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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada so any advice that comes in can hopefully apply to my local laws and insurance codes etc. I was involved in an accident 2 days ago. I was travelling around 55-60km when a vehicle came through an intersection and a red light and crossed right in front of me from the right. As I was on a bridge going over a freeway I was running parallel to a guard rail and thus couldn't scan then intersection as I usually do for red light runners. Needless to say I barely was able to brake before impact. I turned my wheel left to avoid hitting the guy on his driver door and likely severely hurting him or killing him and thus nailed his front quarter panel and wheel. He spun and on the rebound also hit my rear quarter panel passenger side. My air bags didnt go off (likely due to no passenger weight and impact on passenger side) and my crash response didnt go off either. I had to push the emergency button manually. While I have a shoulder/neck injury (soft tissue damages legally restricted to 4,000 in Alberta by law) my bigger concern is that to my estimation, my damages are around 10-$15,000. The front passenger quarter panel is demolished, my lower facia, lights, grill, radiator front passenger wheel almost torn off and slight to medium rear quarter panel damage and to my recollection, no hood or windshield damage. It would seem that I need the damage to be around $19,000 to write this thing off. There could be frame damage or cracked engine block if i'm lucky. I am a fussy guy when it comes to mechanical things. I keep my vehicles meticulous so when I sell them I get best price possible and someone gets a way above average used vehicle. I absolutely dont want the Equinox back (Twilight blue2011 with 17,000km). I have a clause for guaranteed purchase price if its written off. I know it will never be the same as far as paint, squeaks and rattles etc despite what the GM body shop says about genuine parts and blah blah blah. Secondly, when I go to sell it anyone can see that its been in an accident from car fax records and instead of getting 18,000 for it (hypothetically in 4 years) I'll only get 13 or $14,000 for it because no one wants a vehicle thats been in an accident. I told my insurance company, who has yet to send an appraiser, that I dont want it back but they say if its not a write off youre getting it back repaired. End of story. I dont know if I should get a lawyer because the red light incident plus the driver was alone and only had a learners permit or if I should just leave things to fate and let insurance deal with it. Bear in mind, in Alberta I cant legally get more than 4,000 for my injuries. Plus lawyers tend to make you live like an invalid for 3 years while they try to prove a point and put your work life on hold just to maybe get you 30,000 after 3 years of fighting and then they take 10,000 of it. :<( Anyway, sorry this is so long. I just want my vehicle written off so if any of you have insight....please reply. I realize that once a dealer actually starts to tear apart the car, they can find more problems than initially spotted by an appraiser. I just hope its written off before that so I can buy another one.
 

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Not sure how it works up north but there is a thing called diminished value. It is for when a car is damaged and causes the resale value to drop.Make sure you tell the insurance company you want that considered. That said you said "your estimate" what is the professional estimate? sounds like it could very well be totaled to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, it is in a impound right now for another few days. The appraiser will go out and do a look over and decide the estimate visually. If it's not written off at that time then I demand it goes to a GM dealer where they " tear it apart". Since lots of damage can be found during tear down they could concevablely find a cracked block or frame damage that would subsequently put it over the top for write off purposes.
 

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Not sure about canada but an adjuster has to make an accurate estimate of all the repairs and costs. They use a standard manual for parts and labor. When the damage is over a certain percentage of the vehilces worth they will total the vehicle. Check your policy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It appears that the damage has to exceed 75 or 80% of the vehicles worth ( I think that's the depreciated worth not what I paid for it) and its written off. I would think its used value is 26,000 which means the damage has to be about 19,000. Not holding my breath :-(
 

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Do a search on Edmunds for the TMV (true Market Value) you would be suprised how much the value drops once it leaves the lot.
 

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Not sure what book the insurance companies use. Let the adjuster make an estimate. Repairing vehilces is expensive and someone has to really evaluate the damage under the sheet metal. I had to replace a hood on one of my cars. It cost $900 to replace just a hood.
 

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Can't see the vehicle from here, obviously, but from the way you describe the damage together with it's current value I'm afraid there's almost no chance it'll be 'totaled' (unless, like you said, there is frame damage somehow - but that too seems unlikely).

But - in addition to possibly going after the driver (probably a dead end), you might want to go back to the intersection and check the timing on the lights. I've seen many intersection lights improperly timed, and every time I run across one I call the locals responsible for reprogramming them (and they DO fix them). We have a 30-mile main drag here that's 50mph in many parts. Multiple accidents (and deaths) along the way by people running lights. Some of the lights used to switch from yellow to red almost instantly (very dangerous for a 50mph intersection). Additionally, in the other direction, there needs to be a delay going to green - again ... more important for the 50 mph intersections.

If you can prove the lights are mis-timed, maybe you can get the city on the hook to at least cover the loss in value of your vehicle due to the accident. And it seems odd to suggest, but if they ARE mis-timed, you might also consider an alliance with the person who ran the light.

