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My accident and totalling car:do I have a case?

3967 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  rlm32
Most of you may remember my MDX accident several months ago.
Other drivers fault, so Im dealing with the drivers ins. comp.After it was initially "fixed", the car developed severe electrical problems which were "fixed" under warranty. Few weeks after that the car had a major "electrical seizure". End result: Replaced ECU. Car driveable but VTM4 and airbag lights were still on. End result:Need to replace VTM4 system. I was supposed to have the car back today. When I call, they say they found something else broken, some harness. They will have to strip the whole interior to install it!!!
I wont have it till after New Years. The MDX has been in the shop for 6 weeks this time and initially for 5 weeks, so total will be around 13-14 weeks!!!.Total expenses around 19k without counting the rental car expense. I attempted to have them total the car this time but they refused. Meanwhile, they take 4-5 days each time to approve any repairs and when they approve it, they use the slowest shipping method available.

Im going to see a lawyer tomorrow, but to those with some experience in these matters, what are my chances of them buying the car from me (totalling) so I can get a new one? There must be some legal recouse, some "lemon" law I could use!

moderator edit: here are some links to rlm32's prior posts on the crash:
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Makes my wreck last night look pretty minor. Hopefully I won't have to go through what you have.
Good luck!
:( Sorry to hear your story. I don't know if lemon law covers the scenario on car trouble happening after a car accident. My guess is not likely but I remember there was a page in the car manual about this matter. Check that out to see if it helps.
Lemon laws vary from state to state, but none deal with a vehicle that has been in an accident. Most lemon laws deal with defects while a vehicle is under warranty and it has been in the shop for a certain number of days with the same problem that hasn't been fixed or multiple problems. I believe your beef will be with your insurer for allowing a vehicle to be fixed that should have been totaled in the first place. Hopefully you can get it totaled because trade in as a rule of thumb for a vehicle that has had this much damage is wholesale market value minus about half the repair cost. The good thing about leasing in this case is if the lease company allows the insurer to fix it they have to take it back for the residual value at the end of the lease. On a purchase you take the loss. Good luck, I hope things work out for you.

Sorry to hear about the continued problems after $19k worth of work (not to mention 3 months out-of-service). I hope you're able to get the $/totalled issue settled to your satisfaction.

I fear that they might balk since they've already coughed up $19k and the dealer/bodyshop has undoubtedly cashed that check, so the insurance co is probably not inclined to payout another $35k+ for the car in addition to the repair costs.

One thing you might explore, that I believe was brought up in another major-crash thread (coulda been the original you started before), is compensation for "loss of value". Clearly an MDX that required $19k in repairs is NOT worth what it used to be -- and you'll get whacked on resale.

Question: why are YOU dealing with the other insurance company rather than your insurance rep handling it for you? I have AAA (California) and in 3 seperate incidents (none my fault, all in the Jeep: $9k, $4k, $2k) I *never* spoke to anyone about anything @ the other drivers' insurance company. One guy was a drunk 19 yr old punk on a suspended license who T-boned me when he ran a redlight (he tried to take off, but his car would barely move and I gave him a little "nudge" into the curb & parking meter when he was trying to drive off) -- I insisted on a comparable rental (Jeep GC) and that they pay my lease while I waited 6 weeks for the car to be fixed -- AAA gave me my rental, reimbursed me for the lease payments, paid the bodyshops, and dealt with the other peeps' insurance companies themselves. I guess it doesn't work that way w/every company :confused:

Again, I sure hope this works out for you. Keep us posted!
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After I read your post.. it make me very angry..

If I were you.. I'll sue the heck out of that guy and his Insurance Co...
Also if your Insurance Co. is not helping you.. or is ditching you.. sue them too!

After all it is you that's taking all the pain, and it's their job to fix it!

Just think of how much you paid them!
I am not saying sue and cheat money out of them, but at least get what's yours!

Best wishes to your case.;)
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There was obviously damage that either wasn't detected in the original estimate or additional damage that was created during the repair. Either way, it's up to the insurance company to make things right. At this point, based on what you're facing, hiring an attorney definitely seems like the right way to go. Good luck.
Sorry to hear about your predicament...

