Hit and run on my Civic

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On Saturday, July 14th at 3:37AM, I was sleeping on the couch and hear what sounded like someone hitting some garbage cans and hundreds of empty plastic pop bottles bouncing on a hard floor. I looked out my window and saw a wheel laying in the road and noticed that the girl who lives next door's Saturn Vue was awfully close to the rear of my wife's Civic. I go outside to find a Jeep all smashed up, the Vue rear-ended and completley side-swiped and my wife's car side swiped, rear-ended (from Vue), quarter panel messed up. There was a wheel laying in the road that ended up belonging to a 2018 Ram pickup. All down the road there was aluminum drag marks... person driving the Ram drove down the road and parked in the lot of a church down the road from me. Ripped the wheel off, part of the control arm and was smashed up. Also, found out that he lives in a house next to the church. Police were called and couldn't find or talk to the guy -- I speculated drunk but without them talking to him I guess they couldn't get him for DWI. I have yet to check with the police if he was charged with hit and run. Guy was a kid only 22. He was OK. We got the police report stating all three vehicles were not at fault as they were parked and the Ram was at fault. Police report says he swerved to avoid hitting an animal. Obviously why didn't you stop, but that is beyond the point. At this point, and I make sure to say my whole spiel every time I talk to his insurance company (because I am ruthless when I am wronged grin):
  • He had to of been drunk
  • If he swerved to not hit an animal, why didn't he stop
  • If it was an animal, was a raccoon or a possum, no dogs or cats are out, so (sorry animal lovers) hit the varmint
So I tell Travelers every time how drunk their client must have been. Probably doesn't do much but makes me feel better. Hoping they'll drop him or his insurance will go SKY HIGH. Any ways... I have Geico as an insurance carrier and from info on the police report, they were able to determine this person had Travelers insurance (from the insurance code). We called Travelers together, filed the claim and setup an appraisal date/time. I had to wait a week becuase Travelers couldn't get ahold of him to verify anything happened. Travelers inspected the car and their estimate is around $1900. My body shop guy that I go to, who does phonemical work, quoted $3800. He is going to remove and replace the ENTIRE damaged panel (whole side of the Civic) with one from Honda in addition to the other quality work. This guy has a lot of sweet cars. Done super nice Corvette restorations/repairs, old C10s. This is the kind of guy you want to fix your vehicles. Travelers wants to pay to just repair the panel and light reconditioning. I am going to have Geico appraise the damage this Thursday to see where their quote lies just to have on file. I want the car returned to how it was before their client decided to mess up three cars. I am thinking I am going to call Travelers today and say "I will have this car repaired how my shop prefers and recommends to a condition of before your client decided to go on their tirade or you will be hearing from my lawyer and see me in court" and threaten legal action. If they don't want to play ball, I am seriously considering legal action. Another friend of mine who is a mechanic says he has done this before when a semi totaled his Foxbody and has won -- also sued for the legal/lawyer fees. Am I out of my gourd for what I want fixed? I don't have an issue suing if by any chance some of you think this is normal or reasonable? I just don't want a half-buggered botched up repair on a relatively new car (2014 Civic). I really don't know how to proceed. I know I can have Geico pay to repair the car, rental and then enter subrogate for my deductible... but at this point I really want it fixed like my guy wants to. I'd also prefer to not have to front the deductible. I have already had conversations and he will repair the panel if that is all Travelers wants to pay for, but I don't feel it is right. Also would like to sue for my time having to deal with all of this. Truthfully I want this kid to cook. Good lesson to learn. Don't get hammed up and drive. PS: Can I ask the police if he was charged with hit and run? Is this something you do? Also, how do I figure out diminished value at this point? Thanks and sorry for all the questions, I am kinda lost.
 
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Let your insurance company handle getting your vehicle fixed to your satisfaction at whatever it ends up costing. Do NOT cave in to Traveler's first attempt to bend you over. If it was me, I would follow up if, and/or why not the driver was not charged with hit and run. I imagine he concocted a good story and/or he knows someone in the police department that cut him a break. It happens. Look up your state laws before contacting the police. Maybe contact the other damaged vehicle owners and do a collaborative effort. Good luck!
 
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"Can I ask the police if he was charged with hit and run? Is this something you do?" It's a matter of public record if he was. I'm not sure what the terms of your insurance are, but I don't see why you'd have to front any deductible if you were the victim.
 
