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Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 10:09 AM   #1
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Need Car Accident Advise

My 18 year old son was rearended by a semi truck yesterday. He is ok, but it pushed his car into another truck and punched a few holes in his rear bumper. The truck in front of him was fine, so they are out of the picture.

We called the company the trucker works for and will need to call them again on Monday to get their insurance info.

They asked for my insurance info, which I'm reluctant to give. WIll my ins company help us make sure we get the repairs paid for by dealing with the trucker's insurance, or will they ding us for his accident.

Any advice appreciated, I've not had an accident in years and don't really know the best way to handle this.
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 11:16 AM   #2
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

Quote:

They asked for my insurance info, which I'm reluctant to give. *WIll my ins company help us make sure we get the repairs paid for by dealing with the trucker's insurance, or will they ding us for his accident.

Any advice appreciated, I've not had an accident in years and don't really know the best way to handle this.
Something similar happened to us a year and a half ago - we got hit by one car which caused us to hit another car. We notified our insurance company right away and they handled the whole thing - we didn't have to deal with the other drivers our their insurance companies. It saved us a lot of hassle - they made sure we got paid right away and no dings against us. I can't claim all insurance companies work the same (we use GEICO), but it didn't hurt us a bit to give the info.

BTW, in the state where this happened to us, all parties are required by law to report the accident to the DOT and provide insurance info if there is $X of damage, even if there were no injuries and it is not your fault.
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 11:17 AM   #3
 
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

I have had the same experience. Just turn it over to your insurance co/agent. That's what you pay them for.

JG
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 12:12 PM   #4
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

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BTW, in the state where this happened to us, all parties are required by law to report the accident to the DOT and provide insurance info if there is $X of damage, even if there were no injuries and it is not your fault.
Pay attention to this. It's the same in my state... a friend of mine found out the hard way when he got the notice in the mail that his license had been suspended. He'd provided proof to the police officer on the scene and thought that was sufficient. He got it cleared up w/in 24h via a phone call or two and a fax to the DOT but was NOT worth the headache.

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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 01:22 PM   #5
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

I have been involved in 3 fender benders over the years and since I was not at fault for any of the accidents and my damage was under $1k, I dealt directly with the other guy's insurance company.
I'd rather keep my insurance company out of it for minor accidents as I didn't want to take a chance that my insurance co. would take the easy and least costly way out and absorb the repair cost but then pass on the cost to me anyway.

Am I just being paranoid?

MJ
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 01:39 PM   #6
 
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

Yep...........paranoid is right

JG
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 01:54 PM   #7
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

Interesting. In the two states I've been a licensed driver I believe it's law to exchange drivers licences and insurance information after a wreck.

When I drove a company vehicle for daily work the instructions were to trade DL & insurance info, get witness information, call my manager & police and not to discuss fault. So perhaps the truck company is trying to collect the info for CYA.

Offhand I recall 3 of my wrecks being rearenders, and in all three the other party thought it was my fault for stopping too suddenly. I never discussed fault and didn't have to; I just followed the above guidelines and it never got past the insurance companies. They know what will fly in court and what won't, and settling is cheaper than litigating for them.

In my first, though, the other guy wanted to avoid talking to the insurance company and offered to pay out of pocket. (This was after telling me it was my fault got no useful reaction from me.) There was no police report because at the time neither of us had cell phones and there were no witnesses still around or pay phones nearby, and he refused to wait for me to find a phone and call the police. (sidebar: after he drove off I wrote down everything about the accident I could think of while it was fresh on my mind: time, road conditions, a diagram of the accident, etc...while I was doing so the car I slammed on my brakes to avoid had circled back around and stopped to offer his info as a witness.) This story is getting too long so I'll cut it short by summarizing that he told me that he wanted to settle in cash, but after getting an estimate I couldn't get hold of him; I didn't wait more than a day or two and called his insurance company who was already aware of the wreck. I think that guy was trying to pull something, and I think my more-or-less prompt reporting prevented him from getting away with it.

Anyway, my advice based on my experience is to give them the insurance info, write down anything and everything about the accident if you haven't already, call both insurers if it hasn't been done already, and refuse to consider an off-the-books settlement. As I understand it the insurance people will settle it amongst themselves.

In my 3 rearend cases, all 3 acted like it was my fault but I never got any flak from the police or insurance company about it, and I didn't have to argue with anyone.

The only time I've heard of rearend cases gone bad is a 3-way rearend where the back car pushes the middle car into the front. And that can go bad if the middle driver leaves first and the other two conspire to say the middle driver hit the front driver first. This happened to my mother. Don't leave the scene first if this happens to you, and try hard to get witnesses.

For future reference, if there is a camera available at the time of the wreck, take several pictures including skid marks.
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 04:04 PM   #8
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

I don't think they'll ding you for the accident. My car was "bumpered" in a store parking lot a few months ago while I was grocery shopping, and I talked with both my insurance company and the other guy's (my first accident in about 15 years, and I wasn't sure what to do either). My insurance company talked it over with me and explained my options; since the other guy admitted fault and I had his info, I just dealt with his insurance company. My insurance company sent me a letter summarizing our conversation, but hasn't raised my rates or anything. Although now that I think about it, if that same car were to get totalled later, they might point out the accident and claim that it diminished the value of the car. I dunno; hopefully I won't have to deal with that.

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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 04:46 PM   #9
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

Thanks for all the responses everybody. I will call my insurance company on Monday and explain what happened and we'll go from there. My son thinks the car drives funny now, so I definitely want it looked at/fixed.

Thanks. I think my last accident was back when I was covered under my parents. They took care of it.....
I guess I'm lucky it has been that long..
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 05:24 PM   #10
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

Dumb questions, but:

Was anyone injured? Sometimes the trauma/bruises don't make themselves felt for a few days (especially if adrenaline was involved).

Do you carry collision insurance? (We haven't carried it for over a decade.) And if you do have it, do you have a high deductible?

Considering the car's resale value, is the damage worth fixing? The unexpected side benefit of having a few holes, dings, scrapes, & crumples is that no one is gonna put their BMW or Jaguar against your back bumper in rush hour traffic...
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-05-2005, 08:51 PM   #11
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

No one was injured, fortunately it was stop and go traffic and a very slow moving crash. More of a shove actually, but into another truck. The trucker thought he ran over a road cone. I have full coverage with a high deductible since my kid is only 18 and the car is worth about 10K.

My son feels the car doesn't drive right now, he thinks the axel might be tweeked. So in my opinion, it is worth fixing assuming the truckers insurance pays.

I think it needs a good look by someone more experienced than we are
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise
Old 02-06-2005, 03:39 AM   #12
 
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Re: Need Car Accident Advise

When I got done with divorce court in 1998, like the trucker in your story, I thought I felt a "nose cone".
In my case though, it wasn't under my truck but
inserted in a bodily orifice (use your imagination).

JG
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