Need advice - accident on road trip out of state

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by vnhk, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. vnhk

    vnhk New Member

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    Hello guys,

    I need advice on this situation.

    Basically I'm traveling from California to Vancouver, BC driving my 2010 Prius.

    Last night (Sat) on the way to motel in Washington, I stopped at red light for some time before I heard brake screeching and "bum". A lady in Honda CRV plowed into my rear end :mad:

    The car seems to take it fine with minimal damage to the bumper. I cannot say for the inside.

    Her insurance is USAA and the agent gave me a claim number saying that an adjuster will follow up with me on Monday.

    However, today (Sunday), I have plan to drive from WA to Vancouver, and I think the car is probably safe to drive.

    Should I wait until the end of my trip and be back at California to have the damage appraisal and deal with insurance?

    Or should I deal with it here in WA? Any comments? Thanks

    [​IMG]
     
  2. mwok86

    mwok86 New Member

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    Make sure they replace your rear bumper so her insurance rate will go up. There is NO EXCUSE for rear-ending someone.
     
  3. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Sorry to hear about that. :( I would think you should be able to take care of it all in CA since the ins co is nationwide.
    Judging by the picture, your car should be just fine to drive. Keep an eye out for any warning lights however.
     
  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    For your own convienence I can see where waiting to get back home would be much better.

    The key is making sure you are 100% safe and stable to drive. You don't want to discover that you have more damage than you think, frame damage or some hybrid battery component out of whack....

    If you are 100% convinced that the damage is only superficial and cosmetic and the vehicle is sound and safe to drive? I'd probably roll the dice and try to get back home. The conservative answer is to deal with it first, but reality is, dealing with bodyshops and repair at home is difficult enough. On the road? Ugh...

    Since this accident was NOT your fault, could you leverage for a rental car and having your vehicle towed back home? That would also be safe. The Insurance Company probably would not like the expense and balk...but I think it valid that you don't want to deal with it in an "alien" enviroment and I also think it valid if you were concerned about continuing to drive a potentially damaged automobile.

    Good Luck, I was recently rear ended, in my new vehicle and dealing with the process even at home with everything local was daunting enough. Having it happen on the road....I feel for you....
     
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I think that you should make yourself available as needed on Monday, at least via the telephone. Pictures of the damage may need to be taken by the adjuster.

    Should you not make the car available for photos until your return to California (how far into the future is your return?) would it not be possible that the damage was caused by some other mishap during your road trip? Certainly the other driver's insurance company will try to make that claim if you allow room for doubt.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    I'm far from an expert, but l have recent experience with being
    rear ended.

    Firstly, the damage to your rear bumper appears to be minor. I would
    expect the repair to be in the $800 range; new bumper cover and paint,
    new energy absorbing bits behind it as well.

    The one wrinkle I had was car rental. According to my insurance policy,
    I had to take the car in for appraisal/repairs within 24 hrs of the
    accident to qualify for a policy-covered rental during the repair period
    which lasted almost two weeks, even though the costs would ultimately
    be paid by the other party.

    Better check the wording in your policy.
    Yeah, I know, how many of us carry a copy of our policy in the car?
    Maybe you have access on line.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  7. vnhk

    vnhk New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the comments.

    I'm also thinking of stopping by a Toyota dealer to have a quick inspection for safety as well as damage inspection right now.

    Will I have to pay out of my pocket or her insurance will take care of it? I called USAA, but they are not working on Sunday.

    BTW, I will be home on 9/18, and I still have many long drives/stops on the way. I think the car is mostly safe to drive.
     
  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Hmm...I was recently rear ended as well. Similar...in the end the damage was around $900...it all was superficial just bodyshops charge so damn much...

    But if this wasn't the OP's fault. Rear ended- this should all be handled through the other persons insurance. What His policy says doesn't matter. The OP is the victim.

    A major Insurance Carrier will have adjuster available everywhere and they should be leveraged to be working for the convienence of the OP not the convienence of themselves.

    The danger would be there being more damage than is visible and discovering later...BUT if it is purely cosmetic...I think the OP could go home and deal with it.

    If you were rear ended through no fault of your own, why would you initiate through your insurance? Re-imbursement will be ultimately through the other person...so they can pay for the rental car.
     
  9. Joe166

    Joe166 New Member

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    USAA, since they started as a company insuring only commissioned officers in the Armed Forces, (they now take most all service members or former service members), are a stand up organization. I have been insured with them for over 40 years. Call them. Tell them you want to go home. They will assign an adjuster from your area. They have them everywhere and they also have some of the most reputable body shops on call in my area.

    BUT remember they are still an insurance company. They are one of the best, but they ARE an insurance company and you need to keep your eye on them until you are satisfied.
     
  10. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Crikey I can't believe how seriously you take this in the US. I'd say that damage would probably buff out.

    Why make a mountain out of a mole hill? Nobody was injured, the car is OK, so all is well. Save the claim for when you actually do get damage and you get hurt.
     
  11. timo27

    timo27 Member

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    I think you are wise to take it to Toyota for an inspection if for no other reason than to document the damage and (at least as importantly) for your own peace of mind. USAA is, from all I have heard, a good insurance company, but as another poster mentioned, they *are* an insurance company. And in this case, they're not working for you. Their adjustor's job is to make sure they pay what they have to and no more. But try not to worry too much about it (I know, easier said than done) and enjoy the rest of your trip.

