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Car Accident today - advice on body shop? SoCal

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Today, my wife was driving the car with my daughter and as traffic came to a slow down in a 45 mph zone, a pickup truck driver abruptly changed lanes and slammed into the left rear corner of my new 2024 Model 3 Highland. We have it on video and it clearly shows the other guy is at fault.

I just got the car less than 90 days ago!

I contacted a Tesla certified body shop (Diamond Hills Collison in SoCal) which I have used before on my old Tesla, and they stated that they do NOT work with GEICO insurance, which is the other driver's insurance. Mine is Progressive and they do accept progressive. The body shop suggested I file a claim and work entirely via my insurance, Progressive, to get the repair done.

Is this a good option to use my own insurance to file the claim and do the repair? Or should I find a different body shop that works directly with GEICO?

I really hope this doesn't turn into a 3-month long repair, ugggh...

Any advice?

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Yes, call your insurance and explain what happened and they should take care of it and get reimbursed from Geico. I would verify this will not raise your rates, go on your collision record, etc. as it wasn't your fault.

Were you able to show police the video and get a police report noting fault? If not, make sure you supply the video to your insurance and file a police report if you haven't already. Your insurance will negotiate with Geico and Geico will try to assign some percentage of fault to you if you don't have any evidence, even if the other party admits fault.
Ha. So, I've had auto accidents in states that have At-Fault rules and in states that have No-Fault rules.

In pure At-Fault states, one has to go after the insurance company for the driver that caused the accident. This can get interesting because you are not the customer of the other insurance company; you never gave them any money; their customer service Doesn't Care About You, and getting them to do anything (again, in a pure At-Fault state) literally means that you have to employ a lawyer. Lawyers love At-Fault states, it's pretty much a full employment deal for them. In theory the insurance regulators keep the insurance companies from scamming one. CA does (or used to have) good government regulators..

In pure No-Fault state, you go to your insurer. They pay up. In several of the states where I've been involved in accidents of this nature, I've typically paid the deductible; but one's insurance company goes after the other insurance company for payment. When that's happened, my insurance company came by, a month or so later, and sent me a check for the deductible I had paid.

I did a quick search on CA vs. No-Fault and what I see is a lot of lawyers offices stating that CA is an At-Fault state. Um. Under these circumstances, lawyers may not be the most reliable source of information in this regard. At least one web site stated that PIP (?) made certain types of auto insurance no-fault.

My feelings: Call your insurance company, tell them what happened, and see what happens.

Short story. One Day, back in the early 80's, my girlfriend and I were coming back from Chicago and got off of I-65 to get gas on a cold winter's day. I observed a car at the bottom of the exit ramp skidding madly down the ramp and across the road/light at the bottom of the ramp, luckily missing everything except the snow bank. I touched the brakes and it was like I didn't have any. Yelled, "Black Ice!!" and started pumping the brakes on and off like a mad man. (This was looonnngg before antilock brakes were a common thing.) After a couple of hundred yards of gradual slowing, the car finally came to a halt about 50 yards from the light. As I was hyperventilating, I happened to look in the rear view mirror: And here came some old Indiana gent and his wife, looking extremely puzzled as to why somebody would stop on the ramp in front of him. He turned his wheels to go around me and, of course, nothing happened: And he slammed straight into my Datsun B210's rear end.

His monster acquired a tiny dent. The back end of my econobox was rather mangled, although not nearly as badly as your car. The trunk lid would close. This was January in Indiana, an At-Fault state, and I was a starving college student.

Allstate, the insurer for the old gent's car, tried to run out the clock. Had to get a statement from the gent. Had to get a police report. Had to go through processing. Had to do this, had to do that, and I didn't have the money to fix the car, really. June rolled around, Uni ended classes for the semester, and I took off across the Rockies for my summer job in Palo Alto, dents and all.

Got settled in and started working. About two weeks in, decided to see if I could get the ball rolling again, so called Allstate in the Bay Area, with my Folder of Papers at hand.
  1. Confusion. Just Who Are You, Anyway? Explained. Gave them all the numbers and document IDs and Claim Numbers that I had collected. Lady said, "We have to check this. I'm going to put you on hold."
  2. A different lady comes on. She verifies my ID. Gets my car's VIN number. Puts me on hold for about five minutes.
  3. A third lady comes on. She says, "Right after this call, I want you to go to this address in (I forget the location). Immediately. There'll be somebody there for you. Get moving." Um. That was an order.
  4. Went to the designated address. Before I had stopped moving into a parking spot, a guy piled out of the Allstate office there and started marking things down on pieces of paper. He stated that the outside bumper was toast, the trunk lid had to be repaired, and the shock absorbers in the inner bumper needed to be replaced. Gave me a piece of paper with ESTIMATE emblazoned upon it and said, "Go find a body shop."
  5. After looking through the Yellow Pages (this was back in the 80's), called the insurance number again and hesitatingly asked, "Know of any decent shops? I'm new in town." She gave me a couple of suggestions. I called one - and they had me in there the same day.
I think (not sure) that I had a rental for a few days, but maybe not: where I lived was walking distance to where I worked. But the car got fixed up and returned within two weeks.

I have since learned that the CA regulatory agencies have (or had) this habit of plopping real-life scenarios on unsuspecting TV repair shops, auto repair shops, and the like. Auto repair shops caught replacing the left-hand thingummy to pad the bill when it's actually a bad alternator find themselves heavily fined and/or put out of business. I understand that the agency in charge of regulating electronics repair shops has spiders on staff to properly dirty-up a TV that has had a known fault put on it, so the repair staff doesn't suspect what's going on. If they do a good job, the regulatory agency gets a working car or TV back; if the repair shop does a bad one, Bad Things Happen to that repair shop, up to and including being put out of business for repeat offenders. I suspect that any insurance company playing silly buggers might get similar treatment, which is why, I think, I got the Instant Service treatment that Allstate in IN wouldn't do.

CA may have its troubles, but I've always had a warm spot for the CA government and its regulators. The above all occurred some 40+ years ago, of course, so maybe CA is as bad a state to get a car repaired, or to be an insurer, as the other 49. But one can hope.
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