T Nation

Hit and Run

Ive never been in a real accident, but last saturday an 87 year old woman backed into my older van, and I’m wondering if I put this through her insurance do they pay me or does it go directly to the autobody shop ? (I live in Canada if that matters) Basically I would like to fix this myself and perhaps collect a little bit extra cash for my troubles. I get the feeling she would like to just pay me cash, but seemed shocked at the estimate I got for the damage, so I don’t know if to make her a lower offer or just put it through insurance.

Read below for detailed account I made up of the accident.

Time: Saturday between 1pm-1:30pm

Witness: Falana (hired help to seal driveway).

Position of vehicle: Parked neatly on curb nearest house facing down the hill.

Status of vehicle before and after accident: Prior to accident vehicle was in good condition including the driver?s side door. Post accident, the driver?s side door was affected with a very large dent that caused the side panel to fall off, improper latching of the door, and the hinge joints were also affected. In short door will not even shut now, and is a hazard to drive (swings open on turns and obviously does not lock putting my internal possessions at risk).

Other Details: Falana spoke with me, and said the vehicle was an older green van or similar vehicle that backed into my van while trying to exit the adjacent driveway. He also stated that the alleged was a very old man. This person supposedly told him that they were sick and would come back to deal with the accident ? they did not come back, and left no contact information for me, and in fact I had to take a proactive approach and seek out this person taking me 2 days to reach them by telephone. I spoke to the tenets of the house the vehicle backed out of (her daughter), and they suggested it might have been their mother/mother-in-law. I called the number they provided and eventually I was able to contact Paula Magwood. We made arrangements for me to get an estimate of the damage, and then for me to present this estimate to her, which she would then double check and pay me in cash.

On Monday night my brother and I went to the alleged?s house on 25 Oak Ave. and surveyed the vehicle. There was no significant noticeable damage. The make was a Nissan Quest XE, light green in color with the license number BER-547. Additionally an attempt to contact a garage was put into action; however all were closed after supper, the time I arrived home from my daily job. Will take vehicle to garage on lunch break Tuesday.

On Tuesday I took my van to Sandford?s Autobody in Centreville, NS and got an estimate, which totaled ~$1,152 total ? Mr. Sandford acknowledged that he tried to make it conservative and inquired a couple of junk yards for a second hand door; however was unable to locate one. I called Paula after supper and left a message, and she returned my call a couple hours later. During the conversation she seemed surprised of the estimated costs and was adamant about getting a junked door at a salvage yard and getting someone else to install it. She suggested I take the estimate next door to her daughter?s house so that her daughter could give it to her, which is what I did. While there, her mother stated that she is 87 and in her opinion shouldn?t really be driving. I gave her the estimate and told her nicely that I would like this process to speed up so that I can have a functioning door. So far it seems that Paula Magwood is trying to prolong and stall this process.

Well I’m up in Canada myself over in Alberta so it might be a little differant here then there. But anyways you have very little chance of getting any extra cash for your troubles, just because you werent injured in the accident. Going through the insurance is entirely up to you, but you got the esitmate at the shop you want to take it too, she doesnt get to decide that. She doesnt want to go through insurance because it will jack up her premiums.

But if you do go through the insurance companies it could be quick, or they might try and drag out paying the costs. Personally if she is saying that she wants it taken to someone else and junk door used, I would go through the insurance companies just because I am always more comfortable dealing with a garage that I’ve delt with before.

In the US you get an estimate. Her insurance pays based on an estimate.

How you spend that money is up to you.

I’m in the US but I believe insurance is insurance so I thought I would share my expierence.

I had something along those lines happen to me. The lady drilled your door and drove off thinking she could get away with it. When she realized she didn’t get away with it she’s trying to play the “I’m an old lady bit”. You need an accident report for your insurance. If you don’t have one of those guess what? Your insurance will think you smacked a tree and up your monthly bills! This is esp. true if she pays you cash, yes the insurance companies track work you have done on your car. So for your ease go through her insurance after you get your accident report (If you still can, it may be too late? Not sure)
So

  1. Get accident report if you can
  2. get her insurance info
  3. take your car to where you like and give tell them that her insurance will be paying for it and give them the info. along with the old ladies info.
  4. enjoy your now working door

Hope it helps and that it is the same up there, otherwise my info may be useless haha

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
In the US you get an estimate. Her insurance pays based on an estimate.

How you spend that money is up to you.[/quote]

If you take the insurance company’s estimate, it will be around 80% of what it should be.

When I was hit, they estimated repars at $1200, and gave me that option, but
they also left me the option of taking it to an approved repair shop and paying whatever the shop ended up charging which was about $1450.

Here, you need to file an accident report within 2 days I believe or you will have problems. The police wont usually take an accident report after 48 hours. This means that if you go after her company, they will likely contest, and yours is not going to pay if she is responsible unless she is uninsured. You may end up having to sue her and you will still get questions like “why didn’t you file an accident report.” A witness alone is not going to do it, nor will pictures of the damage because if it was that easy, you’d just have two people going around the country with a dented car claiming that people hit them.

[quote]CrewPierce wrote:
I’m in the US but I believe insurance is insurance so I thought I would share my expierence.

I had something along those lines happen to me. The lady drilled your door and drove off thinking she could get away with it. When she realized she didn’t get away with it she’s trying to play the “I’m an old lady bit”. You need an accident report for your insurance. If you don’t have one of those guess what? Your insurance will think you smacked a tree and up your monthly bills! This is esp. true if she pays you cash, yes the insurance companies track work you have done on your car. So for your ease go through her insurance after you get your accident report (If you still can, it may be too late? Not sure)
So

  1. Get accident report if you can
  2. get her insurance info
  3. take your car to where you like and give tell them that her insurance will be paying for it and give them the info. along with the old ladies info.
  4. enjoy your now working door

Hope it helps and that it is the same up there, otherwise my info may be useless haha[/quote]

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
In the US you get an estimate. Her insurance pays based on an estimate.

How you spend that money is up to you.

If you take the insurance company’s estimate, it will be around 80% of what it should be.

When I was hit, they estimated repars at $1200, and gave me that option, but
they also left me the option of taking it to an approved repair shop and paying whatever the shop ended up charging which was about $1450.

[/quote]

Between my wife and I we have had at least 5 claims.

We usually bring it to an approved shop and the cist has always been covered 100%.

Once I replaced a bumper myself. ( I got the bumper from a junkyard. The insurance company paid the estimated price for a new bumper installed.

I pocketed $ 300 by doing it myself.

happened to me in my Chevelle once. A guy backed up into my front bumper…His insurance company paid my directly after a few estimates…I made about 500 bucks off the deal.