Repairs after Outback was rammed by out of control driver

My car was hit on the driver’s side yesterday by someone who lost control of their car for an unknown reason. it was a hit and run. I think it may have been a jeep commander SUV b/c of a part left behind. They hit my car that was parallel parked and the one parked in front of mine, which also got pushed about 4 ft forward, up to the car in front of it. My left front end got hit and the car in front’s back passenger side. Both my driver’s door and front Left fender were damaged and it looks like my wheel was hit from the side or at an angle from the side b/c it looks somewhat pushed in. What parts of the car should I be concerned about, especially with that wheel pushed in? It almost looks right, but it’s not. I didn’t try to drive it. I can’t get in from the driver’s side, anyway. It only has 30,500 miles on it, and was in pristine condition. Now I am worried about driving it safely and whether the axle could be affected or the frame or lots of other things I have no idea about and I don’t want to be taken advantage of b/c of my lack of knowledge. What should I make sure to ask the auto body shop to look at and look for? The front left wheel was definitely hit, but way it was pushed looks very subtle, The adjuster said it looks like the front right wheel also got banged up against the curb , the intrusion beam on the driver’s side was damaged, and the control arm was shifted forward. Thanks for any suggestions!

It would be helpful if you could post a picture.

So do you have collision and comprehension insurance?
If so, take it to reputable body shop. The shop has to answer to the insurance company if insurance believes an unnecessary part was replaced.

It will be up to the insurance company to decide to total it or fix it if you have collision coverage. A reputable shop should make it road worthy, and cover unseen future expenses. We have been hit and miss, so to speak as far as long therm problems after a repair. One car after 3 attempts could not get the transmission to seal, something out of whack. After the 3rd attempt we just traded it in.

You don’t say…
You don’t say what is the model-year of this Subaru Outback with only 30,500 miles.

Barky is right and it matters not just whether the vehicle has low miles, but how old the vehicle is and what the condition was like. Age, miles, and condition determine the value of the vehicle prior to the collision damage and value determines how much money an insurance company will pay for repairs.

An estimate must be made on the obvious damages. If repairs plus salvage value for the vehicle exceed the pre-collision value for the car then it could be considered a “total loss” and insurance will offer a settlement based on that amount, rather than authorize repairs. Should that happen you do have options, but it needs to be determined first.

What is the model-year of this car?
Please tell the model-year of this car.
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Wheel bearings,hub,ball joints,rims,suspension and steering parts etc, A reputable shop will replace everything that look suspicious.

What does your insurance agent have to say about this? No way to know from here, but it sounds pretty major.

Year? Miles?

Why start two threads with the same question?
My answer remains the same. If you have collision and comprehensive let the insurance take care of it.

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There is nothing that you can get from the web that will over rule the insurance adjuster. I take that to mean you have full coverage insurance so just wait and see what happens .
You are not going to taken advantage of , things like this happen all the time . Plus you will have a time period to have things fixed that might be missed .
@cdaquila 2 threads need combined.

My guess is she posted once in Repair/Maintenance and once in General Discussion in case there were different readerships. All good, now combined.


In my opinion, that is not necessarily true in all cases. Adjusters are trying to save insurance companies money, sometimes at car owners expense, and adjusters are sometimes very good at that. Other times they should not be trusted because some are just not the “sharpest knives in the drawer” or inexperienced and could say things that are basically untrue. I have had to ask an insurance adjuster to leave my home, once. I was assigned an adjuster who I could work with.

Working with my agent, as my representative, more than once, I have overruled an adjuster. In some instances insurance settlements are negotiable, often more than one thinks. Being a vehicle owner, paying premiums, carries some clout.

Again, uninformed people are taken advantage of by insurance companies. Knowledge is power. It pays to understand what is going on and how this all works. I learned a bit when I managed a body shop for a couple years.

I beg to differ… I believe you can get help with this and advice online. When one finds them self in a new and unusual situation, advice from others who have gone through similar situations can be quite helpful.
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If insurance is involved you’ll be dealing with an adjuster - as others have said their main job is to minimize cost to the insurance company, within the context of repairing the car, of course, but “they’re not working for you.” From several recent experiences adjusters tend to under estimate initially, then adjust upwards if and as the body shop finds additional evidence of damage after the car is opened up - reputable body shops are experienced in working with adjusters to meet your needs. When our Outback was rear ended recently the external damage appeared slight and the adjuster initially said $750. As things were taken apart a fair amount of additional damage was discovered and, after two upward revisions, the job came in around $2500, but this was between the body shop and the insurance company - I was informed but not involved.

Your task is to locate a reputable body shop who will both do the work and run interference with the insurance company. Shops your insurance company recommends may or may not include the better ones, so also consult “The Mechanics Files” on the Car Talk website, ask at your dealership’s maintenance department, independent mechanics, and dealerships, mechanics, and owners clubs specializing in high performance or antique cars as they are likely to know who performs quality work. In my state and others insurance companies must allow you to choose the shop you prefer, within limits of licensing, etc.

Also don’t ask the body shop to do things to save you money, the insurance company keeps a close eye on what they spend and do, so such a request is likely to be akin to asking them to do less and save the insurance company money, cut corners, be dishonest, or return profit to you - not a good idea. While not being pushy, show polite interest by checking in with them every week or so to see how things are going, even stopping by the shop with cookies. Also don’t tell them to “take their time” - a good shop will take the time necessary for quality work anyway, but a statement like this will ensure that every “rush job” goes ahead of yours.

