1ST Accident Help

Thank you, I hope I wasn’t too mean. Still a bit shaken up after all of this.

I’ve got to congratulate you, missawm - you’ve managed to keep everyone cordial and sensible in their comments on here. Usually by now, someone has posted a bunch of rude remarks blaming the original poster for their mistake and naivete for even asking for advice in the first place. That is why I usually hate coming on here - people get so rude. Not that your accident was a good thing, but I have enjoyed reading this post.

And being a new driver does not guarantee that you will get in another accident, just like being a good driver doesn’t guarantee that you won’t. I consider myself to be an excellent driver, and in the span of two years, I had two people crash their cars into me in the same mall complex. The first time, I was sitting in the drive-thru at a Wendy’s, and a guy whipped his car around the corner, going the wrong way through the drive-thru, and slammed right into me. $3,200 worth of damage. The second time, I was driving straight on an access road, and a girl that had been waiting to turn left across my path decided to turn after the front of my car had gone past her (but not my back). She slammed right into my driver’s side door, causing $2,800 worth of damage. There’s nothing I could have done in either case to prevent the accident, because the other people were acting like complete morons, and gave me no time to react.

I wish you luck on our repairs, and I will say one thing that nobody else has mentioned - unless you have a ridiculously high deductible, if you have multiple instances of visible damage to the car, odds are it will cost far more than your deductible to repair, even if there is no damage on hidden areas. Nowadays, boddy shops prefer to just replace the panels outright, rather than trying to massage the metal back into conformity. This adds $$$ to the repair cost.

Thank you very much for your kind words. And now, to everyone, I ask a question that I think I have already answered, but want to confirm- I have been told that there is no real damage to the car- everything works fine- only two dents to the passenger side that are almost unnoticeable if one doesn’t look too closely. I’m leaning towards not doing anything. Let the dents stay there-I’ve now “personalized” my car (and learned my lesson). I’m a go with the flow type of person, not liking to make ruffles. Small dents seem tiny in comparison with lots of time and energy spent going through body shops, insurance, etc. I would like to know, however, if someone has a knee-jerk reaction that says, “NOOO Don’t do that!”

"Nowadays, boddy shops prefer to just replace the panels outright, rather than trying to massage the metal back into conformity. This adds $$$ to the repair cost. "

I don’t believe this is entirely accurate. I have to politely take exception in order to defend the reputation of body shops and insurance companies, everywhere. You make it seem that they spend more customer and insurance money as a convenience (“prefer”) to themselves.

I believe the determination that body panels get replaced rather than repaired is made to save money for customers and insurance companies. The less costly restoration is what is chosen.

It is sometimes less costly to repair minor damage to body panels, but quickly reaches a point where it could become more expensive to repair than replace when the damage is more extensive.

Body shops make the most profit in labor, not parts sales. Repairing body parts is more (all) labor intensive, whereas panel replacement is more profitable for parts vendors.

I have managed a Body Shop and I have worked with almost every insurance company. Trust me, they go with saving money, not convenience. Also, the shops prefer labor over parts sales, in general.

Where did you get your information ? Is this something I can read or did you just make it up ?


Just A Couple Things To Consider And See If They Fit Your “Go With The Flow” Personality.

Before that, let me ask a question. Is the paint totally intact in the damaged area(s). If any scratches or chips have exposed metal or if the paint is cracked then this would be a reason to repair at this time. Otherwise rust will set in and create a bigger problem. If there are just dents and the paint is intact then it’s alright to let it go.

The dents left alone will obviously depreciate the car to some extent and probably make it harder to sell or lower trade-in value when that time comes, if that’s accepatable. I recommend getting a free estimate at your convenience anyhow, so you can see how the dents can influence the car’s value.

Secondly, I, like many people on this site, have a theory of car maintenance that admonishes not letting maintenance go on a car, particularly a newish car like a 2009. Once it starts it could be habit forming. Another little dent or scrape gets “let go” and then maybe an oil change gets put off a little while, a chipped windshield is let go and pretty soon you’re driving a beat-up car with diminished value and reliability.

You’ll have to be the one to decide. Factor in how long you’re likely to keep the car, how much damage it’s got, whether it’s likely to become habit forming, and if you’re comfortable with it.


Thanks. Those are good suggestions. Perhaps I’m being too lenient- overcompensating, if you will. I don’t like to fuss, but I also realize (and am instructed through your post) that little things can add up and create more fuss later. Thank you for helping me “worry”- because, as a new car-owner I don’t really know what things need attention, and what things are simply luxuries, (if you will).
I will consider what you have said; you made good points. Thank you again.

If your property is the only property damaged and there are no injuries you dont need a police report. You go to your insurance company and tell them what happened and that there was no other property damage or injuries (No other victim but yourself) A police report is really only there if there are multiple parties involved or other property damage or injuries. It basically benefits the insurance companies to help them determine with each other who should pay for what. Theres no issue in your case. Sometimes it might work against you meaning that the officer could charge you with a crime. Striking a fixed object for example.