Does this seem right?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Sarge, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    The owner of the car I hit with my bike has an estimate for
    $3900 worth of damage.

    I know I broke the window with my head. And I know my bike damaged the trunk.

    But I also apparently did in the bumper as well.

    Since it was hard to get a good look at the car from inside the ambulance, I just want to make sure I'm not paying for anything I didn't break. I'm not sure how to go about doing that, though.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Can you ask for a second estimate, this time from YOUR mechanic?
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    It could be right, depending on the type of car you hit. In some cars, even minor damage to the bumper requires the whole thing to be replaced, and those bumpers can be expensive. Glass can be really expensive to replace, and in some makes and models, rediculously expensive. The labor involved in body repair can be quite extensive, so much of that estimate could be just the cost of labor. I'd ask for a second estimate, and ask for them both to be itemized, so that you can be sure that things are being done properly and that you aren't being taken advantage of.

    Out of all of that, I'd say the most important thing is to get an itemized estimate. I got into a huge argument with a coworker several years ago because she tried to claim some minor, but expensive, body damage that had been there for quite some time was the result of a fender bender, and get that person's insurance to cover it. That sort of thing does happen, so if get an itemized estimate, you can help prevent repairing the door ding on the other side of the car that the owner threw in to the repair bill.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Btw it was a 9 year old Civic. Trade in value is $3300
     
  6. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    That sounds high, I know glass is high... geez, do you carry liabiltiy insurance when you ride a bike?
     
  7. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    No way! That's totaled!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    So basically you did more damage than the car is worth??? With your BICYCLE????

    Man, that must be some bike!!!!

    I sense that the poor victim is what my sister would call a "shyster"
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Bicycle liability is generally covered by homeowners insurance.
     
  10. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    A "shyster" for sure! So, what do you do now? How are you feeling?
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I drive a 99 civic. Same body style..honda didn't make any significant changes until 2001. You said 9 years old, so is that a 2001? I did some scouting not to long ago when I was in a fender bender myself, and I recall the cost of the back bumber being less than 100 dollars. I did some searching on the internet and I'm coming up with prices for a rear window (I used a 2001 4 door sedan) and came up with a range of $197-$250. Throw in some dings and scratches, and that could add maybe another $500. With labor, another $500, maybe more. I can't justify more than $1500 total.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Make sure the estimate for damage is thorugh a reputable shop. You should not be involved at all...let your insurance deal with it.

    Be careful with the word, 'shyster'...many feel it has anti-Semetic implications.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oops. cza, I had no idea. My sincere apologies.

    That word is now out of my vocabulary.
     
  14. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    COuld be using his dealer to do the estimate, sometimes they are more. Usually the insurance company will also send someone else out to check how much $$ the damage is, that is what happened when I had an accident. I had my auto body shop give me an estimate and then the insurance company sent someone out to check it over.
     
  15. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    There's no way I could have known this, thanks for enlightening me, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone.
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    My thoughts exactly.

    All insurance companies have body shops or mechanics that have been approved for repair estimates. This is done precisely because some body shops/mechanics and car owners will try to scam the companies by padding the repair bills.

    You need to let your insurance agent handle any communication with the car owner or his/her insurance. Your company will send their own adjuster out to inspect the damage and determine an estimate for repairs.

    NEVER take the other person's word for how much damage was done to their car. Adjusters are trained to inspect the damage and determine (or estimate) the cost of repairs themselves. They will also have approved body shops or mechanics that do work for them and will honor their estimates. So don't let the car owner try to take you for a ride. If he/she calls you directly, just give them the name and number of your insurance agent and tell them to direct their questions there. The insurance company has the experience and leverage to deal with this sort of thing.
     
  17. MuggleBug

    MuggleBug Companion

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    Half of it is probably labor costs. Someone hit my husband's car while it was parked and put a hole in his bumper. The total from the body shop was $1300 to replace it but I think almost half of that was just labor. My brother-in-law got into a small accident in the parking lot of his apartment complex - his little Volvo vs. some big SUV and there was $4500 worth of damage done. So unfortunately, yes, I can believe it...but I would still get a second opinion from a body shop affiliated with your insurance if you can.
     
