Hit by a Donut Truck - Hidden Damage to Fiat in Rear End Collision

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fiat

#1

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So I’ve got a 2013 Fiat Lounge with around 30,000 miles. I was rear ended by a large donut delivery truck (27 foot truck). Immediately after the collision the car was drivable but was making a grinding noise, the alignment seemed off, and the brakes weren’t working the same. It was driving rough. Also, on the way to body shop, wind was coming in driver side door/window. None of this was present before. The car has just under 30,000 miles and was garaged and received all maintenance. It was in great shape and running well before I was hit. The insurance approved body damage repair of around $3,000, but won’t approve even an evaluation of hidden mechanical damage. I am taking it to the dealer to get checked out for hidden mechanical damage - what should I ask them to do/look for? I’m a nurse, not a mechanic, but I know my car isn’t driving the same as it did before. BTW, I was stopped at red light when he hit be from behind. I had my foot on the brake, car was in drive. I was shoved forward quite a distance, and have some significant injuries myself from the accident - so it was a pretty hefty impact.


#2

Everything you posted here is the responsibility of the insurance company. I can’t comment on the laws of your state, or country for that matter. The donut truck (mmm DOnuts…) hit you. It is presumably their fault (you didn’t back up into the truck, right?) and depending on insurance laws for where you live, the responsibility of the insurance company to “make you whole” again. Meaning they fix your car back to what it was before it was hit.

That said, tell the dealer what you told us. Tell them what happened and what you see, feel and hear and let them search for what is damaged. That should have been the complete responsibility of the body shop that repaired the car. Not just the dents but the WHOLE car. Discuss the dealers repair bill and their assessment of WHY they needed to repair stuff with the insurance company. If they argue, get a lawyer.


#3

I’ll bet the cops showed up quick to that one.


#4

“The insurance”

Is that your insurer or donutman’s insurance? If it isn’t yours, contact your insurer immediately and get them involved. You should never have to deal with the other insurance company. You pay your insurer to represent you in all auto accident cases, including ones where you are not at fault.

If it was your insurance, the body shop will let you and your insurer know if there is anything else that needs attention. Once you are notified repairs are finished, you don’t have to accept it if it isn’t as good as new. My daughter had the front end on her car repaired out of state at college. When she got home, I drove the car and the front right wheel made a lot of noise. We got our insurer involved again and took it to a local body shop they work with. It turned out the wheel bearing was bad. The car was almost new like yours. The insurer, the body shop at home and the body shop at school had a teleconference and they decided the repair was missed and it cost us nothing the get the wheel bearing replaced.


#5

I wanted to clarify something here. This is how it works in the USA, and I have no doubt it works like this in other developed countries:

It is the responsible of the donut company to make OP whole. The company will either have bought insurance, or will be self-insured.

If the company bought insurance, and that insurance company is saying “you only get $3,000” and the repair costs more than that, that doesn’t mean that OP is screwed, it means the donut company is screwed, because the donut company must still make OP whole.

Should the donut company be unable to pay, and the donut company’s insurance company be unwilling to pay, then OP can go after the assets of the donut company. Don’t have the cash to pay? Gee, that’s a nice donut hole punch you’ve got there - it’s now mine, so I can sell it to recover my losses. And we’ll keep doing that with more of the donut company’s assets until the losses are compensated.

In short, OP, do not roll over and think that you get whatever the insurance company gives you and then have to deal with the rest. This is the donut company’s fault, and they owe you restitution whether their insurance company pays it, or they do.


#6

Whether the OP is talking about her own insurance or the insurance of the doughnut truck, that is not how it is supposed to work. If that insurance company persists in trying to shortchange you, then filing a complaint with your state’s Insurance Commissioner should be your next step. All too many people fail to avail themselves of the help that is available from the government entities that we pay for, and I think that it is just a shame that more people don’t avail themselves of the FREE help that is available.

Even though it is not on the same level as the OP’s damages, I have been able to extract triple damages from my phone company (Verizon) on two occasions, simply by filing a complaint with the NJ Board of Public Utilities. Suddenly, instead of my service outages being ignored by Verizon, I had one of their supervisors phoning me to try to placate me and to try to short-circuit my complaint with the state authorities. In both cases, I “convinced” Verizon to give me three months of free phone service for each of their long-term service outages.

If you are as savvy as I am, you can likely get a friendly decision from your state’s Insurance Commissioner.


#7

With most of it already said here, I like to add that you might also be able to claim “diminished value”. Cars that have been in an accident typically sell for less than cars that have not. You can get an appraisal from an independent appraiser and file the claim with the insurance company. Look in your yellow pages or Google for one in your area. You might be surprised how much you might be able to claim.


#8

Just sight unseen but from what you describe I don’t think $3000 is going to come close to covering the damage. Your front door is sprung so that means the body itself has been pushed out of shape all the way at least to the front door. That’s substantial body damage. With the potential of other mechanical damage, I think you might be looking at a total loss actually.

At any rate make sure you get a full estimate from a good shop and don’t settle until any hidden damage identified or at least acknowledged. If you have collision coverage you can just deal with your own agent and they will go after the other driver.


#9

You cannot believe the car lawyer commercials, It depends on the coverage f the other driver. Wife got rear ended sitting at a stoplight, Our insurance company picked up the bills, the other insurance company would not even respond to anything even our insurance company. After a year wife was like I am going to a lawyer. Lawyer recommended by Chiropractor, and her friends, 3 years and the lawyer is like after medical bills you are looking at 4 or 5 grand, and American General the hitters insurance, I am not sure what is going on because everything goes through the lawyer first. Spinal Dr. recommended fusion, she does not want to do, She has pain and headaches and no help, and no money.
We even had to pay cash deductible for the car repair!


#10

As I replied to an earlier post, I have 30 plus years of auto insurance experience, and I agree with jtsanders. Contact your insurance company. They will refer your to one of their favored body shops, who should offer a lifetime warranty on repairs. If, for any reason, you don’t like that shop say so.

You will have to pay your deductible, but if your company recovers any money from the other carrier, you are reimbursed first. My neighbor owns and operates a 26000 square foot body shop. They are approved by several large carriers. They will not accept work from a few highly advertised insurance companies, as they are so difficult to deal with.

Therefore, let your company handle it.Your carrier should also be able to provide a discounted car rental rate, even if you do not have rental reimbursement on your policy. Again, you may have to pay up front, but will be reimbursed. Its all negotiable. When my car was hit in the rear and totaled; my carrier paid for the rental car upfront; paid my limited medical costs, without my asking; and paid more for my car when I asked for it.


#11

Never mind the damage to your car…did they offer you free donuts for life?


#12

So from an insurance adjuster standpoint, do you think $3000 is going to come close to covering the cost with the front door sprung?