If this person is using their full coverage insurance all they pay is the deductible so there is no money to be saved .

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Exactly. The “save me money request” and the “take your time” one are fresh on my mind because an acquaintance who didn’t understand such things whom I recently referred to my highly valued body shop did both. I learned this when she told me she was very unhappy with the shop because the job seemed to be taking too long, so I stopped by to learn the real story. The problem was that he’d been delayed several times waiting for adjustors to call back after discovering more damage (he’d informed her), plus waiting for parts, and because she’d told him to take his time thinking she’d get more careful work (they always do careful work), he thought it was okay to allow some urgent jobs to go ahead of hers. He’d also gotten her a really good deal on a rental car. In the end she got an excellent repair, but doesn’t feel good about the experience. I apologized sincerely for inflicting her on him, and am a bit sorry I got involved. (She’s my wife’s friend and my dentist, does great work, but as they’re both in the restoration business she should have understood).

thanks–you’re right–I hadn’t intended to double post, but after I posted in repair/maint and read general, I realized that there may be ppl who read general who don’t read repair–my apologies, for sure!

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This is my experience: When I was younger, I was in a head on collision on the NJ Tpk. The insurance company decided to have the car moved to another shop from where it had been towed. I lived in MA.
That new auto body shop worked with the adjuster and all I was told was when it would be ready. I got a ride to the place and sat there all day until closing when they finally gave it to me (in the dark, in the winter).
I got on the highway and quickly realized something was very wrong (the brakes and steering were messed up and who knows what else) and drove right back to the place (which was closing). After it was finally fixed and I drove it back to MA, it was constantly in the repair shop. It should have been totaled back then. I don’t want a repeat. This time this happened in DC and my daughter will need to drive the car back to MA.
Since I last wrote, the adjuster came and looked it over with my daughter. He said that it looked like the passenger front wheel was also pushed more to the curb, but that’s all he said to her. I’m sure he wrote down more, though. We plan to talk to the body shop today. From my experience and little knowledge, it’s hard to know who to trust, and when safety, long distance, and high speed (the drive back to MA) are involved, I don’t want to mess around.
I really appreciate all your help. Now I hope you understand my apprehension about shops, adjusters, and insurance companies and why I’ve come to ask for advice.

Here are our photos. There’s a car in front of ours that sustained a lot of damage and got pushed up to the car in front of it. We think the hit and run driver came at an angle at both cars and went full force into our front end and the other car’s back end and that may be why the adjuster thought our front passenger tire was pushed to the curb. If you look at the left tire/wheel here, you can see it was impacted. Thanks again for your help!

the agent didn’t say much–just that the right side wheel also seemed pushed up to the curb and said something about damage to side impact bars.–and then had it towed to a shop approved by insurance. it’s a 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Ltd wagon 4D. I thought it was in great condition, but the adjuster wrote fair. it had no dings or tears or anything like that and was serviced regularly and we keep all records. It also has an extended warranty on it which I’m now wondering if it will be voided and if there’s any recourse for that.
in looking at the adjuster’s estimate, there are several places where he wrote to use reconditioned parts like:
20 PC 901 Wheel,Front LT Replace PXN Reconditioned $191.00 0.0* SM
21 PC 902 Wheel,Front RT Replace PXN Reconditioned $191.00 0.0* SM
Is that what I should expect–reconditioned parts? Most of the estimate refers to the outer shell of the car with only the front wheels and front suspension included and outer and inner tie rods of the steering gear and linkage.

No need to apologize.

You were not asked where you’d like the car repaired? As the owner you have final say over where the car is repaired, not the insurance company.

Too early to tell, but you could be in the process of being set up to have them declare the vehicle a “total loss” and offer you a settlement based on a vehicle in fair condition with no consideration for records of maintenance nor any consideration for your losing your extended warranty coverage balance. The items you mentioned should increase the value of your vehicle. It has with mine when I’ve had collision damage. Remember that this stuff is negotiable.

Specifying reconditioned parts is the norm for a vehicle 5 to 6 model-years old and there is little you can do, but wait and see if you are happy with the replacements. They should be in like condition to what you had. Sometimes the shop can’t locate those reconditioned parts and revert to new ones, anyhow. Keep in mind that your wheels were not new, either.

Do you have a local brick and mortar insurance agent you can call for help or some e-surance company? Put your agent to work for you.

You have to authorize repairs too your car before it’s repaired, not the insurance company. I’d talk to Subaru dealers near where your car is and ask for referrals to good body shops and ask about the shop your car was towed to at the same time. Also, check out dealers of high priced luxury cars in that area and see what shops they like to use.

You will possibly be “on the hook” to have the car moved to another shop, but the cost to you to have it towed might be worth it.

I have an Audi dealer near my northern home that is know for high quality body shop work and refuses to work with used or reconditioned or aftermarket parts. They “eat” the difference between what insurance allows on approved estimates for those parts and order new parts at no additional cost to their customers. That’s really unusual, but there are quality minded shops out there for discriminating owners. My insurance company is onboard with that shop and I had no problem taking my car in when my wife hit 2 kayaks that flew from a pick-up truck heading the opposite direction.
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