  18. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I had a guy hit my car whole it was parked earlier this year. It has two tiny little scratches and scrapes down the side and there is a small dent in one panel. The estimate was for $2200! So yeah, the $3900 sounds right. However, if the estimate is worth more than the car, it should be totaled. You shouldn't have to pay more than the value of the car.
     
  19. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    I agree that it should be totaled. I can't imagine why your insurance company would pay more than the car is worth.
     
  20. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Hmmmm...sounds like a case for Judge Judy!
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The etymology of the word doesn't necessarily have anti Semitic origin but it sometimes has that connotation (present company excluded!!;) )
    From online:
    The supposed anti-Semitic origin links the word to the name of the vengeful money lender Shylock in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, with the occupational ending -ster added.
    Some think it came from NY underworld slang in the 1840's, others see it as having links to the German word, 'Scheisse'...
     
  22. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    It was what my Jewish uncle used to call anyone who charged too high of a price for anything.
     
  23. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    I too have to say that that figure may seem correct to me as well. I actually own a 2001 civic and have had bumper damage in the past. The estimate was around 2,000 or so, add in the windshield, scratches, etc and it may very well come to around that much. Unfortunately it sounds like an estimate on the higher side but not completely off base.
     
  24. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I own a 2008 civic sedan. I just had my bumper replaced two weeks ago. I hit a snow bank. The cost to replace it was 850. If it had been a minor dent they could have popped it out for 25 dollars and painted it for 100.

    Maybe you can have your car insurance send out someone to do an estimate for you.
     
  25. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You didn't say if insurance companies (auto, homeowners, even AAA) were involved. Check with yours and ask their advice.
     
  26. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    I was always under the impression that once you hit the value of the car, you didn't have to pay the rest of the fees legally? I remember hearing that on some court show.
     
  27. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    It's possible the repair estimate could be accurate, with the damage you listed. However, as we've said before, that is more than the value of the car, which means the insurance company would consider it a "total loss". In that case, the owner will be paid the value of the car, usually by his/her insurance company and they would take possession of the car. Then they would contact your insurance company for reimbursement of the claim.

    Did I mention my dad was an insurance agent for over 20 years? :cool:

    You said liability for you bike riding falls under your homeowners policy. Call your agent and let the insurance companies settle the claim. Your agent will let you know how much, if anything, you have to pay.
     
  28. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    A lot of factors play into the value of a car. Mileage, condition, etc. That may be the average blue book value, but you can't rely completely that is the actual value. My son recently had an accident and the car was valued out far more then the blue book value. It was not totaled as some assumed it would be. The case is currently in subrogation as the girl who was at fault had no insurance. Grrrrr
     
  29. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I'm starting to wonder if the bumper wasn't already damaged. I'm 250 lbs with my bike. Bumpers are designed to take the force of a 3000 lb automobile. Even if "5 mph bumpers" are a myth, I still hit it at 1/4 the force it was designed for if I was going 10-15 mph when I hit.
     
  30. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'd wonder the same thing, Sarge. I was rear ended pretty hard a couple months ago and the dent that was there at the scene had popped out by the time I got home. There was one tiny scratch when all was said and done. I decided that it wasn't worth it to fix it since my car is 11 years old.
     
  31. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    One thing to remember is that the force from another car would likely be spread across most of the bumper area, thereby dispersing energy over a large area. Your impact would have been in a very small, focused area.

    Then again, that works in your favor somewhat. If you hit the bumper near the right side, going up and over the trunk, it would be kinda hard to blame any damage to the left side of the bumper on you.

    Once again, this is why you have the insurance company send their adjuster out to inspect the damage personally. He/She will decide what damage is attributable to the accident and what damage may have already been there. ;)
     
  32. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Then there would be a dent in the bumper cover where my wheel it. There isn't.
     
  33. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I agree with the others. Have an independent person evaluate the damage. Somehow, I think there's some damage that you didn't cause being thrown in there. I can't think of too many people with cars that old that are in pristine condition. Come to think of it, I can only think of one person, and he's the fussiest person on the planet when it comes to his car.
     

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