Seeking Advice: Involved in an accident today!
So...I was involved in an accident today, and have come here seeking advice. I know most of the membership here are probably too young to be very knowledgeable on this front (I'm 22, and have virtually no experience dealing with insurance companies), but I think it's safe to assume that a few of you might be able to offer some very valuable advice. For the record I'm still quite upset...but I'll try to keep this as informative as possible and leave the bitching for another time and place.
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I was heading home from work on a road that (as pictured) has two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes, seperated by a turn-only lane. I was in the left-most northbound lane traveling at approx. 20mph (reduced speed due to poor conditions and rush hour traffic). Another vehicle attempted to maneuver across both northbound lanes into the turn-only or southbound lane and struck the passenger side of my vehicle at approx. 5mph as I passed by. The impact point was the left side of the front of his vehicle to the rear half of my passenger side (the rear of the front passenger side door to the front of the rear passenger side tire). It looks as thought the frame may be at least dented. As pictured, there were two police vehicles within approx. 20 feet of the incident. No tickets were issued, but the officer did mention that he believed the driver was waved on by someone driving a vehicle in the left-most northbound lane, and that both he and his passenger witnessed the incident. I believe he should be at fault as he failed to yield (though, New York State has a "no fault" policy...which I'll have to read up on). It was freezing cold out so I got a report number and the guy's business card - no license plate #, VIN, or any other information. The other vehicle (a Mercedes Benz, I don't know the year or model) was purchased literally within minutes of the incident, but luckily was insured (under All-State....my insurance company is Esurance).
The claims adjuster is coming tomorrow, and I plan to take pictures tonight before I drive the vehicle again. Is there anything I should do, or be aware of? My deductible is $500...but shouldn't his insurance company pay for it if he is determined to be at fault? Also, while the car is being repaired, I'll be missing work if I don't get a rental...should his insurance company pay for that as well? Thanks guys...this is really my first accident so I'm not sure what to do, nor what to expect.
Yes if he is deemed to be at fault your deductible means nothing, his insurance pays it. I had my car totaled 2 years ago because a guy ran a stop sign in front of me, and I had the car towed to a dealership that my family has been dealing with for 30+ years. While they got an estimate and had the car in there possetion I was able to take a car off the lot. I'm not sure if you always go to a dealer or what, but when it is in the shop usually a dealer will give you a rental, if they have your car. Obviously dealers are more expensive, but hey it's not you paying for it, and you may not have to worry about a rental. If you don't choose that route, I believe you can get the company to pay for a rental, but don't quote me on it.
I wish i could offer you more insight, but I don't drive much. The paperwork and loss of your car will be inconvenient, and you might end up having to pay something, but at least it was a relatively minor accident and nobody was hurt.
If it is concluded that it was his fault, you pay nothing...PERIOD. His insurance company will/should pay for all. The only annoying thing would be if they decided to "total' the car due to a bent frame (which is seems might be the case according to you). Then they will give you around teh KBB value for the car. This happened to me before and I got the value for the car, but it was a pain in the ass buying a decent car for the price I got for my totaled one, especially since I was broke at the time of the accident.
At least as I understand no-fault insurance, it doesn't matter who is to blame in a no-fault state -- your insurance pays for your loss, and his for his. I would assume that also means you pay the the deductible, but I can't swear to that since I don't live in a no-fault state.
In at-fault states, whoever is determined to be "at fault" covers your loss through their liability coverage, to include a rental if necessary. You pay no deductible. Some insurance companies, like mine, will give me the option to go ahead and repair my vehicle under my collision coverage (meaning I pay the deductible) and then go after the other guy's insurance if he is at fault. Whatever they recover from the other party, I get my deductible refunded off the top. That helps you out when the other party or their insurance is being obstinate, slow, etc.
Now in some states, including mine, the police do NOT assign "fault" at an accident. They can issue citations if a law is violated, but that does not equal legal fault in all cases. Here, the insurance company(ies) investigate the accident and assign/assume fault based on the accident report, witnesses, etc. And if they disagree on who's at fault, they fight it out in court.
