My parked car was hit


#1

Today, my 2007 Honda Civic was hit in the high school parking lot where I work. The huge Chevy tahoe that hit it did quite a bit of damage - the car was towed on a flat bed. This is the first brand new car I have owned in 20 years and I want it to be as perfect as when it came off the lot. Damage seems to be to front right quarter panel, door and wheel looks bent in. Any tips,suggestions to dealing with the other sides insurance company or the Honda dealership who will be fixing?


#2

I would strongly suggest leaving the claim open, and in writing. None of that verbal business which may be conveniently forgotten the next day.

If the wheel was bent you can probably safely assume it has some suspension damage.
If someone says, especially an insurance adjuster, that it “looks fine” then remind them that often this damage is not visible with the naked eye.
It needs to go on the frame machine.

Often suspension parts will get tweaked a little and the car may appear fine at first. Down the road tire wear problems may develop and it’s too late then to go back and get it remedied.

Your car’s value will also take a hit; especially if this is reported to something like CarFax. If you attempt to sell the car in a year or so the next owner may see a CF report listing the hit, and even if there are no serious problems, the potential buyer may automatically think the car was wiped clean out.

Hope some of that helps anyway.


#3

If you have not yet, contact your insurance company. They may help you out in dealing with the other insurance company.

In any case follow the advice about accepting what is offered and relying on any promise not in writing.

Currently there is a lot of discussion about loss of value due to an accident. For this reason alone if not for others, you may be well served by consulting with a local lawyer.


#4

also…

there is a huge difference between aftermarket body parts and genuine honda body panels. the difference is the base primer and coating. the cheaper after market knock offs rust out and are not as good quality.

insist on genuine body parts. the bearings, suspension should likewise be original equipment manufacturer (OEM)

since you didnt do the damage, make sure it gets put back right.

the other guys insurance may balk at this demand. you don’t have to take their first offer of what they say they will do, and how they will do it, to your vehicle. You can force them to do it right, not cheap!

someone even mentioned carfax and your car getting a bad report on that. you can demand the insurance companies don’t file a car fax report, since the car is NOT totaled.


#5

The fender is in the front and the quarter panel is in the rear. The car needs to be checked by a good frame shop since there may be frame or suspension damage. Also if the wheel is bent, there could be hidden damage to the axle and the transmission so that should be checked also or the claim held open until that can be determined. As far as a dealer body shop, It just depends on if they do their own work, how well equipped they are, and so on. Just because its a dealer doesn’t mean they are any good for quality work and paint matching. Look at some of their other work done first.


#6

You’re absolutely right. Actually, the first option is typically USED parts. Since it’s an '07, this may not be as much of a possibility but otherwise, that’s their first choice. They may be OEM but used, you have to watch out for that too. On an older car it might not matter so much but when their only a year or two old, I’d want brand new OEM body panels.


#7

Remember you are allowed to choose the repair shop. It is illegal for the insurance company to demand you take it to their shop. Take it to two or three and get quotes for OEM parts and not aftermarket. The scary hype you will get will sound like this: “If we use OEM we have to try and find used parts first and if you use aftermarket you will get new parts”. Usually on an '07 they will not find any used OEM parts so they will HAVE to use new OEM. Second of all, one year old used OEM parts are MUCH better than any aftermarket parts. Contrary to the other posters you CANNOT insist on new OEM parts since this is not a “new” car (although it doesn’t hurt to ask since a good body shop is helpful). Good luck.


#8

Take the insurance money, sell the wreck, and buy a new car. That’s the only way to ensure it’s as perfect as when it came off the lot. Life’s too short to drive around in less than perfect cars.


#9

Take the insurance money, sell the wreck, and buy a new car. That’s the only way to ensure it’s as perfect as when it came off the lot. Life’s too short to drive around in less than perfect cars.

That solution will be the MOST expensive. There’s no way they’re going to give the OP what a new car costs. It’ll probably cost him $5k in out of pocket money to do this.


#10

That’s interesting, I’ve developed just the opposite philosophy for my “daily drivers”. I used to dote on my cars and worry about their appearance. In recent years, I’ve gone to the opposite extreme. Now I view them as utilitarian and don’t even wash them anymore. I haven’t washed my truck since it was bought new. If I decide to sell, I’ll pay to have it detailed. Life’s too short to worry about the appearance of an appliance. To each his own.