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This is in PA state and I have Geico insurance. I was driving to work. There was a bit of rain in the morning and around a bad corner, my car suddenly swerved. The speed limit was 40 and was under limit. I tried to control and reduced my speed, but my car swerved to the other lane and hit the opposite car. There was no injuries to anyone (another person in the other car). The front of his bumpers were damaged. My car had a couple of scratches but nothing major. He called the cop and the the accident was reported. The cop said I should receive a mail in the following week by Monday.

So, this is my fault for sure and I see no way out of it. Considering this, what am I looking at in terms of damages:
1) Will I get a ticket for "unsafe driving" or something?
2) How much do you think the damages might be on his car and how much premium increase I am looking at?
3) Will I have to fix my car? I am fine with driving as is.
4) Should I shop around and change insurance during my renewal?

Any other things that I should keep in mind legally?

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I was scheduled to drop at the repair shop on Tuesday and had the insurance give an estimate a week ago. They provided a... (more)

coolcomp (Oct. 26, 2016 @ 11:17a) |

Yes Boss, slowing down and being extra careful from now on...

I have been driving for 6 years now without any accidents..... (more)

coolcomp (Oct. 26, 2016 @ 11:20a) |

The air bags were deployed and it was blocking the road.... Not sure what good would have happened if i had towed myself... (more)

coolcomp (Oct. 26, 2016 @ 11:33a) |

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Congratulations on your very first accident. Let the learning begin.

1.Depends
2.Depends
3.No
4.No

At least you didn't hit a tree branch on the road. Of course then, you could have sued the property owner

I can only answer your question #3:

You will be fine driving your car as-is provided your car remains able to pass PA inspection.  If you're not up for inspection now, and if you have a good relationship with a garage or service provider you customarily use for purpose of obtaining your annual inspection, you might want to drop by and ask them as a favor to glance at your damage and to tell you what they think.

Do you own your car outright, make payments or lease? If you lease, they'll either require you to fix the car prior to returning it or they'll bill the cost of repairs when you turn the car back in. If you are making payments, you don't have to get the car fixed, but you wouldn't be able to just cash out a check given to you by your insurance company for the repairs, either. Although technically if the car were to be repo'd or something you would be in the same situation as the lease, and the lienholder would add the cost for repairs to any money owed. So while technically no, you do not need to repair your vehicle (if you're going to keep it until it's paid off, it could be held against you at some point down the road depending on the whole lease/own/still making payments to own thing. At least it's that way in Cali I don't live in PA so I can't comment on the inspection portion.

coolcomp said:   There was a bit of rain in the morning and around a bad corner, my car suddenly swerved. The speed limit was 40 and was under limit. I tried to control and reduced my speed, but my car swerved to the other lane and hit the opposite car.
 

Am I looking at the right pictures?  That's easily a couple thousand dollars damage to each of those cars, the red car maybe even more.

Speed limit is irrelevant.  You were driving too fast for the conditions.  Your car didn't "suddenly swerve;" you lost control, plain and simple.  I wouldn't have been surprised if you were ticketed, but I would have thought the officer would have ticketed you at the scene.  Can a ticket be issued later?  Never heard of that.

Answering your other questions, just turn all this over to your insurer and let it play out.  Your rates in the future may go up, or may not.  Don't make any changes to your coverage now; just wait and see what happens.  Welcome to life. 

The red car is mine and at this point, not thinking about submitting a claim (for now atleast). I have a deductible of 750$.

coolcomp said:   The red car is mine and at this point, not thinking about submitting a claim (for now atleast). I have a deductible of 750$.
  Submit it. You have nothing to loose by doing so and if you don't want it fixed just have them write you a check. The insurance will report the claim on your CLUE report regardless.

Red car is at least 3k-3.5k with the hood being buckled.. Honda is around 2k

Looks like $2,000-$2,500 damage. If you pay for insurance you might as well use it, your rates will go up either way. Could you drive around like that with friends and neighbors thinking you're a bad driver or can't afford to fix it?

1) Typically that would be done at the scene. I can't rule it out, but that would be unusual. The officer went to the hospital to write the red-light ticket for the guy who hit me, but that was a consequence of the fact that the investigation wasn't done at the time he was transported.

