cover repair. or replacement.
My honest suggestion is to get a lawyer asap. Through the last 7 or 8 accidents we had in the family, we had attorney, and every time it was very beneficial. I spoke. You do not - you WILL regret it.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:08 PM
 
108 posts, read 283,871 times
Reputation: 341
Much will depend on the Insurance Company of the Person that ran the RED LIGHT and crashed into your husband's 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan.

The RED LIGHT Runner's INSURANCE COMPANY is the company that will pay. (your Policy & Insurance Co is not responsible)


***Depending upon how fair and ethical the adjuster is, it may be like pulling teeth to get fair treatment -OR- it might be handled fairly and swiftly.


You will need to be Demanding & Forceful in a MOST PROFESSIONAL MANNER when communicating in any way with the adjuster from the At Fault person's INSURANCE COMPANY.

+ YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE THE VEHICLE TO THE REPAIR SHOP OF YOUR CHOICE , at least in the states where I own home/oceanfront home, SC & GA

THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT:
Before You say anything to the other's (at fault party's) insurance company, YOU MAY WISH TO CONTACT A **TRIAL ATTORNEY** THAT HANDLES AUTOMOBILE CASES.
******make certain that the attorney is a Trial Attorney, someone that never tries cases, always settles and THE INSURANCE COMPANIES know that after checking that attorney out....
If you don't get a trial attorney and use one that has never tried a case or seldom, if ever has, YOU SHOULD EXPECT THAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY'S SETTLEMENT OFFER WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY LESS THAN OTHERWISE because they know that there is not a snowball's chance in hell that Attorney has the ability & staff to actually follow through on any threats to actually file. They know that this attorney simply will accept a quick simple settlement, so they will LOWBALL as much as possible.

IT IS SO VERY IMPORTANT that you do not SIGN or ACCEPT ANY Settlement Offer BEFORE CONSULTING WITH AN ATTORNEY. Though thankfully, your husband was not injured in the accident, but OFTEN in Car Accidents, it takes several days for STIFFNESS, And BACK PROBLEMS TO BECOME noticeable.
I am not the wife of an ambulance chaser Attorney, I simply am old enough to have seen friends that have experienced accidents and that they encountered these problems.

Do this immediately: GO TO YOUR the County's Police Accident Records OFFICE and do GET A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL POLICE REPORT OF THE ACCIDENT, IMMEDIATELY.........The head office clerk/ins claim clerk at THE BODY SHOP that you choose can tell you the telephone number and who to call there at the County records that CAN IMMEDIATELY FAX A COPY TO YOU AT THAT BODY SHOP While You Are There. The BODY SHOP is gonna need a Copy of the Official Accident Report Anyway. ------THERE IS NO COST FOR A COPY OF THE ACCIDENT REPORT FROM THE COUNTY'S RECORDS------------------obviously one can't request copies of accident not applicable to themselves as being a party of the accident in question............... ---------------You can't request some Rock Star's accident report because you'd think it was something cool to frame and hang on the wall in your music den or man cave.

DEMAND A FULLY PAID RENTAL CAR from the at fault -red light runner's insurance company. You ARE WITHOUT NEEDED ESSENTIAL TRANSPORTATION (doesn't matter if you own 14 other Maseratis, Ferrari's, Rolls-Royces, A '75 Pinto Wagon, ..............) Your daily use primary car is OUT OF SERVICE DUE TO NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN, BUT AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE RED LIGHT RUNNING PERSON THAT CRASHED INTO YOU.
You shouldn't expect a Lincoln Town car sized rental, but the low rate economy car like a FOCUS or something through Enterprise or Hertz or Budget etc........the ins companies do this routinely on a daily basis 24/7/365...........but if you don't REQUEST a FULLY PAID FOR RENTAL CAR, which you are entitled to BECAUSE THEY CRASHED INTO YOU........if you don't ask for it, they won't tell you and you won't get it because ya didn't know to say so.
The chief ins processing clerk at THE BODY SHOP THAT YOU choose can assist you as they are linked with several Car Rental firms like ENTERPRISE/HERTZ/BUDGET etc.

As for the settlement and repairs. EVEN THOUGH YOU CHOSE YOUR BODY SHOP TO PROVIDE DETAILS TO THE AT FAULT's INSURANCE COMPANY, AND YOUR CAR RESIDES AT THE BODY SHOP.......YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE TO "KEEP THE FINAL CHECK slated for the CAR REPAIR" AND not have the body shop repair it.
------Reputable large paint & body shops know this and will honestly tell you that------ You can keep the check (THE at fault's INSURANCE COMPANY's CHECK for the repairs WILL BE PAY TO THE ORDER OF the title owner of said vehicle)
If you feel that you can be better off pocketing the check for the repairs agreed upon with at fault's ins co adjuster based on est to repair from your body shop, then you can do so if you choose, but in this case your Caravan does not appear safe to drive. You'll have to do your own backyard repair job or find a cut-rate likely unqualified shop in the blighted ghetto areas of town and pray that they can make it roadworthy enough for 2/3 or so of the repair settlement.

