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How Much Damage is Likely?

A few nights ago, I was merrily driving along a major interstate in the middle lane at about 60mph. Out of nowhere, a very stupid driver doing at least 80mph or higher attempted to switch from the right lane to the far left lane. While doing so, this ding-dong ran into the back left rear of my car. Of course he didn’t stop, but I had to as my car was hit! Anywho, here is the visible damage: a broken tail light, left and rear quarter panel damage, bumper damage, and what has me most worried, busted tire and bent rim.

Is it possible that there is structural damage? (I’m thinking if the car bent my tire rim, what else could have been hit?) AND About how much will this hit and run cost me? I have insurance, but I’m hoping the damage doesn’t cost more than my car’s worth.

What year is your Spectra? Sorry to say, it sounds like you likely do have structural damage, very little impact is required for that. You should contact your agent immediately, and file a police hit and run report (may be required by your insurance).

An estimate from the body shop is the only way to find out how bad it really is.

It is a 2006. I have talked to my insurance, and filed a police report the night it happened. (Luckily, I got the plate number - the cop ran it through and referred to the person as a “he”. I will get a copy of the report on Monday.) I plan on taking it to the shop tomorrow for an appraisal…I guess I was trying to find a good guesstimate, if you will, and figure out a plan in the event that it is beyond repair. I have attached pictures, if that helps…

If you were in the middle lane and the other driver was to the right of you, why is your damage on the left side of your car? Perhaps there is an explaination but I was expecting the damage to be on your right side.

You have to have these details sorted out, espically when talking to the police.

I don’t understand the rim damage, I would put $1200 minimum. I would think there is no frame damage, but that is what adjusters are for.

The body damage may not be a big deal but a wheel rim that is bent that bad usually means there is suspension damage also. (trailing arm, hub, etc, etc.)

If you had a description, or plate number, of the vehicle that hit you, you can go after them for your deductible.
Take it to a couple body shops and have them give you an estimate, you might be surprised

First let me state I do not believe your story. First wrong side damage, second that rim damage is clearly not from someone hitting you, it would be bent towards the inside. So my question is what really happened? The rim damage is classic “I ran over something”. Looks to me like you ran over a curb and sideswiped something. Sorry but that’s what I see.

Yes, because an anonymous someone from the internet whom we have no way of knowing has the incentive to lie about something she’s seeking advice over. . .

It’s quite likely that she did run over something, after getting hit. The rim damage could be caused by a blown tire, a locked wheel (brakes), and a sideways slide, which is exactly what likely happened after she got hit on the rear 1/4. Further, the rest of the damage including the paint transfer is consistent with getting hit by the back end of a fishtailing car, which explains why she was hit on the left by the guy who was changing to the lane left of her. This looks like a fairly classic “I got smacked by a drunk driver” scenario to me.

That said, the OP says she has the guy’s plate number. If she’s lying, the cops will know, because they will go look at his car and discover either very recent bodywork to the right rear 1/4 or evidence that he hit her car. So we don’t have to worry about that.

And the OP doesn’t have to worry about getting it fixed, because the other guy’s on the hook for it. If he doesn’t have insurance, you can sue him personally for the damages.

Perhaps the motive for telling a bit of a story here is the OP does not want to be scolded for her/his driving error but wants advice. The story clearly has holes in it, that should not prevent us from giving advice.

For example,when people post for advice on how to fix engines they have damaged by driving on without oil or overheating the thread easily diverts to commenting on the OP’s decision. This is OK in my book (the diversion) if the OP is seeking to blame someone.

I left off most of the story because I wanted a “guesstimate” but here it goes:

I was in the center lane of a 3 lane highway because the right lane was blocked due to an earlier accident. I had been in my lane of travel for a good minute, when a car traveling in the right lane (which was blocked about 1/4 mile ahead due to the accident) at about 85-90 mph decided he needed to get into the far left lane. While he was changing from the right lane to the far left lane, he hit me. I’m surprised he kept control of his car, but he did. Anywho, a nice couple that saw the accident followed this guy and got his plate number AND came back to check on me. They are also witnesses in my accident. I filed a police report and am praying this person has insurance. There is a reason they ran… Like I said, I didn’t want to post the story because this is a car talk forum - not a sob story forum. Anyways, feel free to think whatever you want about me, I don’t mind. :0)

Please REREAD the post - 3 lane highway, I was in the center lane, driver attempted to go from right lane to far left lane which means he’d have to A.) Hover above the center lane? B.) Fly over the center lane or C.) traverse the center lane while driving. Sorry, but you undermine my credibility by your lack of attention and logical thinking.

Why does the damage to your car not support your story? that’s the explaination you should provide.

I don’t know how to make it any clearer - 3 lane highway. I’m in the center lane. Man in right hand lane doing 80-90mph notices that right lane is blocked ahead. He decides to get over to the far left lane. While getting over, the FRONT RIGHT part of his car HITS MY BACK LEFT! He zooms off, obviously with little damage to his car, and leaves me possibly dying on the side of the road. That’s ok, because I have his plate #. I hope this helps explain it better.

I will say, at those speeds, it’s possible the guy overshot the lane, and hit her while fishtailing and attempting to retain control of the vehicle.

Shadowfax - thanks. I believe he was drunk, but his front car hit me from behind. He passed behind me. Damage will be to his front right corner. Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I just came here for some car advice. And you can bet your bottom dollar I will be in constant contact with the police until they get the accident report written up. I still have no way to tell if he has insurance.

He would hit your right rear not your left rear if he was comming from your right.

I’m confused as seems to be other people… If you are traveling in the center lane. The vehicle that hit you at a high rate of speed wants to move to the lane emmediatly on your left from the far right lane… That means the damage should be on the RIGHT side of your vehicle. Not the left. As you stated: “…attempted to switch from the right lane to the far left lane.” Was the vehicle fish tailing as someone else suggested, or, please don’t take this wrong as I do it all the time, did you get your right and left mixed up?

Even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, your car insurance will cover this.

He ran into my left rear side with his front right part of the car. He was passing from BEHIND me. He hit me as he was getting into the far left lane. I was still in the center lane. Gee whiz, PLEASE tell me that makes sense… Anyway, about how much damage do you think, including the wheel rim? Thanks!