Accident--Internal/Structural Damage

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by worldaven, May 30, 2018.

  1. worldaven

    worldaven Junior Member

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    This is my 2010 Prius with 84,122 miles. The at-fault driver (BMW X3) tried to cross a four-lane road and didn't see me. Luckily, I was able to swerve and diminish the impact of his acceleration crossing the lane, but, as you can see, still got considerable damage. Took it to the body shop today and damages so far total $1500. They haven't assessed any structural or internal damages yet, but from what you can see, what other damages are possible? I'm concerned about the integrity of the unibody, plus the wheel and axel (don't want it to fall off while driving).

    Also, I am considering filing a diminished value claim with the at-fault driver. How much should I ask for?

    Thanks in advance!

    Tony 2018-05-27 12.26.49.jpg
     
  2. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Sorry to hear about your car. The fender and front bumper are cosmetic I would be concerned a the hit the wheel took. It needs to be put on a front end alignment machine and checked for frame damage which you already mentioned.
    I would talk to your insurance company about diminished value, it would show up in a Carfax.
     
  3. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    I have a friend who had a very similar accident and there were no structural problems. Just a fender and bumper replacement done at a Toyota approved body shop and it looked like new. Although, I think I see a nick on the door edge...it might need repainting too.
     
  4. worldaven

    worldaven Junior Member

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    Thanks...I didn't know the DV shows up on Carfax. Will need to get me a copy. I wonder how long it takes for that information to appear....
     
  5. worldaven

    worldaven Junior Member

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    The body shop saw the nick on the door and it will be repaired.
     
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  6. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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  7. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    Glad you are AOK and it sounds like you did some good driving to mitigate the damage.

    You are correct that the diminished value claim would have to be filed with the at-fault driver, since your insurance policy probably excludes such claims were you to go against your own insurance. Most do.

    Unfortunately, while the at-fault driver is covered for all damages (including diminished value) that s/he caused, you would probably have to file a lawsuit to recover diminished value. Insurance companies rarely (if ever) pay that voluntarily. Why? Because it will be difficult and expensive for you to prove.

    In court, you must present admissible evidence to prove the amount of damages. That would involve hiring an expert witness to testify about the diminished value. The insurance company knows that the expert witness will cost you more than the claim is worth, thus making it not worth your pursuing.
     
  8. worldaven

    worldaven Junior Member

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    Thank you!
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    That might not be too bad. The main impact is the front corner, whatever it's called, and it's a bolt-on item. I wouldn't think that's the end of it; there's inevitably some deflection behind, but maybe minor, completely fixable.

    The wheel cover is scuffed, but how much force it took is debatable; further inspection will determine if the front suspension is involved. It might take some time. We had a car that had a similar hit, more severe though, both doors were seriously impacted. The front suspension was impacted, had to be replaced (with rusted up salvage, groan...). Anyway, years after the repair, the transmission seal started leaking on that side, might have been due to the accident I think.

    Looking at the reflection, might be more than just a nick: seems like the shadows all converge in a bowtie-like point, a little lower than the badge. In any event, the paint should extend out to the door, to blend. Ditto for the hood and front "bumper".
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
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  10. worldaven

    worldaven Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    Using KBB numbers the value of my car on Trade In before the accident (excellent) is $8219; after the accident (fair) $6471. Difference of $1748. May need to get an official quote at a Toyota dealership, but still a considerable amount and won't hurt to ask. Also, could file under Small Claims Court and use that as negotiation leverage....

    Thoughts?
     
  11. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    Your only leverage with the other guy's insurance is if you went to see a doctor about neck pain. I hope you were not injured, but for the cost of a co-pay to see your doctor about possible whip-lash works very well for some leverage. Don't hesitate as the longer you wait, the less likely you can use it as leverage. Insurance companies have become very "tight" about payouts for damages and will likely only cover the cost of repairs. But if you are experiencing some pain, you may be able to get the diminished value as a form of pain and suffering.
     
  12. worldaven

    worldaven Junior Member

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    Yes. Went to Urgent Care on Tuesday got diagnosed with Delayed Onset Muscle Strain (DOMS). Will see the chiropractor next week. My insurance injury claim rep said I would be covered under PIP even though I have insurance through my work...
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Meh...
     
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  14. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    As long as you have the medical paper trail, the other guy's insurance company will need to take note. The urgent care center should have prescribed a muscle relaxer for you too. Again, all of this will help your claim. The insurance company may offer you a quick $1000 if you will sign a wavier releasing them. See if you can do better...maybe $2000. That should cover the diminished value assuming you don't have additional pain and suffering. If you do, you might need legal assistance.
     
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  15. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    After the vehicle is repaired, it will return to excellent condition. To KBB, "fair" means "has some cosmetic defects that require repairing and/or replacing." You will have repaired the defects.

    Diminished value stems from the fact that when two excellent cars are presented side-by-side, a buyer will pay more for the vehicle that has not been in an accident. That is why expert testimony is necessary to establish the claim. It is all opinion. A minor accident such as yours isn't going to cause a significant change in value. From the pix and the repair estimate of $1,500, it is almost a fender bender. OTOH, if there is a frame-bending, clip-replacing, accident that costs a large amount to fix, then there would be a significant diminution in value.

    Just spit-balling, but assuming a good repair, I'd peg the diminution in value at a couple hundred or so tops, especially when the car is worth approx $7.5K total.
     
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