I forgot about you mentioning the no fault policy. I honestly don't know what that is. Honestly, from the sounds of it, I wouldn't be too worried if I were you. You took a hit in the side and unless you missed a stop sign or something, I don't understand how they can call it your fault. And doesn't look like an accident where it could be nobodys fault.
Thanks guys. I guess I'll find out more tomorrow. KBB shows (suggested retail) value just about $1500 less than what I paid for it May 2006. Does anyone know which value the insurance companies use as a baseline? In any case, I doubt it'll be deemed a total loss (it's more of a small nipple/dimple in the frame than a bend...I don't think that it could realistically compromise the stability of the vehicle). In terms of where I'm having the work done...Esurance recommends some garage...but I'll want to see some work they've done in the past before agreeing to have the work done there. Unfortunately, the dealership I have always gone to with this vehicle is 80 miles away; there is a reputable one in this area as well, I'm just not very familiar with them.
Your insurance should pay for a rental regardless, but it still might take longer for your car to get fixed. I wrecked my car last year when I hit a deer and they gave me a 2 week rental from Enterprise even though I was underage. The only thing that sucked was they gave me a mini van
[quote11bbc0b06e="ragefu"]Your insurance should pay for a rental regardless, but it still might take longer for your car to get fixed. I wrecked my car last year when I hit a deer and they gave me a 2 week rental from Enterprise even though I was underage. The only thing that sucked was they gave me a mini van[/quote11bbc0b06e]
My policy doesn't cover rental fees; perhaps if I get the work done at a dealership, they'll give me a loaner licrosses fingers for MKZ...which he's been dying to test drive as it isli. I'm just worried about getting stuck with the $500 deductible because this other joker doesn't know how to drive. It looks like even in a no-fault state (like New York), if your insurance company believes the other party is at fault...they'll go after the other insurance company to cover the deductible/damages.
This might sound crazy if it was a minor accident, but I highly encourage you to go to a doctor and get checked out ASAP. Sometimes you are injured but don't realize till later and the earlier you go, the easier it is to prove that the injury came as a direct result of the accident and not something else. I've heard of several people ending up with back pain etc which didn't show up until a few days later.
[quote8c9dff6317="JennyWren"]This might sound crazy if it was a minor accident, but I highly encourage you to go to a doctor and get checked out ASAP. Sometimes you are injured but don't realize till later and the earlier you go, the easier it is to prove that the injury came as a direct result of the accident and not something else. I've heard of several people ending up with back pain etc which didn't show up until a few days later.[/quote8c9dff6317]
I've heard similar stories. There was virtually no "shock" as the impact was minimal. Either way, I had a football game tonight and everything was working fine ;) And if it wasn't, it'd be hard to prove that the injury was sustained during, or a direct result of, the accident.
[quote8d6c56c366="JennyWren"]This might sound crazy if it was a minor accident, but I highly encourage you to go to a doctor and get checked out ASAP. Sometimes you are injured but don't realize till later and the earlier you go, the easier it is to prove that the injury came as a direct result of the accident and not something else. I've heard of several people ending up with back pain etc which didn't show up until a few days later.[/quote8d6c56c366]
This is a good point. When I had my car totaled (air bags deployed, in mine though) I felt fine the next couple days. I while later my back started acting up, I don't know if it was from the accident, but there was really nothing else I did that would have hurt it. I played sports all of that summer, but I'd been doing that all my like with no back problems. It's kinda wierd how it works like that.
Keep all of the documents related to your accident in one file folder (police report, insurance letters, etc.). It really helps when you're making calls to your insurance company. Your police report probably won't be available for another 1-2 weeks. For me, it had all the insurance info. from the other drivers.
I think NM is a no-fault state. They went after the driver at-fault, but apparently they didn't have insurance, so I was covered under uninsured driver. They waived my deductible and paid for a rental. Getting your car totaled is a major pain in the ass.
Update My insurance company called today they said the other guy's insurance SHOULD accept full liability, in which case they'd pay for all damages AND my deductible )
They said I can either go through them, or the other party's insurance company, to pay the damages. If I go through them it will move more quickly from start to finish, but I would have to pay the deductible and wait/hope for reimbursement from the other insurance company.