How do we overcome this situation?

by admin on September 25, 2010

My daughter was on the verge of selling her car and while the paperwork was being completed, instead of taking the car to work and having it damaged, she drove mine. The logic was that her car would be safe and wouldn’t incur any dents or dings while waiting for its new owner. We shouldn’t have bothered, because shortly after the car was signed over, the new owner, a teenaged boy, who only had his license for six weeks, totaled it!

Back to me (g): somehow, at her workplace, that evening one of her younger co-workers nailed the front end of *my* car! The irony still gets to me! : /

The girl was under her parents’ insurance plan and fortunately, they DID cover it! Mine was an older vehicle and still road-worthy so they called it “betterment”. Neither my daughter nor I are clear on the exact details as she had gone into her workplace and the girl was leaving work when it happened. Apparently there was a witness who (not only refused to come forward, but…) was working on the grounds and *he* said that he heard a loud bang and when he looked up, my car was rocking. (Both the young witness *and* the girl who hit my car have since quit so there is no finding out the exact details.) From what my daughter told me, she had parked in the space (one whole lane) behind the girl’s SUV and without her looking, the girl had backed into my car.

The police were not called because, outside of the driver and her young witness, there was no one else around. My daughter did not find out about it until after the girl left her information and drove home.

We surmised that in the process of her hitting my car, she also managed to lift the front end about one and a half feet off the ground! My concern is that, with the car being dumped the way it was, that is so much more damage than initially discovered.

You see, we got that information from what looked like two little pin marks found on the back of the girl’s vehicle weeks later (she NEVER forked over any details or information concerning the incident; just her insurance information).

Now mind you, we found *that* out AFTER the initial call to the insurance company, after the paperwork was started. I spoke to one of their representatives and mentioned that, although the transmission had been worked on within the last year, it was making a clunking noise directly after the accident. (My daughter was advised to move the car to a safer location.) No one wanted to look into it; not the mechanic who did the initial work, not the insurance company, no one… When I *could* find someone who would look at it, *they* could not find anything wrong!

Because of the newly repaired transmission’s problems not being properly looked into, (it was repaired within the past year) the claim was NEVER filed with its problems listed on it!

It wasn’t until the adjustor came out to look at it, and my daughter mentioned the pin-marks found on the back of the other vehicle, and where they were, that we all realized that they were from my front plate holder! You see, our state is not required to have two plates; had a second plate been on the car, the damage would have been more evident! The insurance adjustor then told me that I could file (I think) what is called an “extended claim”; I am not sure of the exact name.

My question is this: Since meeting with her, I have since had some of the minor repairs done through a local school. My reasoning is that it *is* an older vehicle, why not give the kids the experience, *and* to be able to cover the more major expenses *just in case* more crop up.

By the way, even the kids could not find the damage to the transmission, and yet, all the signs are there! It bogs down while climbing inclines, the car whines while the gas pedal goes to the floor, and not only does the odometer rev while on the highway, but in the city streets! It takes forever to change gears and does not even want to shift manually! It has now gotten to the point where it is getting harder and harder to stop the car and I am now concerned about extensive wear and tear on the brakes!

Along with all of that, I also now have a driver’s seatbelt latch that constantly sticks (makes me sick to my stomach to think of what could happen with *that*!) and wiper blades that mash into the windshield! You have to tinker with the controls for both the heat and the AC. I suspect that could be loose hoses, loose connection or knobs or all of the above. Little things that are *still* connected to the incident, but not claimed because they were found later.

I am a bit hesitant to file a claim for these because I do not need my car to be declared totaled. It still runs and in spite of the above, is still in good shape.

Therefore, here is my dilemma:

1. Is it too late to file a claim for *those* items?

2. Because it is considered a “betterment”, I imagine I would have had to use the higher end articles; correct?

3. In addition, since t
Therefore, here is my dilemma:

1. Is it too late to file a claim for *those* items?

2. Because it is considered a “betterment”, I imagine I would have had to use the higher end articles; correct?

3. In addition, since that is the case, would they then ask to see my receipts because I had only used the kids at the school to knock out a few dings for me while waiting to see if there was any possible damage to the transmission?

4. Will I be nailed for not using a reputable mechanic for the minor work?

5. Would the insurance company allow me to file an extended claim for the transmission, as the accident happened last summer?

6. Would they cover any further claims now?

7. If they do *not* cover it, would I then get into trouble for covering the transmission with the money that was meant for a ding or two, for “betterment purposes”, although the transmission is much more important, but for some odd reason, not covered?

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{ 2 comments }

helpful bob September 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Sorry to hear that and the previous answer is correct have the additional damage estimate submitted to the insurance so that a adjuster can go look at it.

Even if you’ve had some minor work done by students etc the extended damages if obvious via your evidence and claim and make logical and visual sense the shop should be able to list them as additional accident damages that have occurred due to the original accident claim.

You’re so right that the insurance company might want to right the vehicle off and since you’ve not mentioned the year, model or type of engine or mileage on that vehicle its hard to give you the actual numbers.But the basic rule of thumb is this whatever the blue book or insurance book states as a total vale of that vehicle due to mileage, make, yr , interior etc they will only pay for any damages that is within the 70% tolerance rates so if the vehicle was worth book value 4,000 they would only cover up to 3,400 in total damages claimed regardless if yours or another liable person insurance covers the claim.

Hope that helps and best of luck.By the way some insurance companies might try to write it off before even the 70% total damages but you can argue complain etc that you don’t want it written off and in some cases I’ve heard of ppl have gotten more then the 70% in repair costs from their insurance companies.
In addition some insurance companies will offer extra cash if the transmission or engine was recently rebuilt or replaced etc but you need to stand firm with them and of course have the paperwork to prove the expensive.
Also some insurance will let you buy the written off vehicle back from them and if that occurred in your situation you’d have to look at the repair costs compared to the cash they’d give you and what you end up paying them for your written off vehicle.

Mushu September 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Wow, long story. Since the other insurance company accepted liability for the claim, they are obligated to cover all the damage that was a result of the loss. Take the vehicle to the shop and have them submit a supplemental request with the insurance company so they can get an adjuster out there to look at it. They’ll need to determine if it is loss-related.

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