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It actually looks *better* in this photo, as they pulled the front end out to try and start the car. The lowest estimate is around $11,000 to fix it, so it is not a total. So the insurance company wants to repair it and call it a day, whereas I am trying to replace it one way or another, as it was a new car. I understand that they only have to repair it by law, but I am one of those guys that tends to fight the system, especially when I feel I have been wronged, and I most certainly do in this case. Ironically, my insurance (unofficially) suggested a third party that deals with these situations a lot. His company buys MANY of the damaged vehicles from the owner while the insurance company pays the damages and diminished value. The idea is that these three things will bring up enough money to replace the car at fair market value.
I will be the very first to acknowledge that this is emotionally motivated. Nevertheless, here are a few points I made to the third party guy:
1. The other party was clearly at fault and is 100% liable. This, according to both the police and the insurance company. They were ticketed for disobeying posted traffic laws.2. The car was NEW – all of three months to be exact. I had just completed the entertainment system in it three days before the accident.3. The car will NEVER be the same, and the body shops and dealers acknowledge this. Not only is there at least $7,000 in diminished value (according to the GMC dealer), but also that very real satisfaction of owning a new car is GONE and cannot be repaired. The new car smell will be replaced by the smell of paint and glues. I am a car fanatic, as anyone that even knows me a little can attest. My cars are always spotless and perfectly maintained. This car will always have evidence of previous damage.4. All replacement mechanical parts are generally covered by a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty – not the vehicle’s original 3/36 or extended warranty coverage.5. The car may no longer eligible for the General Motors Protection Plan (extended warranty), as there will be permanent marks on the car’s records of extensive damage. This will show up for any Carfax viewer or auto dealership.6. The car will be very difficult to sell, if it ever comes to that. Even with “diminished value”, there are enough SUV’s on the market that a previously wrecked one will be difficult to sell. That, and just DRIVING a vehicle with extensive repairs when you had a BRAND NEW one three months earlier is simply not acceptable.
Much as it pains me (and it really does), I fully understand what the laws are and my rights under those laws. I may be reluctantly singing that ol' tune: "I fought the law, and the law won..." Is there anything else I should or could be doing? Oh, and there was some injury on my part and I am seeing a doctor for neck and back injuries (the airbags did not deploy!).
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