View Full Version : Salvaged Title Possibly Looming for the Celi...

joe's gt
09-07-2012, 06:39 AM
After 9 years of being accident free, someone side-swiped the celica today. I was in the #1 lane, my nose was at her passenger door, we are coming up on an intersection, and this young girl swerves from the #2 lane trying to make the left turn lane at the upcoming intersection. Guess she didn't see me beside her.

That's not the whole story, but I'll tell the rest after its resolved. She's refusing to admit fault, even though the evidence clearly points to the fact that she is. I was established in my lane and she entered my lane of travel. Simple as that. I don't trust the system tho, so we'll see.

Side view mirror is destroyed and car is scuffed along the entire passenger side. The passenger wheel took the brunt of the force and my alignment is completely messed up. Hoping just the inner tie rod is bent and I don't have to replace the entire steering rack. I hope the control arms are ok as well. Will put it up on jacks and check out the damage tomorrow.

If the inner rod is bent, do you guys think the entire rack needs to be replaced? Best way to check functionality of the rack itself with a bent inner end?

09-07-2012, 02:24 PM
You probably shouldn’t touch the car before an insurance appraiser has a chance to go over the car for an estimate. Just hope you weren’t street racing or anything because then the rules of fault go straight out the window.

09-07-2012, 02:38 PM
Dang, that blows.

09-07-2012, 02:53 PM
That sucks Joe! Keep us posted on how this progresses..

Sent from my SGH-T989D using Tapatalk 2

09-07-2012, 03:33 PM
Yes, sorry Joe, but regardless of the outcome with fault, insurance, etc... almost certainly they will "total" that car. It's really impossible to say if the rack or anything else is damaged, but if the tie rod end is bent, I'd say the chances are fair that something else is tweaked. Even if the rack appears to function, there could be seals etc. internally that are damaged and could fail, I'd think.

joe's gt
09-07-2012, 06:03 PM
The wheel is bent inwards, not outwards, so at this point I am thinkikng it might not be the inner rod. I am thinking it might be the control arms that could be bent. I will assess the damage tonight I guess.

09-07-2012, 06:08 PM
I know from experience that the control arms actually bend quite easily, depending on the direction of impact. The outermost "point" of that triangle is fairly thin.

09-08-2012, 04:37 AM
Tie rods and control arms both bend really easy.
Even if the inner is bent you probably didn't damage the rack, it usually doesn't. The bending of the rod [lol] absorbs the force of the impact.

09-08-2012, 05:32 AM
Good luck Joe, I hope you get everything worked out ok.

When I hit a curb with my 7th gen, for some reason the control arm and tie rods were fine but the knuckle bent at the top...


joe's gt
09-08-2012, 06:49 AM
Any chance that just the outer rod end could be messed up? The wheel bent inwards (toe in), but is not too far out of alignment. I looked under the car and could not find any significant damage. The inner tie rods appeared completely straight, the knuckle seemed completely fine, and the control arms did not seem bent or contorted in any way. The only thing that appeared out of the ordinary between the driver side and passenger side (where I was hit) is that the passenger side tie rod end was tweaked to the side pretty bad. However, I am confused as that is a ball joint and is suppose to allow significant angular play.

Unfortunately I can't really touch anything until the insurance companies do their thing. I am unsure about what to do in the meantime for a vehicle to get to work. I don't have rental coverage, but I do have a back up vehicle that I am borrowing from a family member that is only available till the end of next week.

I have not gotten a straight answer from the insurance companies whether I can repair the alignment on my car (at a certified shop of course) to make it driveable as it is my only vehicle after the insurance inspections. If the other driver is found liable, then hopefully I can be reimbursed for those repairs. I can't afford for them to take 3 weeks or more just deciding who is liable, and during that whole time, essentially leaving me without a car.

Any suggestions as to how to not remain without transportation while I wait 3 weeks or more for them to decide who is liable?

EDIT: Also forgot to mention, cops showed up yesterday and she said she was fine, including telling me multiple times she was fine, and now today she changed her claim to an injury claim citing a neck injury.

09-08-2012, 12:50 PM
The big question is: Was she cited?

If she is at fault, her insurance is responsible for a rental car for you. Is the police report ready?

I know that whey I was hit in the Buick, it was a wreck very similar to this (the woman tried to pull a u-turn and I was in her blindspot,) and she was cited on the spot and found at fault. I had a rental car by the end of the day.

It took a week or so for the adjuster to show up and 'total' the Buick, and about another week to get my check. I only used the rental for a week, but if I had pushed it, I could have had the rental until my check showed up for the Buick.