    And to Grumpy Cabbie - (1) I doubt the damage will just buff out; we cannot tell from this pic what might have been done to the floor pan or other parts we cannot see, and (2) yes, it is an undeniable fact that on this side of the pond we as a society are, uh, perhaps just a tad more litigious than some folks elsewhere. I don't particularly like it either, but it is what it is. Given the rules of the game, the best bet is to cover one's own in a situation like this.

    ~T
     
  12. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    Don't ruin your trip--I'd proceed as planned. That damage looks superficial, so if you don't notice anything test driving the car, I'd ignore it until you get back home. Call the other insurance company to document the accident (and email them pics, which presumable will be date stamped).
     
  13. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I hear what you say and yes it's wise to get it checked out to make sure no hidden damage, but if there isn't and the bumper hasn't popped its brackets and there is just a slight mark, why not try buffing it out?

    If it needs a respray, then ok get it sprayed, but hire cars and new bumpers all seems over the odds - obviously if not needed. Remember, with insurance we all pay for it in the end. We all groan and moan about our insurance cover going up, yet noting some of the comments on here we're happy to claim for everything too. You can't have it both ways.
     
  14. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    I've been rear-ended twice in my V. The first time there was a couple of actual holes and they had to replace the entire bumper. The second time was similar to yours and they should be able to repair it, using plastic-bonding putting to skim coat the bumper to fill in, then prime and paint.

    Very bad advice. Always go through your own insurance company and have them pursue the other party for damages.

    This policy sucks. What insurance company is this?
     
  15. DumbMike

    DumbMike Active Member

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    This might be a little late getting to you. But, it looks like you won't be leaving WA until Monday morning. Why not find out where the adjuster is, and first thing in the morning, take your car to the adjuster. This way, you aren't waiting around for the adjuster. Or, when you call them, see if it's OK to wait until you get home. But whatever you do, don't just leave to deal with later.

    The reason not to wait, is if something happens in the meantime, like you back up into some pole, the insurance company will say that your damage was caused by you backing up into the pole and not because of the rear-ender. Or (but less likely unless there is some real damage done back there), they might say that because you drove the vehicle without getting it fixed, that caused additional damage that they will not cover.

    Like others said, they are an insurance company, and they don't want to be giving away their money just because you said so.

    Dumb Mike
     
  16. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    It's a new car. As someone who recently had a new vehicle get rear ended I can tell you as superficial as the damage may look, it still devalues the vehicle.

    Especially if the accident is no fault of your own, you owe it to yourself to get the vehicle fixed.

    It's criminal how much bodywork costs, but just to get any mark professionally removed from a bumper get's pretty spendy. Bottom line this wasn't the OP's fault, he had a relatively new car with a concievably pristine bumper, why should he ignore it? His car was damaged through no fault of his own, that's why everyone carries insurance.

    Plus with todays bumpers, I learned the hard way, it can look superficial but the shock absorbing material can need to be replaced and sometimes the bumper mounts can be bent....you can't ignore something like this, especially on a new vehicle.
     
  17. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    32k...I admit I'm not an Insurance Company or Policy expert. But I did recently go through this experience.

    Actually for convienence's sake, I did initiate the claim through my own insurance but even my own Insurance Company...Amica..said I did not have to, and was actually running the risk that if Amica couldn't recover from the opposing Insurance Company it would go against my policy.

    If it's a case where you CLEARLY aren't at fault. Sitting still and rear-ended..I think you don't have to initiate a claim through your own insurance. All your own insurance company is going to do, is then act as a middle man and get payment for themselves. That's all Amica did for me. Everything was paid by the opposing Insurance, as it should of been, since I was totally not at fault.

    If it's an accident where there is massive damages or gray area, sure I'd immediately contact your own insurance company, but in a case like this, I don't think it's necessary and infact you run some risk of your own rates increasing because you let your own insurance company know you were in an accident.

    But whether you want to open a claim through your own insurance or not, my point was that what it says about rental car re-imbursement on the OP's policy is inmaterial. The OP is the "through no fault of their own" damaged party...the other party should be paying for the rental car.
     
  18. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Whether or not the OP reports the collision to his insurance carrier they already know he was hit and has an obligation to report it. Everyone uses the same database. I'm in a no fault state. The entire premise is for the policyholder to be made whole regardless of fault. The companies will settle between themselves. Going through his policy he'll pay the deductible then receive a check. Going through the other person's carrier would mean $0 out of pocket.
     
  19. Penny's Dad

    Penny's Dad New Member

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    Be sure to have the exhaust checked...I almost missed a cracked exhaust pipe connection when my Murano was rear ended...That thing was pricy to repair too.
     
  20. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Yes, I know. Like I said, I went through this whole procedure. Oregon is also a no fault state.

    For what I thought would be convienence sake I actually initiated my claim through my insurance. I did have to pay my deductible and was reimbursed.

    If I had to do it over? Since the accident wasn't my fault, I probably just would of contacted the other persons carrier myself, and avoided paying my deductible upfront.

    I even got the feeling from my own insurance carrier that it was like "Sure we can do this for you...but why?".

    In retrospect my opinion is 0 out of pocket, and not paying your deductible upfront trumps notifying your own Insurance Carrier and paying your deductible only to be reimbursed later.
     
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