2) I expect each is easily in multiple thousands, I would say. Premium increase will depend on your policy. Some have "accident forgiveness" if you have an otherwise clean record. If your policy doesn't have that, you're probably again looking at thousands over the time your premiums will be increased.

3) As long as it's street-legal (all lights intact and nothing in danger of falling off, primarily) and, as was said, it's yours with no lien, no problem.

4) That's generally recommended ANYWAY unless you're with one of the top-tier insurers, but with a recent at-fault, your results are going to be skewed. It might not be a good long-term play to jump ship for a lower premium until this has aged a bit.

coolcomp said:   The red car is mine and at this point, not thinking about submitting a claim (for now atleast). I have a deductible of 750$.
You are paying for insurance - Use it.  You've got a bent hood, your front bumper is collapsed and will do you no good in a future accident, your headlights I'm sure will be misaligned and a hazard to other drivers, and likely more.  Wouldn't be surprised if you have other problems you can't see (because the hood probably won't open, right?).  You could easily be looking at $3,000 or more.  You call that "a couple of scratches?"  

coolcomp said:    750$.
 

  
$750

On one of my regular routes there is a nasty decreasing radius turn under trees. When it's raining, especially in fall, I assume there's going to be some numbnuts understeering at me in the oncoming lane, and a couple of times a year I am right, so I can GTFO the way in time. If the "limit" is 40 it doesn't mean drive 40 regardless.

Thanks a ton ppl for the replies...
@IMBoring25 
Reg pt.2, I had a parking lot rear end claim submitted in 2012 (claim~700). You are saying that I am looking at paying higher premiums amounting to a couple of thousand till the accident drops off my record (hopefully in 3 years)?  Wow, dint know accidents could be so heavy on the pocket...

Yes, its bad than a couple of scratches...
Should I go ahead and fix the hood & bumper? The car is 9 years old with 100k miles on it and I owe <1000$ on it. I am looking to keep it for sometime. Does it make sense to pay 750$ and then have a claim submitted for abt 3k?

 

Use imgur next time.

OP: That should buff right out.

We you playing Pokemon go?😈

coolcomp said:   3) Will I have to fix my car? I am fine with driving as is.
 


Can you open the hood, and does it still latch reasonably well so that it won't fly open whilst driving?  At the very least open it up and check for anything that might be damaged inside.  It it was my car I'd just take the hood off the car and straighten it out as best I could so it's not noticeable.  But then again I drive sub-$2k cars because I'm cheap and don't need to impress anyone.

When I was younger I had similar "minor" damage which I ignored and it ultimately resulted in a totaled vehicle.  It started when the car became liberated from the roadway, got confused about which way was up, and made contact with the side of a ditch.  The only real damage was a buckled hood and a missing side window which I was fine with.  Unfortunately the hood must have been rubbing against the serp belt, without making any noise.  During a 45 minute drive weeks later, the belt friction caused an engine compartment fire.  I did what any sane person with a flaming car would do: Pulled over at the nearest gas station and parked it right next to the gasoline pumps.  The fire department couldn't get the hood open so they took axes and chopped my car to bits right before my eyes to get at the fire.

I got an insurance payment for the two separate incidents for the price of one deductible, plus the free entertainment courtesy of the fire department, so I guess it wasn't all bad.  Progressive (ins company) paid me far less than what the car would have been worth because there was soda spilled inside the car and the contents were in disarray.  Yeah that sometimes happens when you roll a car.  Honestly it was like that before though... But I was still rather displeased that they'd whine about the car's value based on such things.  Needless to say I do not use Progressive any longer.

This is an anonymous forum, there is no need to sugar-coat things. From the images the road looks reasonably dry and the fact that you used the word "swerve" probably means you were not paying attention to the road. Fortunately nobody's hurt and presumably you will be more careful in the future.

I agree, the road looks dry. I'm thinking you just weren't paying attention (most likely) and you should file all claims and let the insurance company fix both cars. Pay your deductible of 750 and be done with it.