As for the injuries, yeah, sounds like the United States of Suing there. If she is found at fault, she can cry about her neck all she wants.

If it were me, I would be leaning on the police for a determination of at fault. If it happened the way you say (not that I am doubting you) and she came into your lane of travel, and you did nothing but occupy her intended space prior to her desire to attain it, you are in the free and clear. If you call your insurance and talk to them (you don't have to start a claim) they will be able to walk you through the accident and help you determine fault. As long as the accident report matches what you tell the insurance company you should be fine.

Now, I am not telling you to play her own game, but when you start mentioning the word lawyer, a lot of folks will get skittish. Just like I am sure you did when she brought up her neck pain, because I am almost certain that word came out of her mouth.

And just to play devil's advocate, a lot of time whiplash won't show until many hours (or days) after the accident.

joe's gt
09-08-2012, 05:59 PM
Thanks Murg, appreciate the advice. Damage was very minimal on both her and my car. A relatively broad dent that is not very deep that extends from her drivers side front door to part of her rear door. The wheel took the brunt of the force on my passenger side, and the rest of her body scraped up against my car created just scuff marks mainly. She also took out my side view mirror. I just don't see how she could have suffered any sort of whiplash, especially since she was most likely already leaning into the turn.

Unfortunately police DO NOT determine fault in California. If there is no injury involved at the time of the incident, they refuse to write a report. They record there was an incident, but do not write a report. It is all handled with insurance investigations. I asked the officer multiple times are you sure that there is no report involved with the accident, and she repeatedly told me if there are no injuries at the time of the incident, then no report is filed. The incident is recorded, but no report is filed and no stories are taken and have no bearing on the outcome of liability.

There were no witnesses, so its just my word against hers and the evidence. With her admission in a statement to my insurance company already that she was changing lanes, I am really hoping the system is objective in looking at the evidence and just in its conclusions.

09-09-2012, 03:31 AM
Sucks to hear man. No fault states suck imo. Good luck. I have a mirror for you if you want it after everything is said and done(well deal with that later)

joe's gt
09-20-2012, 03:24 AM
So of course her insurance company denied liability on her end, which means NO FAULT. That means each insurance company covers their own driver. The evidence overwhelmingly points to her being at fault both in pictures and statements. Her insurance company did not even give me a reason for the liability decision. They just said based on the photos, statements, and evidence we have decided to side with our driver and deny liability. My insurance company flat out recommended to me to go to small claims court. Legally, my insurance company cannot defend my case in an arbitration against the other insurance company because they have no money in the claim. They have no money they have to pay to the other driver, and no money they have to pay to me because of course I don't have collision coverage on the celica. Therefore my only recourse is small claims court.

Also, it seems the other insurance company knew that my insurance company couldn't do anything if they sided with their driver, and therefore made a decision that was unethical and based solely on intentions that would cost them the least financially, which is understandable. However, I don't understand how a company can completely ignore evidence and statements and act unethically and with dishonesty without any repercussions. It appears to me they made their decision knowing nothing could be done to challenge it. Anyone know of a way to challenge an insurance company's decision?

My own company seems to think they have acted unethically, but insists there is nothing legally they can do because they have no monetary involvement in the claim, which I also understand.

Her statements and the evidence clearly demonstrates she was changing lanes and ran into me. In my statements, I maintain that I was established in the lane when she hit me.

09-20-2012, 03:26 AM
Take the bitch to court

09-20-2012, 03:57 AM
Take the bitch to court

And win.

09-20-2012, 04:18 AM
Take the bitch to court

This x2

joe's gt
09-20-2012, 05:22 AM
At least I won't have a salvaged title. lol

09-20-2012, 05:31 AM
Are you fucking kidding me? I'd make that bitch (and her insurance company for that matter) eat the longest dick of the law I could find.

09-20-2012, 05:38 AM
I still have absolutely no clue why people don't carry full coverage. To each their own I suppose, but good lord.... Most people out there are unbelievably selfish and will screw you over if it's in their interest. That's just the way it is. If you don't have a contract (IE, paying for particular insurance), the insurance company isn't going to be your friend either. Perhaps I'm just cynical from my own experiences.