If you get a good lawyer I'm pretty sure he or she can find some course of action for suing. I do hope that they stick it to the insurance companies. Most of these insurance companies are scams that operate legally. I guess that's why the majority of them are being investigated. I hope that you find the justice and fairness that you deserve. Unfortunately there are always damages that will show up after a car is fixed. We have had at least 4 different claims on 1 car that we owned due to different causes, and I can tell you that all the things that are wrong with this car is all due to these claims, the car is getting worse even though the car is a 95 model with 35,000 miles on it. Good luck and I really do hope it does work out for the best and I do hope that the insurance company buys you a new 2002 MDX!!!!!!!!
I was rear-ended last night. Waited 6 months for this car and only had it 3 weeks. I was stopped, driver behind me going about 35mph. It is not driveable and there is frame damage based on preliminary walk around with body shop guy. Like may of you I bought this vehicle mainly for safety reasons (I have 2 small kids) and I feel the safety has been compromised now. The adjustor has not yet been out to see it, body shop guy estimates about 15K to fix, but I'd like to see it totalled based on frame damage. Any additional thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated
Having been in wrecks myself I have learned the following. Insurance companies would rather pay to fix the car than total it because it is almost certainly going to be less money. They are not required to total it unless it will cost more than 80% of the value of the car to fix it. In a 40K car that is about 32k. Most people in here talk about paying a premium for the car. AND the PAY YOU YOUR TAX BACK. so lets say 35k + tax (here 6%) = 37,100. They've only paid out half.

Second, I have been in a wreck with eletrical problems being created as a result of the wreck. Nightmare city, the car was out of warranty and the insurance co. would pay but would have to be proved as a result of the accident. I traded it in for the MDX.

Frames being wrekced will undoubtley make tire wear (alignment) an issue so make sure the inurance co. warranties the fram job and will replace tires if they go bad as a result, but what this mean is that you'll have to be diligent with the 4-wheel alignments.

Not saying this is fair, I am still waiting for the arbitration on a accident that was not my fault to be settled so I can get my rental and deductible back plus loss of value on the car. It has been over a year.

Good luck, maybe a lawyer could help do better. In my case $500 is not worth the lawyer fees.
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Thanks for your words of support guys. At the very least, I'll try to get a "diminished loss" compensation, which I think is fair considering the amount of damage and the certain decrease in trade in value Im gonna get. Ill keep ya guys posted.
People criticize leasing as a financing option. One benefit of leasing is that if your car is severly damaged in an accident, as long as you use an approved repair shop, the leasing company can't ding you at lease return. Food for thought.
BuzzMDX said:
I was rear-ended last night. Waited 6 months for this car and only had it 3 weeks...
Sorry to hear your damages.. I guess you were able to walk away without any harm to yourself when you were in the accident in MDX. I guess that is the reason you bought the car.. be it for your family or yourself, whoever was in the car is protected. I can't imagine the insurance company will total the car from the rear end collision.. Hope you get it fixed properly.
Body shop guy estimates my repairs at around $15K. The front seat is broken as well so that will be an added cost as yet unknown. Because the car has frame damage, the dealer will not sell so it has to be wholesaled. After reading RG Womack's post where trade in value is wholesale minus half of repair cost, I had them hold off on repairing since this car is now getting pretty close to worthless. If wholesale (of frame damaged car) is close to say 25K, I may have a case for totalling. Acura manager I worked with on original purchase not in today - anyone out there with an idea on wholesale value in this situation ? I really hope to see the car totalled
BuzzMDX said:
Body shop guy estimates my repairs at around $15K. The front seat is broken as well so that will be an added cost as yet unknown. Because the car has frame damage, the dealer will not sell so it has to be wholesaled.
Sorry to hear about the accident. I'd push really hard for the insurance company to total it. It sounds like too much damage and diminished value already, so they should be saying "total" already. With the broken seat, I'd worry about other safety issues and would sell it after repair if they did repair it. I'd hate to get into the situation Womack is in currently.

Do you have any pics of the damage? I know...morbid curiosity, but I haven't seen many pics of MDX crashes and I'm curious :)

Dude....All I can see is....1-800-FINDALAWYER
Get a lawyer STAT! After talking to my lawyer, she said now that there the case for "totalling" the car or even diminished value compensation is gonna be real difficult (apparently in Ohio the diminished value compensation is not supported by law). Ive should have seen her initially but the estimate was not that high initially. Shes still working on it, though. Its been difficult comunicating with the key people during the holidays.
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