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Rear ended! Insurance advice Should I total it?


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Monday I was going to the dentist (bad enough Monday already eh?) I got tagged making a left turn into his driveway by (get this) a woman driving an i3.... She hit my left rear bumper with her left front bumper at angle while making the turn. She hit me pretty hard and caved in the 5MPH shock absorbers on my 75 diving board bumper. Initially I thought that was it, but later discovered a lot more damage than that (frame straightener anyone?) took it to a body shop and they of course scratched their head and said, "we don't work a lot on these old cars and not sure where to source the parts." translation: we don't want to do this. I am still waiting for the estimate. 

 

I fear this car will be totaled. But I can tell you with all the upgrades (Recaro's, 5 speed, 3.91 LSD, all fresh suspension bits, rust removal,  ICEair AC, etc. etc. etc)  I am pretty sure it would hit at least $20k on BAT. But I probably will have to battle for the valuation. 

 

80% value of the car is the level it has to hit in Oregon for it to be totaled. I have a feeling we will get there.  I am keeping this car and will not let the insurance company put it up for auction. So it will be a decent settlement vs salvage title. 

 

I have almost all the particulars. Buildout sheet from the "restorer", a lot ..I mean a ton of my bills and charges but not even close to the incidentals I haven't kept track of,..I also have some current equivalent values online. 

 

Also, now have a bit of back pain not really apparent until the following day. Not sure what to do about that. 

 

So....for the knowledgeable, real and or amateur lawers, insurance gurus out there: 

 

1. What is the damage to the value of the car if I go for salvage title. It is a family heirloom so I don't plan on being alive when it gets sold. It will go to one of my sons. 

2. Should I fight for the highest price? I may get a decent settlement but It may cost me if I have to buy it back from the insurance company 

3. Any tips on valuation? Hagerty says $17,000 BAT and Ebay would say otherwise. $20-25K at least. 

4. Any other tips on dealing with insurance? . 

 

Also a heartfelt thank you to  Carlos_M who showed me how (by doing it) how to try and finesse a bumper out of a crushed bumper piston. He is a champ! 

 

Thank you anyone ahead of time for any help or tips

 

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Get as much as you can from the insurance company, buy it back if they total it, fix it up and forget about the salvage brand. Hagerty? If so, agreed value coverage should make it a bit easier. 

 

Glad you're mostly OK, but get your back checked out. 

 

The Orange Car was rear-ended a couple of months after I got it from my dad in 2002. It wasn't totaled, but it had no frame damage. Fixed it; still driving it. My neck has never been quite the same, though. 

 

-Dave 

 

Edited by dlhoovler
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Having been there on a number of occasions, I would advise you to work with the insurance companies and settle for an amount that is enough to repair your car without having it claimed as a total loss. Your insurance company should help you in this negotiation process. I believe that even if the car is claimed as a total loss, you still should have the option of keeping it. During the damage assessment and estimate process you should insist on taking the car for estimates to at least three shops of your choice. That's how it works here in California.  The average collision repair shop is not the shop for your car. It has to be a place accustomed to working on classics. An 02 specialist shop would be a good place to start. Most of these establishments have their preferred frame shops, body shops etc. Since the 02 specialist serves as a middleman, it may be the more expensive route, but you will save yourself the headache of sourcing everything yourself. A good frame shop would be a place that works on classics. If you don't have the blue factory manual with a schematic of the frame dimensions, you can get that schematic online. Provide it to the frame shop. From what you are describing it seems that you are concerned about the frame.

 

If you want to go the personal injury route you have to talk to an attorney ASAP before discussing this matter any further with us. Your attorney will most likely ask you for transcripts of any online dialogue you've had relating to the subject. And your attorney will be in control of the process more than you. 

 

 

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According to a post in April Hagerty values a 75 base 02 as being between 11,600 for a car that just exists to 59,200 for a show car, let your adjuster know that you are aware of this. Then if they still total it as above buy it back and strip it or repair it on your own. As Ray said go to a doctor, even if you feel fine, I should have done that 7 years ago, as I felt fine and now can't walk, related? I'll never know.

 

PS. In no way am I encouraging to file a unsubstantiated claim, just know where your at before talking to your insurance adjuster and if you feel he's full of shit, get a lawyer I guarantee he has one right behind him. 

Edited by Son of Marty
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Here in CO, they can total it and you can buy it back.  It's a lot easier for them because then they don't have to deal with it.  Trick with that is, if you retain ownership, you don't get a salvage title...  You just keep it...  Did that with an Aprilia RSV back in the day.  Even paid me for my leathers, helmet, gloves, it was nice.