I don't know how it works in your state. This is how it works in Illinois. You will eventually get a ticket for improper lane usage. The ticket might have instructions printed on it whether you want a trial or not. If you want one (which you do) fill out the correct box and mail it in to avoid 2 court appearances. If the other driver doesn't show up (you know, like if they have a job) the case will be dismissed. If he does show up you plead guilty, you don't need to pay a lawyer. As for your insurance issues, the other driver is going to report this as an accident anyway so that industry will know about this being an at fault accident, so there is no reason for you not to make a claim for your damage if it is more than $750.

As for your questions about will it raise your rates or should I shop around, it will probably raise your rates and always shop around. No matter what they are going to charge you, never go with a substandard insurance company. (For what its worth, I was an auto insurance defense lawyer for 20 years, this isn't legal advice) Good luck sir

timx said:   I don't know how it works in your state. This is how it works in Illinois. You will eventually get a ticket for improper lane usage. The ticket might have instructions printed on it whether you want a trial or not. If you want one (which you do) fill out the correct box and mail it in to avoid 2 court appearances. If the other driver doesn't show up (you know, like if they have a job) the case will be dismissed. If he does show up you plead guilty, you don't need to pay a lawyer. As for your insurance issues, the other driver is going to report this as an accident anyway so that industry will know about this being an at fault accident, so there is no reason for you not to make a claim for your damage if it is more than $750.

As for your questions about will it raise your rates or should I shop around, it will probably raise your rates and always shop around. No matter what they are going to charge you, never go with a substandard insurance company. (For what its worth, I was an auto insurance defense lawyer for 20 years, this isn't legal advice) Good luck sir
 

  They can issue a ticket retroactively? Didn't know that.

Why not? Aren't they all a bunch of sleazy scumbags regardless of whether you go with Slimy Lizard or Regressive or anyone else for that matter?

Slimy lizard and Regressive (I have never represented either, so there is no bias in this post) are both standard carriers and members of the insurance intercompany arbitration compact. Substandards are not and would rather pay their lawyers than their insured or the insureds claimant.

I want to emphasize that I no longer work for Progressive, nor did I like working for Progressive, nor do I promote them as a company, and I'm not defending them at all, but while I did work for them I was the total loss specialist in my area so I have an opinion to share from that side of the claim. At any rate, regarding the person who had the value of the vehicle deducted based on pre-existing damage/condition, that's something that adjusters are obligated (to the company) to assess. Even if they want to ignore it, they can't, because the value of the vehicle has to be substantiated with pictures. I don't know what the damage was to irate_retro's vehicle but I can say that there are plenty of cars that I ended up totaling because of the (relatively minor) pre-existing damage (not my choice to do this). The way Progressive (used) to do it involved us assessing each and every inch of the vehicle, taking pictures (wide shots, zoomed in shots with rulers to indicate "a tear bigger than 1 inch" (or whatever), and then we had to input it all into a computer program that gave very exact "condition" ratings (i.e., upholstery is "poor" condition if it has "a tear bigger than 1 inch" or "multiple cracks in the leather"...I'm making that up, as I don't remember exactly if it's 1 inch or 2 inches, etc). The program was pretty brutal. 1 scratch in the clear coat would downgrade "new" to "excellent" paint quality, so on and so forth. So most of what people would consider to be "normal wear and tear" on a vehicle was worse than the average rating given to us by that program. That being said, the adjusters really have no direct control over how much money is given out on a total loss. The program spits out a number based on those strict condition ratings, adjuster adds in taxes/fees, deducts salvage value if necessary...but everything has to be line by line substantiated. So yeah, your 1985 Toyota Corolla can total from a bumper scratch because it has 250,000 miles, its upholstery is falling apart, and the clear coat has faded on multiple panels, even if it's perfectly drivable.

And, from a claims adjuster's prospective..."that tree/bush/light post/parked car came out of nowhere!" is something that they hear a lot...as well as "the car (insert whatever action here as if the car has a life of its own)..." so again, no matter which way you spin this it'll be an at-fault accident with your own insurance company. Getting your car fixed is all up to the junk I wrote in my prior post, but if you damaged the other vehicle, the claim is already reported to your insurance company, whether by him or his insurance company. Based on your pictures, I wouldn't call that a scratch... fwiw I don't believe that actually submitting a claim for your own vehicle would raise your rates any more than they already have been if a claim has already been submitted. Unless your deductible is 2500 or something exorbitant, this would likely be over your deductible, if it makes a difference to you...

