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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #1
I was on my way to work this morning in a 35 MPH zone. There was a red Beetle riding my butt pretty much the whole way. Roads were wet but it wasn't raining, just kind of left over dew. I came around the corner and there was a school bus coming the other way whose lights just went from yellow to red. I knew I had to stop, and I knew I was going to get hit. Had it been any other scenario I'd have braked lighter or not stopped to avoid getting rear ended, but since it was a school bus I had no choice.

So I heard the skidding and saw the driver duck. Kind of silly - I don't know if she was afraid of the airbag or what but she wasn't going that fast. When I asked her later she said she dropped something. Anyway, she hit me. Not hard enough to damage her car, but hard enough to put divots in my bumper cover - her license plate bolts went throught the paint and you can see the black plastic bumper cover. I also have an imprint of her license plate in the bumper.

Now, the damage isn't really that bad. If I had done it to myself, for example if I had backed into one of my own cars, I'd simply put touch-up paint on it and forget about it. Thing is, I didn't do it to myself. And I know this is going to spider-web and look like crap over time. The bumper was otherwise in great shape, though there was some prior damage that had been professionally repaired.

I took her information and let her go. I then filled out a police report with the local municipality. They called her to get more information from her, but it's up to me how to proceed. A friend of mine manages a bunch of body shops in the area so I'm going to get an estimate. I think I'll send it to her directly to see if they want to go outside insurance.

Here's the problem: matching the pearl is going to be tough. It won't be cheap. She'll probably want to therefore go through insurance. Trouble is, my bud says an insurance adjuster is going to ding me for that prior damage even though it was repaired. They'll pay for the repair, but they will likely hit me with some out of pocket due to the prior damage.

Last, my insurance company sees police reports (public record I guess). I didn't think of this until I started typing this. They ding me $150 per year because I filed a report on a non-insurance-related incident a few years ago. This fact alone makes me want to just report it to my insurance company and getting the $$ I deserve because I know they're going to ding me even though it's not my fault.

So, what would you do? Just call the ins. company and forget about it? Or try to work with the owner (the owner wasn't the driver, I believe the driver is the owner's daughter - she was very young).

Jim
 

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I'd say try and work with the owner and let him the know the expensive cost of the White Diamond paint. Back when we had our Deville our neighbor's son backed into the rear driver's side door, denting the door panel. My parents were cool about it, not wanting to stir the pot with the neighbors, so they agreed to get estimates and not deal with the insurance companies. As soon as my neighbor saw the estimates for replacing the door panel and repainting the driver's side of the car and re-pinstripping the whole car, he called the insurance company. White Diamond is a beautiful color until you need body work done :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
slk230mb said:
White Diamond is a beautiful color until you need body work done :rolleyes:
That's true. I think I'll try to work with the owner first. I may ultimately have to sic my insurance company on her, but maybe I should at least give her an opportunity to cover it without involving them.

If I don't have it fixed it will bug me every time I look at it. The imprint of the license plate will probably buff out, but the divots from the bolts won't. If NJ didn't have front plates we'd have just swapped paint - probably would've buffed out.

Jim
 

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I wish you well. 9 chance outta 10 the buzzBO dropped her darn CELL PHONE!! I wish they'd make a law with teeth in it "No use of Cell Phone While moving!" PERIOD! $50.00 fine!! Here in NJ every female between the ages of 17 & 28 turns key, move gear selector to "D" and begins dialing! Geez. Fact: 50% of all accidents are "rear enders" at under 30MPH. Fact: 10 years ago rear enders accounted for 8% Go figure! She hit You. She was at fault. Following too close and inattentive. Go after her ins. co. Prior & repaired damage has ZERO to do with this ! Z-E-R-O !
 

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Sandy said:
I wish you well. 9 chance outta 10 the buzzBO dropped her darn CELL PHONE!! I wish they'd make a law with teeth in it "No use of Cell Phone While moving!" PERIOD! $50.00 fine!!
In NY it's been illegal for at least a year, and CT just made it illegal with a $100 fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sandy said:
I wish you well. 9 chance outta 10 the buzzBO dropped her darn CELL PHONE!! I wish they'd make a law with teeth in it "No use of Cell Phone While moving!" PERIOD! $50.00 fine!! Here in NJ every female between the ages of 17 & 28 turns key, move gear selector to "D" and begins dialing! Geez. Fact: 50% of all accidents are "rear enders" at under 30MPH. Fact: 10 years ago rear enders accounted for 8% Go figure! She hit You. She was at fault. Following too close and inattentive. Go after her ins. co. Prior & repaired damage has ZERO to do with this ! Z-E-R-O !
She might've been on the phone. I usually notice such things, but this time I didn't. I do know she was way too close for many miles. I was thinking to myself if I had to stop quick I'd get nailed. Of course I never thought it would happen until I saw the bus. I was 4th back in a line of cars all traveling at the speed limit. The 3 in front passed the bus as it hadn't stopped yet. The guy in front of me really should have stopped as the red lights were on by then. I don't know what she was doing, but the bus was really hard to miss, what with the yellow paint, flashing red lights and blue strobe on top. I didn't really brake that hard either, certainly wasn't a panic stop. Like you said, she was too close and not paying attention.

