My Very First Car Accident!

Do I get a card for this occasion? :smiley:

I was driving to work when someone wasn’t paying attention as they came out of the gas station and hit the back/side of my car and scraped a good amount of paint from it.

Startled and a bit shaken, I got out of my car a bit down the road, accidentally locked my keys in the car, and inspected damage. The couple in the SUV that hit me was very apologetic, and the woman driving accepted full responsibility, gave me her phone number and some info, as well as the information for a body shop she uses. She’ll be paying for all damages, so no need for me to go to my insurance company, so no need for higher payments. Phew.

Got the estimate, and it’ll be about $988.64. Yikes. Still, I’m glad she accepted responsibility and will be helping me out here.

And my mother seemed to know their family, apparently they’re very well-off.

No injuries on my side, too, thank goodness. I don’t need my neck to be any more screwed up than it already is.

So. How are you feeling today?

Before you get the damage repaired, PHOTGRAPH the damage and get a copy of the repair estimate. Have her pay you the face amount of the estimate before the work starts.

It’s not at all uncommon for the actual cost to repair to exceed the initial estimate. By having photographs of the damage, a copy of the estimate and a copy of her check to you, you have something to give to her insurance company when she refuses to pay the supplement estimate (reflecting the actual cost of the repair). Without this documentation, her insurance company can look at you and say, “What damage?”

Follow all the advice **Indigo Montoya **gives. All of it.

Well, the advice in the previous post, at least.

The estimate for repairs to my car after it was rear-ended was $1,800. This was based on a quick visual inspection of the outside damage. Once they got it apart they found there was some bent metal (not the frame). There was also an antenna booster behind the bumper that was smashed. Actual cost to the guy’s insurance company was nearly five kilobucks.

But no worries, we can get that sucker repaired for you in just, what? Seven years?

Ha! Actually it took them three weeks.

I got a copy of the estimate yesterday, when I took it to the body shop. The body shop has her name on file since she was currently working with them anyway for something else at the time, and it’ll be billed to her account that she has with them. Since it’ll be put on her account there, do I need to still get the cheque/money from her up-front, since it’ll be coming straight out of her account at the body shop? No money will be coming from my pocket at all.

I’ll stop by Wal-Mart and get a cheap disposable camera for the pictures. I don’t think using pictures from my cellphone will count…will it?

Oh, and today I’m feeling fine. No injuries or anything. It was a small blow to the back/side, so it didn’t jar me much or anything of the sort.

So…she has an account at the body shop, eh? Sounds like she’s a menace!

Pictures is pictures. As long as they’re clear it doesn’t matter if they’re digital or paper.

Yeah, that’s what I thought, too, about her having an account there. The guy I saw went and pulled her file out in the office.

She said she was working with them currently because of another accident. :eek:

Maybe she should let her husband drive more often, with this kinda track record.

Anyway, I’ll get those pictures taken…thanks a lot for the advice!