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hearkat's avatar

Advice for car accident claim?

Asked by hearkat (20949 points ) June 24th, 2008 from iPhone

I was in my 6-week old Mini Cooper yesterday, when the driver of a minivan pulled out of the exit ramp without looking to see if anyone was coming. She hit me on the left rear, which spun me around and they hit me again in the left front.

My neck hurt, so I had them take me to the hospital. X-rays and a CT of the neck showed no fractures… but I am sore today!!! Plus a headache and a little unsteadiness. They prescribed some pain meds and muscle relaxer, as well as recommending icing (how do I ice my whole back? :-/ ). It was late when we got out of the hospital, so I haven’t had the prescription filled yet; besides, I have to take care of this claim business today, so I don’t want to be doped-up.

I haven’t seen the car yet, and I almost don’t want to!! I had custom designed and ordered it, and had to wait for it to be built and shipped from across the pond. It was brand-spanking-new! It is the most expensive thing I have ever purchased (I haven’t bought a house yet), and I really want it REPLACED and not just repaired.

So I am seeking medical advice on how to care for my neck, shoulders and back to minimize long-term effects and speed recovery. I know people who said that they felt pain in there necks and backs long after what they thought was a minor injury.

I am also seeking advice on processing the claim to get a new car, since mine WAS new until this person chose not to look before turning into me.

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18 Answers

ccatron's avatar

usually the only way you can get a new car out of an accident is if the car is considered “totaled”. If the car doesn’t run because of the accident and the estimated repairs equal a high percentage of its value, then the insurance company will probably give you money for a new car.

so, there is nothing you can do or say to the insurance company, unless they let you take the car to your choice of repair guys. if the repair guy says it will cost a ton of money to fix the car, then you’ll get the money for a new car. If you bought gap insurance from your dealer, then you could get money from that company to pay the difference in what you owe on the car.

whatthefluther's avatar

As for the medical, work with your insurance company and your attorney (get one, if you don’t have one) and your doctor to have all tests done, including MRIs of your spine. Also, be sure to complete all assigned physical therapy. I was in a moderate accident when I was 17 years old and settled out of court for all repair bills, rental cars, legal, medical and physical therapy bills plus a sum for “pain and suffering.” Approximately twenty years later, a disc (C6/C7) ruptured in my neck while just innocently reaching for a bottle of shampoo in the shower. Immediate pain from my neck through my arm with numbness in my fingers. I had to have the two vertebrae fused and went through several very uncomfortable months and was unable to work much of it. The disc probably slipped during that accident twenty years prior inasmuch as I had no subsequent significant trauma to my spine or history of disc problems. They did not have MRIs when I was 17, so there was no good way of identifying the possible damage. You have the opportunity to have MRIs done which may show damage and possible future hell for which you just may desire some compensation from the jerk who hit you and destroyed your new car (which could never be repaired “as good as new”). Good luck to you.

richardhenry's avatar

Great advice here. Keep us posted on how it goes! Good luck, and hope things work out for you.

marinelife's avatar

If you continue to have pain, you might try therapeutic massage, which most insurance covers because it speeds healing. You might also try, if you are not opposed, chiropractic. If you choose to do the latter, make absolutely certain you are going to very qualified practitioner. Insurance will also cover that.

jballou's avatar

I hope for your sake, you find a way to get your car replaced, but the odds are against you. Usually, like ocatron said, they will only offer you money to replace the car if the car is totaled. If the car is totaled, they will give you whatever THEY think the car is worth at it’s current value, not what you paid for it. Which means they will likely not pay out enough for you to purchase another brand new car of the same type with custom features.

Your best best is to hope they don’t total the car, and find a body shop that specializes in Mini Coopers, or at least BMWs, and they should hopefully be able to restore it to like-new condition. Getting into an accident sucks, and the insurance companies don’t make it any easier considering they are constantly trying to figure out how to pay out the least amount of money.

Stay in communication with everyone involved, stay vigilant, and if you have any friends or family that are attorneys, you should try to get them to help you out as much as possible.

My grandmother was recently in an accident, her car was totaled, and the insurance company didn’t even pay her out enough for a down payment on another car. I really hope the best for you in your situation. Good luck.

hearkat's avatar

Thanks for the input everyone. I have been to see the car, and I doubt they will consider it Totalled (when the repair exceeds 75% of the value of the car).

My Mini dealer does have a body shop, but my insurance company told me to make sure they take insurance rates for labor. I have a call in to the manager to check on it.