I should've called the cops (they said this too) but there was a lot of traffic, she was cooperative and I didn't want to stand there all morning and wait for a cop (I passed 2 other accidents in the same town so they were busy). I filled out the report by going to the police station which was pretty close by. It's not like she could possibly argue anything else anyway - it's pretty clear what happened, she admitted she hit me, you can see where she hit me and she wrote her info down for me. I also have her license plate number tatooed in my bumper.

I think I'll make out okay with insurance anyway.

Jim
 

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Tough game isnt it? Commuting?

Sorry to ehar about the damage, i reversed my Eldo into a crossmember in the back of the barn yesterday and bust both of my light clusters, i wanted to kick myself in the pants.
 

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I have AAA. A bobtail truck backed into the front of my Mustang a few years ago. Wrinkled the hood, crease in the bumper. Took it to the local favorite bodyshop for AAA, the guy examines the car, says; "Hmm, we'll have to replace the hood, bumper and cover, those headlamps are yellowed and very dull, looks like they've been damaged too, we'll just have to put new ones in there...."

They ended up restoring the entire front end, looked great, didn't cost me a dime. I guess it depends on your insurance carrier, the bodyshop adjuster and probably the state you live in.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The good news is they will repair it and then need to repaint the entire bumper. The previous damage had spider-webbed and the paint didn't match the LH quarter too well. Now that will be fixed. My friends shop wrote up a legit $537 estimate. I know another local shop will write it for twice that much just because that's how he operates (I don't know the guy or anything, but he's expensive). So if I present a high and low estimate, they should jump on the low one ($537). If reported, the insurance surcharge would be $500 a year for 3 years.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ralph said:
Sorry to hear it! Damn I hate when people tailgate AND don't pay attention. :helpless:
It's really the best thing that could've happened. Damage is cosmetic, and the crappy repair that was done to the left rear bumper cover gets fixed. It's always bothered me - the bumper cover doesn't match the 1/4 panel and there's a scrape through the clear coat. That stuff will be repaired because they'll have to repaint the whole cover. The estimate includes R&I of the cover and back-up assist sensors so it'll get done right.

And, the young lady learns a $537 lesson. Not too expensive, but enough to get her thinking.

Jim
 

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Jim, whatever you decide to do, report the incident to your insurance company. You only get 48 hours to do this. If you attempt to work it out with the other driver, and that falls to crap, reporting the incident, weeks after the fact, will leave you out in the cold. Call them uo, report it, tell them you will try and work it out with her, but if you need thier assistance, you are just checking in. As your ins co is responsible for the condition of the car when you purchased the policy from them, they are entitled to know of these mishaps.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dadillac said:
Jim, whatever you decide to do, report the incident to your insurance company. You only get 48 hours to do this.
I didn't know that. I'll call them tomorrow. I have one estimate in-hand, and am going to get 2 others tomorrow. I'm going to call the girl tomorrow and feel her out. If it doesn't sound like she's going to cough up the $500 I'll just turn it over to the insurance company.

Jim
 

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Turbojimmy, sorry to hear about the accident. I hope the person at fault will co-operate and no legal action will be taken. Otherwise call the insurance company. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
addison_ii said:
Turbojimmy, sorry to hear about the accident. I hope the person at fault will co-operate and no legal action will be taken. Otherwise call the insurance company. Good luck.
Hopefully it won't come to legal action. If they're smart they'll pay for the damages and forget it. They're really much better off than having my insurance company go after their insurance company. If the tables were turned I'd have written a check on the spot.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Okay, here's the deal. The other shops say around $500 too. But both shops said to do it right they should replace the cover, which is another $500. This is not because of the damage from the hit, but because of the prior damage. This new damage was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. The cover should really be replaced now. My lawyer says to go after the girl for the full cost ($1,000). I'm thinking I go for the $500 repaint (which would repair the damage she caused) and paying the additional $500 for the bumper cover myself. It's what's fair, I think. Both shops told me that if I didn't say anything, the girl's insurance adjuster would assume that my prior damage was actually the result of the recent collision based on the proximity of the new impact. I just don't feel like she should get whacked for that.

Worst case is I'll collect the $500 from her and have it repainted. It would be an improvement even if the cover doesn't get replaced. I'm going to call her tomorrow......

So here's the 'damage'. It's very light, but the principle of the matter was that it wasn't there before and now I gotta look at these divots in my bumper. It needs repainted.



Jim
 

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You've got to live with the results. Do what you believe is the right thing.
 
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