Rear impact absorber damage

Recently rear ended while stopped at a red light. I drive a Saturn SC2 1996. It was a hard hit, it didn’t not appear that the other car Honda accord even tried to stop. When I looked at the ear of the car there were several very long and short cracks in the bumper what surprised me was the leaking of an oily substance from under the bumper on each side. It was later discovered that the impact absorbers had leaked. Does anyone know how fast this person was going to break something like this as the other persons insurance is telling me that I have low impact damage. Seems to me that to cause those things to leak out would take a much harder hit than low impact. What’s your thoughts on this?
Thanks denisek716

Is the other persons insurance going to fix the car ? If so and you are not hurt that is all that matters . As for the speed of the vehicle that hit you only a collision repair shop could even make a close estimate . You might ask for a definition of Low Impact .

With an almost 20 year old vehicle I doubt you’ll get enough money to fix it. It’ll more and likely be totaled. Depending on mileage you’d be lucky to get $3,000.

If it is a 5 mph bumper, anything over 5 mph might do it.

Wow thanks for all the great comments, this is the first time I have used this type of forum. As of right now they are planning on fixing the car. Of course due to year of car it took a few days to find all the parts. Right now the repairs are at $860, but blinkers work intermittent so that may be a loose wire issue and body shop did say that once they get it in the shop they will check for any other damages that are not visible at this time. My mileage for how old it is isn’t bad 156000, I have taken very good care of this car and mechanic states it could last a long time. I hope they do not total it as its all I have. I did injure my neck which is getting better thank God for a safe vehicle!! You all have a marvelous rest of your week!!!

You were hit at greater than 5 mph for certain. Those bumper shocks were designed to be hit many times without leaking but at 5 mph and below. They apparently did their job well or it would cost far more than $860 with rear structural damage. I and a buddy used to race these cars. They will take a beating and keep on running. 300,000 miles is not at all impossible.

Mustangman: I am hoping that once they take the bumper off they find NO other damage. It was much more than 5 I am sure as there were no screeching of tires and no skid marks, in fact she had backed up the car after she hit me. She couldn’t have been watching the road as it is a big intersection and you can’t miss the red lights, speed on that stretch is only 35. The loud sound it made when I got hit was something else. I love my car and if I can get 300,000 that would be great. I actually feel very safe in this car even though it is small. Really don’t want to get a new car and have to make pmts and pay high license plate tags.

An easy cehck for rear damage is to pull back the trunk mat and remove the spare. If there is a wrinkle in the floor, there is a problem needing fixing.

FWIW, I plowed into a tire padded concrete wall at a race track at about 50 mpg with my '92. Wrinkled the hood, nose and cracked the fender. Broke the windshield and the pop up headlight frame as well. No structural damage AT ALL. The new windshield dropped right in and the car measured perfectly square after. Heck, it got 40 Mpg on the highway after a year of racing it. Just nicely broken in! I loved the car as a driver and a racer.

Any structural damage beyond the impact absorbers will total the vehicle, due to its low value

No offense intended

Be prepared

I’m kind of surprised that the insurance adjuster didn’t automatically want to total the car

Wifey got rear ended in her 2015 kia, cracked plastic bumper and trunk gap only visible damage, $2800 in repairs, extra unseen parts, american general is ignoring my ins and had to pay the 1k deductable. May be up to 2 years for them to pay.

A colleague’s 1997 maxima recently got rearended

Outwardly, you can hardly tell

But the car was totaled

He elected to deposit the check, and keep the car, but now with a branded title

Barkydog Your Wife was rear ended and you paid $1,000 deductible? Please explain. I hope American General is the insurance of the driver that hit your Wife’s Kia. Something here is not computing for me. Was your Wife found at fault? If I remember correctly the Kia is leased. Is the insurance included in the lease contract?

I agree with db4690. The stresses of an impact can easily be transferred throughout the car and there could be subframe damage or a buckled floor pan.

Some years ago my youngest son’s Camaro broadsided a Ford that chose to make a left turn from the right lane across 5 other lanes of traffic.
Other than the right front wheel sitting a little funny and a cracked windshield it was difficult to tell that the car had even hit anything.
The plastic nose, headlights, radiators, battery, everything looked fine.

However, closer inspection later showed the front subframe was bent and the floorpan buckled in several places. The car was a total.

Your Wife was rear ended and you paid $1,000 deductible? Please explain.

It’s not uncommon for these budget insurance companies to drag their feet. If you have collision coverage, you will get your car fixed by your insurance company but be charged the deductible. Later, assuming they settle up with the other company, it will include reimbursement of your deductible and refunded back to you.

Mustangman: Thanks for the info on how to ck damage through the trunk area. Will do tonight when I get home from work. I think they haven’t totaled the car yet as it was at $860 prior to finding the impact absorbers, not sure how much they were when they finally located them. I am still waiting to hear from the body shop that they have all the parts. Am hoping there is no other damage and that the intermittent blinker problem is just a loose wire issue. I love my car, feel safe in it and it gets good gas mileage I pray they find nothing else so they don’t total it. Really don’t want to buy a new car.

“it was at 860 prior to finding the impact absorbers,”

The parts and labor associated with the impact absorbers may just put it over the edge, so to speak

be prepared

don’t be mad at my seemingly negative attitude. It’s based on experience

@SgtRock American general refused to return calls to the insurance adjustor or my wife, accident Nov 8, due to time needed to get parts not fixed until Jan of 15. It did not look bad, but a week ago we were notified the insurance company will accept liability but it may take up to 2 years until they pay our insurance company and we get our 1k back.

db4690, not mad at all, I appreciate up front honesty. I assume that the other ins is still paying for it as they went ahead and ordered all the parts. I guess worse case scenario is if they find any other damage then that may be an issue. I guess worse case scenario is I get what money I can, either pay the difference to get the bumper fixed so I am safe or not fix and risk getting rear ended again. 1 week after seeing the dr for my neck injury they were calling to offer $400 to sign off. I told them that my car hasn’t even been fixed and the dr said it could take 2 weeks to even feel better and they were kinda jumping the gun.

You were smart to not make a hasty decision

We found that after 10 weeks no doctors had submitted the bills because they were expecting a settlement offer. The insurance company was assuming there were no medical claims and was going to close the case. Heads up and be aware!