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There is no evidence that he was DUI/DWI other than the physical damage, you are assuming he was under the influence. As for the repairs to you vehicle you received an ESTIMATE, ie a cost of repairs based on a visual inspection. Once at a repair facility any additional related damage will be taken care of as a supplement. A word of warning, the three damaged vehicles are one claim, this may be a PD limits issue. Since I don't know what state you are in nor the total amount of damage to the other vehicles, PD limits may or may not apply. What are PD limits? Property damage (PD) is the MAXIMUM the insurance company will pay for the physical damage to other peoples property and the minimum limits are established by state law. For example Texas has a$25,000 min limits, so if an insured causes $30000 worth of damage to 3rd party property the insurance company will only pay for $25,000, that's why it is important to carry un insured/under insured coverage. If there is a limits issue payment will be done on a pro rata basis, also no payments can be made until all vehicles involved are inspected. As for diminished value there is no set guideline, but if the vehicle has been in any type of accident (comp or coll) there is no diminished value. Again the PD limits apply. Threatening legal action is a waste of time especially for property damage, insurance companies retain attorneys for this and have a lot of resources for litigation. Threatening the adjuster to sue because the claim is not going your way is not the answer either, the adjuster is bound by the policy, state law and company rules to do certain things, plus once a claim becomes attorney repped its moved to a different department.
 
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Ok so NY has a $10,000 limit. Another thing I forgot to mention is that the PD limits rental also, so this particular claim may indeed be a limits issue(assuming that the driver has a minimum limits policy, his policy limits may be higher) I'm surprised that the at fault driver's insurance company has not sent you a limits letter.
 
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In CA (Don't know about other states) insurers do not have to use OEM parts if the car is 2 years old. We recently had to pay the difference between the aftermarket price and the Acura price for wifey's TSX rear bumper. It's just a car; it will get fixed. Good luck.
 
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Sorry to hear about your situation....Insurance Company's are Great.....that is until you have to deal with them in a situation like this!! OK, the Police Report that you are referring to: Is it a NY State Police Accident Report (MV-104) or a local jurisdictions PD report? If it is an MV-104 (and you still have the copy) on the right Margin of the report, there is a Box #19, #20, #21, and #22....What numbers are in each of those prospective boxes??
 
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Originally Posted By: doitmyself
Let your insurance company handle getting your vehicle fixed to your satisfaction at whatever it ends up costing. Do NOT cave in to Traveler's first attempt to bend you over. If it was me, I would follow up if, and/or why not the driver was not charged with hit and run. I imagine he concocted a good story and/or he knows someone in the police department that cut him a break. It happens. Look up your state laws before contacting the police. Maybe contact the other damaged vehicle owners and do a collaborative effort. Good luck!
This. Have it fixed by your own insurance company and let them go after Traveller's. It's what you pay insurance for. Yes, you'll be out your Collision deductible until they collect, but it's worth it to have the job done right.
 

redhat

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Originally Posted By: Gimpy1
Ok so NY has a $10,000 limit. Another thing I forgot to mention is that the PD limits rental also, so this particular claim may indeed be a limits issue(assuming that the driver has a minimum limits policy, his policy limits may be higher) I'm surprised that the at fault driver's insurance company has not sent you a limits letter.
No, have not gotten anything of the sort yet.
 

redhat

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Originally Posted By: incognito_2u
Sorry to hear about your situation....Insurance Company's are Great.....that is until you have to deal with them in a situation like this!! OK, the Police Report that you are referring to: Is it a NY State Police Accident Report (MV-104) or a local jurisdictions PD report? If it is an MV-104 (and you still have the copy) on the right Margin of the report, there is a Box #19, #20, #21, and #22....What numbers are in each of those prospective boxes??
All of those boxes say 61
 
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OK.Those boxes represent "Apparent Contributing Factors" regarding this incident. Code "61" in those boxes means (get this!) "Environmental- Animal's Action"...….(don't shoot the messenger) I kid you not. If it was a Code "1", the contributing factor would be "Alcohol Involvement". There's probably no "Arrest/Citation number" listed in the narrative, right?
 
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While I'm sure that you're correct in assuming that the driver was probably well over the legal BAL, he had enough of his wits about him to park close to the scene, making hit and run a hard thing to prove and he also had enough sense to get ghost until he sobered up, taking any DUI charge off the table. His insurer naturally wants to low-ball you on repairs, as is common in settling third-party damage claims, especially when there were no personal injuries involved. You best bet might be to subrogate the claim and let your insurer deal with his. He is clearly at fault and regardless of his policy limits he is liable for the cost of repairs and cannot discharge this liability through bankruptcy, although he can probably discharge the loan on his now trashed pickemup. It is a shame and quite galling to have to go through this sort of aggravation through no fault of your own.
 

Nick1994

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You need to go through YOUR insurance and they will bill Travelers. Then there's no issues. If it's not your fault, Geico shouldn't care all that much how much it costs to fix since they're going to bill Travelers. When I was rear ended last year, I paid my deductible to the body shop and got my deductible back within the week.
 

redhat

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I went to my Geico adjuster and their estimate was right on par with my body shop guy. The adjuster even knows that body shop well. They cut me a check and are subrogating for my deductible. Might even have my deductible back by the end of next week. Was a pretty painless experience.
 
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