How does this work? Should I get an estimate and submit a claim with the estimate from the repair shop? I looked up a bit and looks like it varies by state. I am in PA and with Geico.

 

coolcomp said:   How does this work? Should I get an estimate and submit a claim with the estimate from the repair shop? I looked up a bit and looks like it varies by state. I am in PA and with Geico

 

You call Geico and tell them you have a claim.  They will tell you everything you need to know.

It will vary by area and insurer - in some areas, they may ask you to take the car to their appraisal center or whatever they call it.  If not, they may give you a list of "approved" shops to take it to.  Some people take the check and then find a cheaper place to get the work done.  I prefer to have the repairs done by an affiliated/approved shop.  If you use an approved shop, there are no hassles if additional damage is discovered or costs run higher, also usually lifetime warranty on the repairs. 

Update: Showed the car around a couple of auto body shops. They say it is just cosmetic. Main issues, the hood is bent, scratches on the bumper, headlights are fine. The radiator support has a crack of 3-4 inches.
I guess I have 2 options: Work with the insurance and go through their preferred Body Shop, They will most likely replace hood, radiator support and mostly bumper. The estimate given by a mechanic for this was around 2.5K
Work with a local mom and stop store. He suggested since it cosmetic, he could fix up the hood and buff up some of the scratches, provide a little support near the crack of the radiator support. He suggested, there is nothing to worry overall and I could drive around and fix up the cosmetic stuff for about 500-600$. He is a trusted mechanic. If I go through him, I am still planning to submit a claim and get a check and pocket the rest of the money.

What do you guys suggest?

It's great to see two cars kissing.  It's like automotive porn.

You can file a claim and not use their preferred Body Shop.  The local shop can argue with the adjuster better than you can about how much damage was caused. Therefore, file the claim and tell Geico when the vehicle will be at your selected shop for inspection. Let the professionals at the shop argue with the adjuster to get you $3K or more. Then you pay the shop $700 to bend the hood back into place, fix the radiator brackets, and buff out the rest of the cosmetic damage. You pocket the rest of the money and hope it's enough to cover the increases in your premiums over the next few years.

dcwilbur said:   
 Can a ticket be issued later?  Never heard of that.

 

  It certainly can be issued after. I happened to me in PA. Happens all the time. 

....Yes, this could happen...

Thanks for the replies so far.... So I got around to repairing the car. I submitted the claim and I had sorted out to repairing the required stuff and just touching up on the cosmetic stuff. This would have covered my deductible and I would have come out even. I was supposed to get it repaired today.

But then, another horrible thing happened. While driving home yesterday, I hit a deer (around 35mph) speed. The police arrived and deemed it a no-fault accident. The damage is around the same spot but it is much more severe. The air bags were deployed. What happens in this case? The value of the car is 6.5k-7k. I am not sure of the extent of the damage, but it is close to at least 5k.
How do insurance companies handle this? Will the first claim be taken off the record?
If they decide to total the car, will I have to pay 2 deductibles?

This has been very bad month for me and if I had an opportunity, I would like to stop driving for some time

My friend just got into accident and only took 1 picture and he is not at fault can he still file a claim? the picture he took is the front of the vehicle but without the license plate. And he only has the other person's license plate and not other info as the other person was not willing to provide it, I was wondering if you can file a claim with just these two info.

coolcomp said:   Thanks for the replies so far.... So I got around to repairing the car. I submitted the claim and I had sorted out to repairing the required stuff and just touching up on the cosmetic stuff. This would have covered my deductible and I would have come out even. I was supposed to get it repaired today.

But then, another horrible thing happened. While driving home yesterday, I hit a deer (around 35mph) speed. The police arrived and deemed it a no-fault accident. The damage is around the same spot but it is much more severe. The air bags were deployed. What happens in this case? The value of the car is 6.5k-7k. I am not sure of the extent of the damage, but it is close to at least 5k.
How do insurance companies handle this? Will the first claim be taken off the record?
If they decide to total the car, will I have to pay 2 deductibles?

This has been very bad month for me and if I had an opportunity, I would like to stop driving for some time
 

  Me thinks you are a bad driver. Multiple accidents in a short period of time = ticket to PA's high-risk insurance pool for a few years.