As for medical, I chose my health insurance to cover me… but my insurance changed, and I never double-checked if they do PIP… so I have to look into that.

NJ is a no-fault state… so I have to wait for the police report and hope that they gave her a summons. She had the Yield and she hit me… it should be pretty clear; but insurance companies are largely to blame for the fall of American Civilization, in my opinion :-/

ninjaxmarc's avatar

ice your whole back in a tub of ice.

Bsilver's avatar

Advice from someone in the middle of a car accident lawsuit, lawyer up! Police reports can be wrong, and defy all logic, only your lawyer can advise you on what to do if that is the case. S/he can also advise you what to say/not to say should you talk to ANYONE involved in the process. You’d be surprised how simply saying an innocuous “I’m fine” to a receptionist at a repair place can come back to bite you in the ass when it comes time to settle… Best of luck, do continue keeping us updated

hearkat's avatar

I have been in the Collective for nearly a year now, but haven’t asked many questions. My activity here waxes and wanes, and I guess I wasn’t around when the concept of “Moderators” was discussed or implemented. I am generally not fond of censorship; but I do understand that this site is not age-restricted, so there may be cases where it is warranted… but in a discussion about a car accident?

I understand that as a free site that has had seen incredible growth, there are Questions and Answers posted that might be offensive – intentionally or not – that may warrant some degree of intervention. However, I think that the Original Poster of the Question, as well as the author of the allegedly objectionable response, should be included in the decision whether to remove the comment or not.

I am not familiar with @ninjaxmarc so I don’t know whether his involvement on Fluther has been controversial in general; but I do see that he has a decent amount of points, so I truly am curious about what he had to say.

I recently saw a post where a member disputed the removal of his comment, and it was returned to its original state. I propose that the allegedly objectionable comment be flagged as Under Review By Fluther Moderators and then any members involved (the “offending” party, the Original Poster, and any @ whom the comment was directed) should be contacted to discuss in private whether it is truly offensive enough to warrant removal, as opposed to possibly being edited by the Member making the comment.

@ninjaxmarc: If your comment was intended to help me, or if you have an opinion on the moderation process that resulted in the romoval of your remarks, please comment here or contact me via my profile.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

one of your secondary questions was how do I ice my whole back?

Fill a tub of ice.

I didnt answer the main question as I felt everyone else hit it on the nail.

I’m usually on my iPhone, have little time to respond wish I could spend more time on here to share my brain.

hearkat's avatar

@ninjaxmarc: Really? That’s what they removed? Your suggestion is entirely valid. I don’t understand why anyone thought it should be censored. I too am mostly on my iPhone, and the interface is frustrating.

I am majorly disappointed in Fluther. It appears that the well-intentioned concept of moderators has gone too far. :-(

scamp's avatar

@hearkat I don’t have any advice that wasn’t already given, but I just wanted to say I am sorry that happened to you. I hope you don’t have any serious or long lasting injuries.

hearkat's avatar

@Scamp: Thanks!

I got the Police Report, and the other driver did get a summons for failing to stop and yield to incoming traffic. There is an insurance policy number listed, but no insurance company code… so that is curious.

My neck and back are still stiff, but seem to be improving. However, some of the stories I’ve heard here and from others makes me concerned enough that I’m considering further evaluation… especially with the popping and crunching sounds I sometimes hear when I move.

I am not the type of person to want to milk something for personal gain; but the more I deal with my insurance company and from what I keep hearing from people, it seems that the system practically forces you to get a lawyer… it’s so complicated, confusing, and time consuming.

scamp's avatar

If nothing else, I think you need to establish a case for on-going medical care, so you can take care of your spine. I think you should get an MRI to see exactly what’s going on there.

richardhenry's avatar

[Fluther Moderator:] I am so very sorry for the removal! Your answer has been restored. It was flagged as “insensitive” by a user, and when I checked it out the briefness of the response made me assume that it wasn’t a serious suggestion. I realise now that it was a genuine response and I can’t apologise enough.

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hnsmith's avatar

Only the way you can get a new car is, if the car is considered “totaled”. If the car doesn’t run because of the accident and the estimated repairs equal a high percentage of its value, then the insurance company will probably give you money for a new car.
so, there is nothing you can do or say to the insurance company, unless they let you take the car to your choice of repair . if the repair guy says it will cost a lot of money to fix the car, then you’ll get the money for a new car. If you bought gap insurance from your dealer, then you could get money from that company to pay the difference in what you owe on the car.

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