Lastly, if you immediately sell the vehicle after it's repaired, maybe CarFax won't show the accident. It's possible there is some lag time before they are able to access the information. I had a friend who signed up for CarFax for 30 days and ran it on each of my cars. One vehicle (which I still own) had been totaled by hail damage in 2000, but this did not show up on the report. CarFax is not infallible.
 

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kaptain said:
I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada so any advice that comes in can hopefully apply to my local laws and insurance codes etc. I was involved in an accident 2 days ago. I was travelling around 55-60km when a vehicle came through an intersection and a red light and crossed right in front of me from the right. As I was on a bridge going over a freeway I was running parallel to a guard rail and thus couldn't scan then intersection as I usually do for red light runners. Needless to say I barely was able to brake before impact. I turned my wheel left to avoid hitting the guy on his driver door and likely severely hurting him or killing him and thus nailed his front quarter panel and wheel. He spun and on the rebound also hit my rear quarter panel passenger side. My air bags didnt go off (likely due to no passenger weight and impact on passenger side) and my crash response didnt go off either. I had to push the emergency button manually. While I have a shoulder/neck injury (soft tissue damages legally restricted to 4,000 in Alberta by law) my bigger concern is that to my estimation, my damages are around 10-$15,000. The front passenger quarter panel is demolished, my lower facia, lights, grill, radiator front passenger wheel almost torn off and slight to medium rear quarter panel damage and to my recollection, no hood or windshield damage. It would seem that I need the damage to be around $19,000 to write this thing off. There could be frame damage or cracked engine block if i'm lucky. I am a fussy guy when it comes to mechanical things. I keep my vehicles meticulous so when I sell them I get best price possible and someone gets a way above average used vehicle. I absolutely dont want the Equinox back (Twilight blue2011 with 17,000km). I have a clause for guaranteed purchase price if its written off. I know it will never be the same as far as paint, squeaks and rattles etc despite what the GM body shop says about genuine parts and blah blah blah. Secondly, when I go to sell it anyone can see that its been in an accident from car fax records and instead of getting 18,000 for it (hypothetically in 4 years) I'll only get 13 or $14,000 for it because no one wants a vehicle thats been in an accident. I told my insurance company, who has yet to send an appraiser, that I dont want it back but they say if its not a write off youre getting it back repaired. End of story. I dont know if I should get a lawyer because the red light incident plus the driver was alone and only had a learners permit or if I should just leave things to fate and let insurance deal with it. Bear in mind, in Alberta I cant legally get more than 4,000 for my injuries. Plus lawyers tend to make you live like an invalid for 3 years while they try to prove a point and put your work life on hold just to maybe get you 30,000 after 3 years of fighting and then they take 10,000 of it. :<( Anyway, sorry this is so long. I just want my vehicle written off so if any of you have insight....please reply. I realize that once a dealer actually starts to tear apart the car, they can find more problems than initially spotted by an appraiser. I just hope its written off before that so I can buy another one.
No frame on said vehicle... Seems as though your a bit worried about suing this guy... do you have no fault insurance where you live? If not wouldn't you be talking to the other guys insurance if you believe hes at fault?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are correct. I am not eager to sue for multiple reasons. I do believe this will be a 100% no fault on my behalf. Afterall, I was driving home from work doing the speed limit when an unlicensed driver ran a red light and we crashed into each other. If I went to a lawyer, he would want me to act all decrepit, stay off work for months, wear a neck brace, and basically put my life on hold for 3 years while this would drag out in the courts. Then after 3 years of acting like Ive been shot, I'll be lucky to win 30,000 bucks of which the lawyer will take 10,000. I would lose more money than that on disability pay than its worth. My physio therapist has signed the paper work to my insurance company declaring me to have level 2 whiplash and a shoulder strain. I am a retail manager and while half of my job involves lifting, I will go back to work because I'm desperately needed and short staffed even though I will not lift. I am basically going to tell the other insurance company when they make me an offer or want me to sign off of the accident, that I want 4,000 (the legal cap limit in Alberta) for my injury and I want 5,000 for the depreciation of my vehicle being in an accident and thus having a much lower resell even though its "fixed". I'll sayl that I deserve to come out of this incident on even ground as before the accident happened. I should not have to drive around in a seriously over depreciated vehicle because its a historical record that its been in an accident. They either pay up on those grounds or else I will get a lawyer. I'm hoping they will allow common sense to prevail, want to avoid me getting a lawyer, and pay off the claim happily. God knows what a lawyer could find and sink his teeth into if I hand him this case.
 

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Just glad to hear that you weren't more seriously hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Tdog. That point often gets missed by myself. A vehicle can be replaced (despite the thousands of dollars in accellerated depreciation). But the guy who ran the red can thank his lucky stars too. Had I not turned my wheel left I would have straight on T-boned him and maybe killed him by hitting his driver door. He was in a Corolla.
 

