This is going to make me sound like a jerk

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Bella2010, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 8, 2012

    My niece came over to watch DS today so that I could go work at school. I hit her car when I was backing out of the driveway. Totally my fault. I knew she was parked there, I just wasn't paying attention. I hit the driver's side door and front panel. She can't open her door.

    Okay, here's the jerky part:

    Her car is a 1995 Honda Accord with 180,000 miles on it. The paint is oxidized (sp), it has door dings everywhere, the hood is bent because she hit the side of the house, and the bumper is falling off. Seriously, my dad has it wired up with baling wire. My sister and BIL plan on buying her a new/used car for Christmas since she's going to college next year. Our insurance will pay for a liability accident up to $1,000, with no deductible, and it won't go on my insurance. Well, I got an estimate on my bumper, which has minimal damage. The estimate for my car is $600. That's not replacing anything, so I can bet the farm that her car's repairs will cost over $1,000. And, replacing parts will mean new paint, which they'd repaint the whole car because it would be impossible to match it. They've been quoted the trade-in price of $750 because of the shape of the car BEFORE this happened.

    I mean, I'm not saying don't get it fixed - she can't even open her door. It's just going to suck that my insurance will go up and I'll have to pay a $500 deductible on a car that's only worth $750. I talked to my sister and asked when she thought they might get some estimates. She said they'd try to do it tomorrow. That's okay, no hurry. :rolleyes:

    Beth
     
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  3. e6789

    e6789 Rookie

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    If I were you, I would talk to my sister about this. Explain to her that you know you are at fault, but the car is worth so little that it is ridiculous to put that much money into "fixing it." Since she is getting a new car anyway, maybe you can settle on putting the $500 of the deductible cost towards her newer one, that she can get a little earlier. Hope this makes sense.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I think that is a good idea, offer her the $500 in cash to put towards a new car and see how that goes over.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I like that idea as well. If I were in the position of the parents, I'd definitely take that offer.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I agree with those above. They can sell the car as-is or scrap it at the junk yard and get a couple of hundred more.
     
  7. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Bumpers on newer cars are tricky. It seems like they are designed to be absolutely destroyed on any impact (even just a nick can ruin a bumper requiring it t be replaced). I'd take it for another estimate just to be sure.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Aug 9, 2012

    According to Kelly Blue Book, a 1995 Accord in fair condition with 180000 miles is worth $590.

    No insurance company will pay, nor will any court award, more than the cash (trade in) value to fix a car.

    In other words, you do $1000 dollars damage to a $500 car, you are only on the hook for $500.
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Nope. They won't paint the whole car just to match the paint. Trust me on that one.
     
  10. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    :mad:
    Ugh. I'm so glad I have a full size older model car built with some bulk, lol. It really just scratched the bumper in a few places, no dents. The only part to be replaced is a chrome molding on the top of the bumper. Her car looks bad. When I got out and looked at it, I fully expected my bumper to be hanging by a thread. Still doesn't look like $600 worth of damage. :mad: I am so in the wrong line of work. But, I understand what you're saying. There are two body shops in town, I'm going to check out the other one tomorrow.

    Hmmm...good to know. Thanks!

    Her dad was able to bend the metal back around. There was a little piece of the front panel that was concave and preventing her door from opening. So, at least the poor girl doesn't have to climb over the passenger side, lol. IDK where it will lead. They are going to get some estimates tomorrow, if I'm lucky. Her family doesn't get in a hurry about very many things. :rolleyes:

    Wherever they trade it in at will be for scrap metal. There's no way in hades a dealership is going to put the work in it in order to resale it. They'd probably make out better taking it to a place that parts out cars. Anywho, we will probably just pay $500, even though it's not worth much more than that. I think things like this are stickier when you're dealing with family.

    My niece was such a sweetheart about it. When I told her that I backed into her car, she said, "Well, it won't really matter on my car, but did it hurt your car?!" Love that girl - it's going to suck when she leaves for college. :(

    Beth
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    One of my friends had an ancient piece of crap that was hit in a parking lot. Totaled the car . . . for less than $800 bucks. Damage repair would have been about twice the value. They settled without insurance.
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Find a way to get her car door fixed so that it is usable. It isn't fair to take advantage of your neice for an accident you caused. It also isn't fair to put her in a position such that she has to spend thousands of dollars for a replacement used car regardless of how bad a shape the car is in terms of body dents. She needs to use it now. Christmas is a long way off. Why would you want to put your relative into a position to spend thousands of dollars to save you from spending the money ahead of time when it is your fault.

    So, I do have to agree with your assessment about how you sound on this issue.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think you need to do whatever it takes to ensure that she has safe transportation. A car with a door that won't open is useless.

    When she arrived at your house she had a car that worked. When she left, she didn't. I don't think that putting money towards a new car fixes the short term problem of needing transportation.
     
  14. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I agree. You need to make sure that your niece has a way to get around that is safe. Not being able to get out the driver's side door is unsafe. Would you let your child drive a car in that condition? I would not.
     
  15. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Whoa. I don't plan on taking advantage of her. Sorry if my post sounded like that. It's going to be fixed - that's why I have insurance. I totally admitted it was my fault. I'm just kind of annoyed at the situtation and at myself. As to whether or no her mom and dad just want me to pay them the $500 is entirely up to them. Her dad did "fix" the door to where she can open it.

    Beth
     
  16. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Again, her dad fixed the door to where she can open it. I'm going to do whatever her parents want me to do.
     
  17. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    You should be able to pop the dent out so she could open the door fairly easily, which it sounds like you did. I had a similar situation with my Jeep, although it wasn't someone I knew who hit it. It had the same thing with the door - our friend fixed it in like 2 minutes. For all the rest, the shop seriously came within a $100 of totalling it. They won't charge more than the car is worth. I think offering the money to the parents for the new car is a good idea and I would think that they would take you up on it.
     
  18. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    I talked to my sister and she said the body shop basically said, "The car isn't worth that much so how about we do the minimal." My sister and BIL are on board with that. The repairs are only $200, which I will, of course, pay.

    Beth
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    How about you write a not-so-small check (~$500 or so) to her parents and advocate that the get her the new car now, instead of later.
     
  20. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Because her mother is waiting on her Christmas bonus and because I'm apparently a jerk. We are paying $200 to my sister and BIL instead of filing it with insurance because if I filed it with my insurance they (sister and BIL) wouldn't get anything monetary since my liability insurance covers anything up to $1,000 on at-fault accidents, with no out-of-pocket from me. They'd rather have the $200 because even if they fixed the car, like replace things kind of fix, they wouldn't get very much more when they trade it in because of the overall condition before this happened.

    Beth
     

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