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Strut broke through

I recently was in an accident in my 1995 Ford escort wagon. A Dodge Ram struck my passenger side rear wheel well. After the accident, there was a rattle from the rear and when the mechanic looked at it, they said it was only cosmetic damage and did not determine a cause of the rattle.

The body work has just been finished, and the other day while driving, the strut burst through the inside of the car.

Any thoughts on the relationship between the strut breaking free and the accident or the body work?

There are only two possibilities here, as I see it.
Either the accident damage was more severe than the body shop believed it to be, and/or there was substantial pre-existing rust damage in the area of the strut tower that weakened the strength of the strut tower.

In any event, I believe that the insurance company that paid for the body work is also responsible for the cost of this repair–assuming that there is not severe rust damage that cannot be repaired.

The legal principle here is usually expressed as “you take your victim as you find him”. In other words, even if your vehicle was not in great condition, if not for the accident damage, the problem would not have become more severe.

I would love to bail on rattles by saying"they are only cosmetic".

What does the fracture area look like? any rust?

I like the “take you victim as you find them approach”

Definitely related.