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Unlicensed driver = uninsured driver? I suspect that going after the driver may be a lost cause. You survived a nasty accident that is a plus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It is insured. As a matter of fact The owner of the vehicle showed up 10 minutes later in a separate car and approached me privately and asked me if I would tell the police that he was riding with his friend who only has a learners permit. I obviously said sorry I am not lying to the police. But the driver does have insurance so I'm at least thankful for that. Unless he tells the police and insurance company that his friend stole the car I should be able to go after their insurance company. This might work in my benefit if I say I want diminished value compensation for my car being in an accident and trhey refuse. I'll just say " wouldn't a lawyer love to get his hands on his case? Hit by an unliscenced driver who ran a red light in your clients insured vehicle!"
 

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it does not matter if the driver was unlicensed, as long as the car is insured.

I was hit by a truck driven by an unlicensed driver. He borrowed the truck from his girlfriend. His girlfriend did have insurance, and her insurance company paid for the repairs. The vehicle is what is insured, no matter who is driving it.

You sound like you are being very defensive and feel like the insurance companies are out to get you or something. I've had several claims, including a Corvette that was struck by lightning while I was driving home from Kentucky, and I have never been upset with the outcome.

Hopefully you were completely honest at the accident scene, (sounds like you were) and just give the facts to the insurance company.

You should have contacted the other insurance company rather than yours. They are responsible for paying everything for your damages including a loaner car.

No need to contact a lawyer, and if you do and they tell you to wear a neck brace and all that garbage, you are working with the wrong lawyers.

No offense, but you sound like you watch too much tv and don't know how all this works in reality.

You got hit by another car.
The other car was insured.
Contact the insurance company of the car that hit you.
They will fix/replace your car.
They will also cover any medical costs associated with the accident.
Period.

it's that simple.

If the damage is as bad as you are describing, then there is a good chance that there is more hidden damage and the car may be totalled. Hard to say. Post some pics or something.

I can say that a small fender bender on my 2011 that only damaged a fender, bumper cover and headlight is going to be over $3,000 USD to repair. I have to think the amount of damage you sustained is going to be much higher than what you think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2011/crashandburned/

I agree with many of your points. My concern is that if I go the lawyer route my income will be interrupted as the court battle goes on for years and when its all said and done I come out worse after paying a lawyer his cut than if i just went back to work. I am hoping that the other insurance company deals with this that they will write my car off and let me get on with my life. if they dont write it off.......please feel free to watch the link I provided and you'll see my concern. If this was a 10 year old truck worth 4,000 bucks I;'d be laughing. This however, is a 11 month old vehicle which will never be the same and now has the factor of "Depreciated value". Hopefully this will end up OK and I get a new vehicle out of it. My insurance company doesnt want me talking to my witness or the other company. They say thats what they are paid to do. Since my insurance rider which gives me full retail value what I paid if my vehicle is written off is on my policy, i dont know how its related to the company who the other guy is insured with. Do they give me full price paid if its written off? what a pain this is. Glad no one was severely hurt.
 

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kaptain said:
http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2011/crashandburned/

I agree with many of your points. My concern is that if I go the lawyer route my income will be interrupted as the court battle goes on for years and when its all said and done I come out worse after paying a lawyer his cut than if i just went back to work. .
I am from the US so I may be barcking up the wrong tree. They hit you.... Your insurance company goes after them -- there is no reason for you to get a lawyer. Your damages are covered by the insurance company. Where I live we are no-fault and that actually mackes it simpler. But unless you are sueing beyong the value of their coverage there is no reason for you to even appear in a courtroom.
 

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kaptain said:
Since my insurance rider which gives me full retail value what I paid if my vehicle is written off is on my policy, i dont know how its related to the company who the other guy is insured with. Do they give me full price paid if its written off?
In this case, your insurance would cover the gap that the other insurance company doesn't cover. So if it costs 24k to get a new car, and the other company totals it and only pays 19k, your insurance would have to cover the other 5k as that's what they agreed to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well....initial estimate came in at $9,300 but that is before tear down. The appraiser also, according to the dealerships paperwork, didnt account for the rear quarter panel damage which will add about 2,500. He was obviously so fixated on the front quarter that he missed the rear damage all together.So I'm at approx 12,000 damage and they havent even started disassembling the equinox yet. There may be hope for a write off if theres frame, suspension, or motor damage.
 

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kaptain said:
well....initial estimate came in at $9,300 but that is before tear down. The appraiser also, according to the dealerships paperwork, didnt account for the rear quarter panel damage which will add about 2,500. He was obviously so fixated on the front quarter that he missed the rear damage all together.So I'm at approx 12,000 damage and they havent even started disassembling the equinox yet. There may be hope for a write off if theres frame, suspension, or motor damage.
initial estimate on my small fender bender was 2500, after tear down they found another 1,000. Yes, once they take the car apart, there are many things they can find to bring the cost up. Good luck.
 
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