I know this sounds extremely COMPLICATED because Accidents just are when INSURANCE COMPANIES are involved.
Depends greatly on the AT FAULT PERSON'S INSURANCE COMPANY and policy/record with that company.
Usually if the AT FAULT PARTY has USAA Insurance Company, you will get honest ethical, swift treatment as to rental and to claims processing...........you might have to demand slightly higher on the ACV (actual cash value of 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with 60K) USAA and others like it will have the highest and most fair offers than other poorly run insurance companies. If the at fault party has "Bad Notorious Drivers United Insurance Company" (fictitious name for example only) then it is gonna be like pulling teeth.......

LASTLY, concerning consultation with a trial attorney, should you need to go that route, there is no cost for initial consultation and then if you choose to hire them on your behalf, only then at that point do you obligate yourself if they are helpful to you.

See this for possible values for 2008 Grand Caravan with 60k miles will be less than you think.
2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SE - Yahoo! Autos

Crummy insurance companies that are less ethical and play lowdown hardball simply because it matters that much for their survival or standard business model for them, is going to require that you are ready with your A-GAME, because those less than ethical insurance companies do operate in a take no prisoners type of mindset.

Good luck.
I Do Hope Your Husband is Fine.
Cars are simply machines that can be replaced. Still, no big deal if the insurance settlement isn't good. Those things don't matter. Your husband's health does.
I'm glad he is alright. Best of luck and hope that the at fault person's insurance co is a fine reputable one as if it is, you'll have a smooth and fair settlement.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:32 PM
 
2,341 posts, read 11,948,520 times
Reputation: 2040
^ Linda brings up some really good points.

This was NOT your husband's fault, and your family should not incur any of the cost for this. Also, note that some (most?) insurance adjusters will try to low-ball you with their settlement. They'll come up with every reason why your vehicle was not worth what it clearly is worth. You do NOT have to accept their low-ball offer!
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:48 PM
 
18,679 posts, read 27,077,143 times
Reputation: 20033
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarageLogic View Post
^ Linda brings up some really good points.

This was NOT your husband's fault, and your family should not incur any of the cost for this. Also, note that some (most?) insurance adjusters will try to low-ball you with their settlement. They'll come up with every reason why your vehicle was not worth what it clearly is worth. You do NOT have to accept their low-ball offer!

THIS IS WHY YOU GET A LAWYER.
Also, there is little known fact, that most folks don't know. If it were 100% the other driver fault - as that will HAVE TO BE PROVEN - you will receive quite a lot of $$. This is what they call something like "future health and ability to be employed" loss. Any accident like this results in some sort of damage to a driver. Truly, takes years to start showing itself. Hence, now is the time to seed the seeds for the future harvest. The more treatment your husband will have now, the more concerns there will be from doctors - the more $$ he will receive from the other driver insurance. Free treatment now, free car repair or replacement, free rental, and lump sum. We had adjusters trying to play games with us before, and the very moment we mentioned that we have attorney involved and will call him - they changed their tactics.
Of course, the other driver may have no insurance, no imcome, and car may be stolen. Then, it goes down to your insurance.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
5,251 posts, read 14,090,013 times
Reputation: 8227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda Richards View Post
Much will depend on the Insurance Company of the Person that ran the RED LIGHT and crashed into your husband's 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan.

The RED LIGHT Runner's INSURANCE COMPANY is the company that will pay. (your Policy & Insurance Co is not responsible)


***Depending upon how fair and ethical the adjuster is, it may be like pulling teeth to get fair treatment -OR- it might be handled fairly and swiftly.


You will need to be Demanding & Forceful in a MOST PROFESSIONAL MANNER when communicating in any way with the adjuster from the At Fault person's INSURANCE COMPANY.

+ YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE THE VEHICLE TO THE REPAIR SHOP OF YOUR CHOICE , at least in the states where I own home/oceanfront home, SC & GA

THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT:
Before You say anything to the other's (at fault party's) insurance company, YOU MAY WISH TO CONTACT A **TRIAL ATTORNEY** THAT HANDLES AUTOMOBILE CASES.
******make certain that the attorney is a Trial Attorney, someone that never tries cases, always settles and THE INSURANCE COMPANIES know that after checking that attorney out....
If you don't get a trial attorney and use one that has never tried a case or seldom, if ever has, YOU SHOULD EXPECT THAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY'S SETTLEMENT OFFER WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY LESS THAN OTHERWISE because they know that there is not a snowball's chance in hell that Attorney has the ability & staff to actually follow through on any threats to actually file. They know that this attorney simply will accept a quick simple settlement, so they will LOWBALL as much as possible.

IT IS SO VERY IMPORTANT that you do not SIGN or ACCEPT ANY Settlement Offer BEFORE CONSULTING WITH AN ATTORNEY. Though thankfully, your husband was not injured in the accident, but OFTEN in Car Accidents, it takes several days for STIFFNESS, And BACK PROBLEMS TO BECOME noticeable.
I am not the wife of an ambulance chaser Attorney, I simply am old enough to have seen friends that have experienced accidents and that they encountered these problems.