 

And at least go to the chiro.  Glad you were sitting in a real seat.

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First of all, soooo sorry to hear your car's been whacked.  But DON'T TOTAL IT!!!  I've seen '02s with far worse damage fixed to be as good as new.  And rear end damage is much easier to fix/align than front end.  

 

Went through this a few years ago with my '73--tagged on the left rear corner--tweaked the left quarter, rear panel, trunk lid and bumper--oddly enough didn't damage the tail light!  Also fortunately the other car was insured by Hagerty, who couldn't have been more helpful.  Mine was low speed enough so I didn't have to worry about my own body, just the car's, but as suggested you should get yourself checked out.   And, my local body shop (who has done probably 25 or so 2002s over the years) was able to repair all the damaged panels to perfection--not even any pick marks on the inside of the trunk!  I even had the bumper straightened and re-chromed.  

 

You know your car pretty well, so before meeting with the other person's insurance company, make a list of parts you know will be needed to repair, and price 'em out.  BTW, Max now has trunk floors and I think rear body panels.  Inform your insurance company too; while the other driver is clearly at fault, your company should be going to bat for you too.  The choice of shops, parts sources etc should all be yours, not the insurance company's.  After all, you're the injured party, and the insurance company's job is to make you whole again.  Don't let 'em forget that.

 

Also--post pictures; we may be able to give more detailed advice after seeing 'em.

 

mike 

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 Trick with that is, if you retain ownership, you don't get a salvage title...  You just keep it...

This is true in Washington, too.

 

But it varies state- to- state.

 

t

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In Oregon, if the car is considered a "total loss" by the insurance company,  I can keep the car, (insurer pays me minus the salvage value) but I have to surrender the title to the DMV and apply for a salvage title. So the title become "branded". Again, it would be my kids that would probably have to suffer the consequences of the lessened value, but still I would like to keep the car as valuable as possible and a branded title may make it harder/more expensive  for me to get it insured. 

 

One nice thing about the Peoples Republic of Oregon is that I can use any bodyshop I choose, not the insurer. 

 

Does anyone know of a decent body shop in the PNW that has had a lot of experience with 2002's? Seems a bit difficult for me at the moment,  as most shops are 1/3 the age of our vehicles. The first shop I have taken it to the tech just kind of gave me a blank stare when I listed all the resources for sheet metal and parts....Maxmillian, Walloth and Nesch, Blunt, Restoration-Design..... so I know I have to look around at a few more shops. 

 

Thank you again! 

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Another thing to check is the seat rails.  Mine were bent when my car was rear-ended.

I am located just outside of Tualatin.   I know of two shops in the Portland area that can do the job.

My email is gracer25@msn.com  G

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And remember ,it's your car so obviously you want to get as much value out of the accident but don't let the insurance tell you what you can or can not do. They are just the guys who take your money and are trying to cut their losses at this point. So get as much from the insurance as possible. How long have they been taking your money anyway?

 

dlm ny country

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Here are some pics: I am not a professional photographer...... Impact was on driver siderear but at what looks like an angle approaching 90 degrees. She hit me with her left front bumper. 

 

Had an appointment at an exhaust shop a day or two later.  Shop owner was kind enough to let me take a few pics while it was on the rack. (those pics were after Carlos_M  was kind enough to pull the bumper out a bit). The rear supports look like they have a little wrinkle in them. Also the driver side rear fender has bowed out a bit. (the trim was flush prior to impact). 

 

Note: The right rear fender looks the worst, it is on the opposite side of the impact. The  latch on the trunk lid photo shows how much shift there may have been as it appears the lid stayed true, while the back end moved to the right. 

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The quarter panel on my '73 was kinked worst than that, plus both the rear body panel and the trunk lid were damaged.  Our local shop was able to pull out the quarter panel and the rear panel, repair the trunk lid (just bent in on the edge) and make it like new.  IIRC the whole thing was around $4800, plus straightening/rechroming the rear bumper and finding a pair of those unique-to-73s rear bumper brackets (thanks,  Mike Pugh!).  

 

Your car is imminently fixable; just find the right body shop that has craftsmen/women, tell 'em where to get the parts (or get 'em yourself--that's what I did) and turn 'em loose.

 

mike

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sucks that this happened to you

 

good news is i think it can and will be saved find a 2002 specialist shop near you if possible or bring it down to california where some of best 02 restoration shops are in the country and get her fixed right

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