Scariest day ever.

question fear

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 10, 2003
2,273
77
The "Garden" state
I got into a car accident yesterday...was rear ended on a busy street, the car spun and smashed into a fire hydrant. I have never been as scared as I was as the car spun 180 degrees into the hydrant...there was this weird pause where I wondered if water would start spraying out (it didn't.) Luckily the other driver and I are both ok, no major injuries and everyone was alright.
My car is another story. It is at a body shop right now awaiting appraisal...the rear bumper was torn off completely (it actually landed a good 2-3 ft from the car), the left rear tire was bent and it was unclear if that was the tire or the axle, the driver's side door is dented up from the fire hydrant, the tow truck messed up the front bumper, and it was leaking transmission fluid.
I know my insurance company probably has a scale they use to determine if the car is totaled; it is a 2000 nissan altima with less than 30,000 miles on it. I have little concept of how much the sort of repairs in question will cost; does anyone have experience with auto body repairs and understand the cost involved (roughly) in the repairs that my car would need?
On the upside, my insurance company has been fantastic so far; they arranged a rental for me while I was reporting the accident, and have been very friendly and extremely calm.
It's just on my mind (obviously) and I thought I'd post here...it sucks that this happened on a friday, it means I am stuck waiting until Mon/Tues to hear the outcome of the appraisal. Worse, I am moving this week, and if the car will be repaired I'll need to come back for it or arrange for a friend to drive it down to me.
But, again, the most important thing is that everyone is alright and we all walked away intact.
Anyone have any nasty accident stories to share/commiserate?
 

cslewis

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2004
812
0
40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W
question fear said:
I got into a car accident yesterday...was rear ended on a busy street, the car spun and smashed into a fire hydrant. I have never been as scared as I was as the car spun 180 degrees into the hydrant...there was this weird pause where I wondered if water would start spraying out (it didn't.) Luckily the other driver and I are both ok, no major injuries and everyone was alright.
My car is another story. It is at a body shop right now awaiting appraisal...the rear bumper was torn off completely (it actually landed a good 2-3 ft from the car), the left rear tire was bent and it was unclear if that was the tire or the axle, the driver's side door is dented up from the fire hydrant, the tow truck messed up the front bumper, and it was leaking transmission fluid.
I know my insurance company probably has a scale they use to determine if the car is totaled; it is a 2000 nissan altima with less than 30,000 miles on it. I have little concept of how much the sort of repairs in question will cost; does anyone have experience with auto body repairs and understand the cost involved (roughly) in the repairs that my car would need?
On the upside, my insurance company has been fantastic so far; they arranged a rental for me while I was reporting the accident, and have been very friendly and extremely calm.
It's just on my mind (obviously) and I thought I'd post here...it sucks that this happened on a friday, it means I am stuck waiting until Mon/Tues to hear the outcome of the appraisal. Worse, I am moving this week, and if the car will be repaired I'll need to come back for it or arrange for a friend to drive it down to me.
But, again, the most important thing is that everyone is alright and we all walked away intact.
Anyone have any nasty accident stories to share/commiserate?
Wow. Terribly sorry about your accident, but it sounds like your insurance company will be forgiving.

On the 6th, someone cut my neighbor's brake cables. It was only their quick thinking that saved them from rear-ending a car-- they pulled into a meadow and let the car slow down.

Sheesh.
 

medea

macrumors 68030
Aug 4, 2002
2,517
0
Madison, Wi
It sounds like you were the one rear-ended. Wouldn't it be the other persons insurance that would cover the damages?
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
medea said:
It sounds like you were the one rear-ended. Wouldn't it be the other persons insurance that would cover the damages?
No, under most policies, your company covers all the arragements for you, then THEY collect from the other company if necessary. The whole idea is that you don't have to chase around after the responsible party and you don't have to prove who is at fault in order to get a claim.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_fault_insurance
 

question fear

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 10, 2003
2,273
77
The "Garden" state
medea said:
It sounds like you were the one rear-ended. Wouldn't it be the other persons insurance that would cover the damages?
Massachusetts is a no-fault state, so for right now my insurance company is looking at it...my understanding is that my insurance company and the other driver's company work it out themselves but MA doesn't assign blame. The police don't even file the report, the individual parties do..at least that's what the police officer there told me to do...it confuses the hell out of me, but my insurance company seems to understand, and that's what matters.

EDIT: Thanks, Canada Ram, for the excellent link and better explanation!
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,893
31
Northern Virginia
Hope that time has not yet given you any aches and pains yet from the accident.

Just be careful on what you say to the insurance company. Something as innocent as saying "I am fine", when asked about injuries - can be used against you down the road.

As to the car, most insurance companies IIRC use 80% of the NADA sales price to determine if a vehicle is totaled or not.
 

question fear

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 10, 2003
2,273
77
The "Garden" state
Chip NoVaMac said:
Hope that time has not yet given you any aches and pains yet from the accident.

Just be careful on what you say to the insurance company. Something as innocent as saying "I am fine", when asked about injuries - can be used against you down the road.

As to the car, most insurance companies IIRC use 80% of the NADA sales price to determine if a vehicle is totaled or not.
good advice, thanks!

No real aches and pains...it was tough to determine because I had been white water rafting and camping during the week. My neck was a bit sore, but that's gone away so I am thinking it might have been from the camping pillow (I had come back thursday night, so it wasn't atypical to be sore on friday from that.) In any case, it is now two days since the accident and I am still feeling good, and my neck feels fine, so I am very lucky. I was wearing my seatbelt, which was probably what protected me the most. :)

The 80% figure is good to know...I would assume it's the retail price not the trade-in one? According to NADA my car is worth (roughly) $9600.00, so it looks like it would have to total up at 7000 or more to be worth totaling it. So I think it's waiting to see what happened to the transmission and the bent tire, since those are the wild card repairs that could tip the monetary scales.