Do this immediately: GO TO YOUR the County's Police Accident Records OFFICE and do GET A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL POLICE REPORT OF THE ACCIDENT, IMMEDIATELY.........The head office clerk/ins claim clerk at THE BODY SHOP that you choose can tell you the telephone number and who to call there at the County records that CAN IMMEDIATELY FAX A COPY TO YOU AT THAT BODY SHOP While You Are There. The BODY SHOP is gonna need a Copy of the Official Accident Report Anyway. ------THERE IS NO COST FOR A COPY OF THE ACCIDENT REPORT FROM THE COUNTY'S RECORDS------------------obviously one can't request copies of accident not applicable to themselves as being a party of the accident in question............... ---------------You can't request some Rock Star's accident report because you'd think it was something cool to frame and hang on the wall in your music den or man cave.

DEMAND A FULLY PAID RENTAL CAR from the at fault -red light runner's insurance company. You ARE WITHOUT NEEDED ESSENTIAL TRANSPORTATION (doesn't matter if you own 14 other Maseratis, Ferrari's, Rolls-Royces, A '75 Pinto Wagon, ..............) Your daily use primary car is OUT OF SERVICE DUE TO NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN, BUT AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE RED LIGHT RUNNING PERSON THAT CRASHED INTO YOU.
You shouldn't expect a Lincoln Town car sized rental, but the low rate economy car like a FOCUS or something through Enterprise or Hertz or Budget etc........the ins companies do this routinely on a daily basis 24/7/365...........but if you don't REQUEST a FULLY PAID FOR RENTAL CAR, which you are entitled to BECAUSE THEY CRASHED INTO YOU........if you don't ask for it, they won't tell you and you won't get it because ya didn't know to say so.
The chief ins processing clerk at THE BODY SHOP THAT YOU choose can assist you as they are linked with several Car Rental firms like ENTERPRISE/HERTZ/BUDGET etc.

As for the settlement and repairs. EVEN THOUGH YOU CHOSE YOUR BODY SHOP TO PROVIDE DETAILS TO THE AT FAULT's INSURANCE COMPANY, AND YOUR CAR RESIDES AT THE BODY SHOP.......YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE TO "KEEP THE FINAL CHECK slated for the CAR REPAIR" AND not have the body shop repair it.
------Reputable large paint & body shops know this and will honestly tell you that------ You can keep the check (THE at fault's INSURANCE COMPANY's CHECK for the repairs WILL BE PAY TO THE ORDER OF the title owner of said vehicle)
If you feel that you can be better off pocketing the check for the repairs agreed upon with at fault's ins co adjuster based on est to repair from your body shop, then you can do so if you choose, but in this case your Caravan does not appear safe to drive. You'll have to do your own backyard repair job or find a cut-rate likely unqualified shop in the blighted ghetto areas of town and pray that they can make it roadworthy enough for 2/3 or so of the repair settlement.

I know this sounds extremely COMPLICATED because Accidents just are when INSURANCE COMPANIES are involved.
Depends greatly on the AT FAULT PERSON'S INSURANCE COMPANY and policy/record with that company.
Usually if the AT FAULT PARTY has USAA Insurance Company, you will get honest ethical, swift treatment as to rental and to claims processing...........you might have to demand slightly higher on the ACV (actual cash value of 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with 60K) USAA and others like it will have the highest and most fair offers than other poorly run insurance companies. If the at fault party has "Bad Notorious Drivers United Insurance Company" (fictitious name for example only) then it is gonna be like pulling teeth.......

LASTLY, concerning consultation with a trial attorney, should you need to go that route, there is no cost for initial consultation and then if you choose to hire them on your behalf, only then at that point do you obligate yourself if they are helpful to you.

See this for possible values for 2008 Grand Caravan with 60k miles will be less than you think.
2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SE - Yahoo! Autos

Crummy insurance companies that are less ethical and play lowdown hardball simply because it matters that much for their survival or standard business model for them, is going to require that you are ready with your A-GAME, because those less than ethical insurance companies do operate in a take no prisoners type of mindset.

Good luck.
I Do Hope Your Husband is Fine.
Cars are simply machines that can be replaced. Still, no big deal if the insurance settlement isn't good. Those things don't matter. Your husband's health does.
I'm glad he is alright. Best of luck and hope that the at fault person's insurance co is a fine reputable one as if it is, you'll have a smooth and fair settlement.

Great advice, however its always best to deal with YOUR OWN insurance company, and let them fight with the other carrier. You pay your insurance company to protect you in situations just like this. If you have the coverage on YOUR auto policy, I would suggest calling them. Even if you don't plan on filing with them, at least make them aware. That way if you need advice or have questions about the way the other carrier is treating you, you have some one to call.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
44,513 posts, read 61,104,581 times
Reputation: 125414
A few years ago I had a similar accident. My insurance company told me to get 3 body shop estimates. They would contact the other party's insurance agent on my behalf. There were no injuries so no lawyer was needed. The estimates for the vehicle had damage that would cost more than the vehicle was worth. The insurance company paid for the current retail value of the vehicle in good condition with same mileage listing. Check came within 14 days.
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