Yes, I recall the last person on here with a similar "Oh look I'm screwed" story and when I mentioned carrying more insurance people poo-pooed it. It still doesn't make sense to me. Meanwhile, the last asshat that damaged my wife's MRS and took off may have gotten away with it, but at least her car is fixed and I only paid $100 for deductable :P

joe's gt
09-21-2012, 05:16 AM
Spoony, I'd have the entire value of my celica paid off in a year and a half to 2 years with collision coverage. Maybe less. I have owned the celica 9 years so far without it. It was well worth not having it. Not to mention, there is also a deductible with it before the coverage even works to cover the cost of repairs. Probably a $250 minimum which would result in high premiums.

I'll be notifying her insurance company tomorrow I intend to take their client to small claims court and intend to file a discovery for all photos, documentation, and evidence related to the claim that pertains to the accident, me, and their client. She also claimed injury, so she better damn well have sought medical treatment for those "injuries". It will also be interesting to obtain cell phone records to see if she was texting or on her phone at the time of the accident.

I'll keep u guys posted.

09-21-2012, 05:42 AM
Smash some bitchez.

joe's gt
10-14-2012, 02:19 AM
So long story short, its finally over!

I called the other insurance company and said I was going to go to small claims and cited a bunch of section codes. Also bluffed a little and said I was consulting with an accident attorney. Also bluffed and said I might be seeking loss of use damages. Got a call back within a day or 2 from them stating that they were now "reconsidering" their decision and talking with their client to "re-clarify some things".

I started preparing for small claims, even made a Solidworks video simulation of the accident.

Didn't hear back from them for like a week and a half or 2 weeks when suddenly out of the blue I get a call from them saying that they have accepted responsibility for the accident. Not only that, but the buyback value of my car is way over the actual value of my car. So I am pretty stoked. Only crappy thing is, as the title states, now my car has a salvaged title.

Just happy this mess is over with. Don't know if I'd go through it all again for $3k.

10-14-2012, 03:56 AM
Yeah, not surprising. At least you were able to get them to man up and pay.

10-14-2012, 07:54 AM
Pfft. I'da charged 'em for the inconvenience...

Now I'm just being a dick.

Glad you got it all worked out. :)

joe's gt
10-15-2012, 03:37 AM
Pfft. I'da charged 'em for the inconvenience...

Nah, you hit the nail on the head. If it wasn't such a time and financial inconvenience for me I'd love to go after them. If I was a lawyer, I probably would definitely consider it. Feels pretty good though to not let them get away with their BS. I can only imagine how many people just don't want to deal with it and bend over.

Friend and I were joking that these insurance companies probably have a flowchart stating if the other driver does not have collision coverage, then they automatically decline liabilility, regardless of evidence (because legally the other insurance company is not allowed to do anything because they have no financial stake in the claim).

10-15-2012, 05:20 AM
Friend and I were joking that these insurance companies probably have a flowchart stating if the other driver does not have collision coverage, then they automatically decline liabilility, regardless of evidence (because legally the other insurance company is not allowed to do anything because they have no financial stake in the claim).

I actually wouldn't doubt that at all. In fact I'm sure that flow chart doesn't stop there.

10-15-2012, 06:33 AM
I still carry full coverage on my Celica. Im afraid to drop it to liability for shit like this. I mean, in the end Joe won out, but he could have been screwed.

I also carry extra protection against underinsured/uninsured motorist, and I protect myself against exotic cars too, my insurance will pay way more than state minimum (which depending, can screw you if you fuck up and hit the wrong exotic).

Good to know it worked out for you Joe (well as well as it really could have, considering what happened)

joe's gt
10-16-2012, 06:43 AM
I still carry full coverage on my Celica. Im afraid to drop it to liability for shit like this. I mean, in the end Joe won out, but he could have been screwed.

I look at it as I would have been screwed out of a maximum of $1500 to $2000. Unlike most you guys, my car is still stock and actually in pretty bad condition.

I would have lost a ton of money if I actually paid collision coverage on the celica for the 9 years that I have owned it accident free. Its always a gamble, and a much bigger gamble if you are driving with a car that means a lot to you and has a lot of mods. For me it just made sense not to.

In fact, I made quite a bit of money out of this. They originally deducted around $600 for previous accident damage, then realized they had a picture of the wrong vehicle, and deducted $100 based on the correct pictures. So the overall buyback of my vehicle is around $3500. In its current condition, its probably worth $1500-$2000. Motor still has good compression, but has major leaking problems. And the car itself looks like hell, inside and out.

10-16-2012, 08:33 AM
so now what r u going to do vehicle wise

joe's gt
10-17-2012, 04:58 AM
so now what r u going to do vehicle wise

Definitely buy back, but after that, idk.