WHY did you call the popo?  What good can they do in that situation? Arrest the deer?

WHY would the insurance company remove the first claim? That's still a claim. They still paid out. If you file again they pay out again (maybe not as much as they would had you not filed the first claim..) and they put another claim on your CLUE report.

How did you come up with those numbers? Your crystal ball?

RagingBull said:   My friend just got into accident and only took 1 picture and he is not at fault can he still file a claim? the picture he took is the front of the vehicle but without the license plate. And he only has the other person's license plate and not other info as the other person was not willing to provide it, I was wondering if you can file a claim with just these two info.
  Water under the bridge now, but why didn't your friend call the police when the other person refused to provide the needed information?

the police refuse to come. saying to deal with it yourself since there are no injuries

coolcomp said:   Thanks for the replies so far.... So I got around to repairing the car. I submitted the claim and I had sorted out to repairing the required stuff and just touching up on the cosmetic stuff. This would have covered my deductible and I would have come out even. I was supposed to get it repaired today.

 

I'm confused - you got the car repaired, or you didn't?

Call your insurance company.  You settled the original claim, but you didn't have the car repaired yet.  Don't tell them you were going to go cheap on the repairs; as a matter of fact, don't even open the discussion about the previous claim.  When the adjuster asks you about it, just tell them that you had not been able to get the repairs scheduled yet.

YES, you will likely have to pay your deductible a second time, but NO, you are not going to be able to double dip and collect again for repairs that haven't been completed.

And PLEASE, slow down and keep your eyes on the road.  You aren't having accidents; you are having mistakes.

I was scheduled to drop at the repair shop on Tuesday and had the insurance give an estimate a week ago. They provided an estimate and it was not repaired yet... This new incident happened on Monday night....

dcwilbur said:   
coolcomp said:   Thanks for the replies so far.... So I got around to repairing the car. I submitted the claim and I had sorted out to repairing the required stuff and just touching up on the cosmetic stuff. This would have covered my deductible and I would have come out even. I was supposed to get it repaired today.

 

I'm confused - you got the car repaired, or you didn't?

Call your insurance company.  You settled the original claim, but you didn't have the car repaired yet.  Don't tell them you were going to go cheap on the repairs; as a matter of fact, don't even open the discussion about the previous claim.  When the adjuster asks you about it, just tell them that you had not been able to get the repairs scheduled yet.

YES, you will likely have to pay your deductible a second time, but NO, you are not going to be able to double dip and collect again for repairs that haven't been completed.

And PLEASE, slow down and keep your eyes on the road.  You aren't having accidents; you are having mistakes.

  Yes Boss, slowing down and being extra careful from now on...

I have been driving for 6 years now without any accidents.... My insurance premium was arnd 700$ for 6 months.... Not sure, how much it is going to go up now...

Skipping 1 Messages...
alamo11 said:   
coolcomp said:   Thanks for the replies so far.... So I got around to repairing the car. I submitted the claim and I had sorted out to repairing the required stuff and just touching up on the cosmetic stuff. This would have covered my deductible and I would have come out even. I was supposed to get it repaired today.

But then, another horrible thing happened. While driving home yesterday, I hit a deer (around 35mph) speed. The police arrived and deemed it a no-fault accident. The damage is around the same spot but it is much more severe. The air bags were deployed. What happens in this case? The value of the car is 6.5k-7k. I am not sure of the extent of the damage, but it is close to at least 5k.
How do insurance companies handle this? Will the first claim be taken off the record?
If they decide to total the car, will I have to pay 2 deductibles?

This has been very bad month for me and if I had an opportunity, I would like to stop driving for some time

  Me thinks you are a bad driver. Multiple accidents in a short period of time = ticket to PA's high-risk insurance pool for a few years.

WHY did you call the popo?  What good can they do in that situation? Arrest the deer?

WHY would the insurance company remove the first claim? That's still a claim. They still paid out. If you file again they pay out again (maybe not as much as they would had you not filed the first claim..) and they put another claim on your CLUE report.

How did you come up with those numbers? Your crystal ball?

  The air bags were deployed and it was blocking the road.... Not sure what good would have happened if i had towed myself without calling the cops.

The numbers are estimated by my repair shop on first glance.. The repair cost might increase



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