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Just had accident w/ my model 3. Where do I go from here?

Sorry if this is the wrong part of the form to post to split I’m pretty devastated I just crashed my model three after having a It for less than three months. I only have one photo the batteries are still fine and the airbag didn’t go off it turns on fine. I thought it wasn’t that bad but the cop said it might be a total.
It was brought by a tow truck to a tow yard, however I was giving advice to have it towed out of there myself and brought to either my house or a tesla certified mechanic.
Reason being: they said if my insurance gets to it first (I was probably at fault more than the other person) Then they are more likely to just declare it a total loss.
I am under my 50,000 mile warranty. I don’t know if that matters. Am I better off bringing it directly to an official Tesla location or should I have a trusted tesla mechanic work on it and have my insurance cover as much as possible?

-Also I have not reported this (obviously I’m planning to) to my insurance yet because the tow yard is closed till Monday and I don’t want them to get access to the car before I can get it…is that smart or should I contact them ASAP for a rental etc.?

Any answer or help is much appreciated I’m pretty devastated honestly because I had a car totaled last year and I hope thats not the case again
 

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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,562
23,582
Riverside Co. CA
Yeah I’m going to right now. Is it smarter to bring it to Tesla directly or to a repair shop?

A tesla service center is not going to be able to help you at all (unless its also a tesla body shop). You need a Tesla body shop, or a tesla certified 3rd party body shop.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,562
23,582
Riverside Co. CA
Okay. I know that sounds like “no *sugar* are you clueless?” Thing for me to not know but yes I am indeed clueless in this particular area. The fact I’m under 50,000 miles for my warranty doesnt matter for this problem ?
Nothing in an accident situation has to do with your vehicle warranty, other than if you want to maintain warranty coverage after repair, you need to take it to a repair shop that is authorized to perform repairs for the vehicle.
 
Wow, this is the most vague "is it totaled?" post yet!

Bummer about your new car. Generally if the paint is scratched on more than 2 panels it is totaled, and yours appears to meet that threshold, plus suspension and other damage.

Yeah, it'd be easy to repair with a few junkyard parts, maybe $10K. But your insurance is going to estimate the repair cost based on replacing anything that was even slightly scratched with a brand new OEM part.

So if you have the time, money, and skill to navigate an affordable repair - or you can afford to eat your losses and sell the car privately as-is, you'll likely end up ahead in the long run. Otherwise, you're looking at a payout and subsequent payback - plus tip.
 
I won't go as far as @Gauss Guzzler on claiming that scratches on more than a couple of panels will end up with a car totaled. I've had a car that got smacked around pretty badly (T-boned by a red-light runner) that didn't get totaled.. although, in that case, if the insurance company had known what the final bill was, they might have totaled it right off.

Wellyup, this is why you've got insurance, so your pocket isn't as badly picked as it would be if you didn't have insurance. Your car goes into a Tesla-approved body shop. An adjuster (or the shop, depends upon state law and whether the insurance company trusts the body shop or not) goes through the car, bit by bit, counts up all the bent pieces and what it'll take to bring it back to Square One. I should note that this part usually doesn't take all that long: The most mechanical bit that might happen is pulling off something like a bumper to get an eyeball at something underneath.

The adjuster/body shop will then generate one of those reports, of which you'll get a copy, that lists what-all in excruciating detail with the costs of paint, hardware, labor, and all thrown in. For what it's worth, the costs for this-and-that are pretty much fixed on the adjuster's computer.

At this point, the adjuster and the insurance company (assuming that the adjuster isn't actually working for the insurance company; sometimes, they simply pop on by to do the look-see) throw some minor brickbats back and forth at each other. If the cost to repair is less than the value of the car, the car gets totaled, given to the insurance company, and you get a check for the value of the car minus the deductible. The "value" is sometimes up for argument, depending upon how the insurance contract is written. Haven recently driven through Florida I noted the unusually large number of billboards with lawyers promising untold riches if one hired their services after an auto accident; but those seemed to mainly be involved with pain and suffering, so don't know if bringing one of them online would be good for you or not, seeing as when lawyers get involved, they always get their cut, leaving (usually) you with less.

In any case, once the insurance company adjuster and the body shop have agreed, you tend to get politely shoved out of the way and the body shop does its bit. If your insurance company offers (and you've paid for) rental insurance, then you get to use it. If not, Enterprise (which is practically everywhere) usually offers competitive long-term rental rates.

Two things about the "at fault" bit. If you got a ticket out of this, your run through the municipal court will be fun. In NJ, one gets points for at-fault accident; but it is possible to plea-bargin those down, if your record isn't too bad. Don't know how that works in FL, if at all. Usually, an at-fault accident will raise your insurance rates, although (at least around here) insurance companies will sometimes give you a "gimmie" on the first round of such a thing.

Finally, a story. Once upon a time, many decades in the past, I was driving my trusty '71 VW Bug south on an interstate in New Hampshire, returning from a company picnic. Yes, I had imbibed a single beer; but that had been three hours in the past. Left lane, pulling about 65 on a downhill, getting set to pass somebody doing about 55 or so, nothing unusual. There's an entrance ramp on the right; some gonzo comes flying down the ramp, gets into the right travel lane and, rather than slow down for the 55-mph guy, decided that pulling right in front of me was the Right Thing To Do. Braking wasn't an option - the gonzo was too darn close and slow, and so I dodged onto the soft verge on the left side of the road.

A smarter driver than I was at the time would have touched the brakes lightly and tried to slow; I braked relatively hard, the front bumper of the Bug dug into the dirt, and the car went $ss over teakettle, end for end, landing on the engine compartment (in the rear.. it was an air-cooled VW), piroretting and landing on the left side of the car. Thank $DIETY VW's of that age and time had headrest and seat and shoulder harness; got knocked out, but stayed in the car, and wasn't injured. Car was rather totaled, though. The Gonzo, his woman companion, and a number of bystanders were nice, stuck around, helped me out of the passenger's side door, helped push the car off the main interstate, and gave statements to the State Cops when they showed.

The fun part, though, was getting insurance to pay up. At the time I was a resident of Massachusetts which had recently put no-fault insurance in place and required that all insurance policies be written in High School-level English with no mouseprint. Or Latin words. I had gotten a discount: If I wasn't at fault for an accident, the insurance company would pay up. If not, they wouldn't. The insurance company stated that the Gonzo had said that there was a car on his right on the entrance ramp that had moved into the Gonzo, forcing the Gonzo to move into my lane; If I wanted to be paid, go find this (hypothetical) driver and sue him. Or her. But, since the Gonzo hadn't actually touched my car, it was my fault. I pointed out that if I hadn't swerved, I would have hit the Gonzo pretty hard, since he was going at least 20 mph slower than I was, and then it would have been his fault. And people might have been killed or injured. They said they didn't care.

So, I got a lawyer. Since the accident was in NH, I got given a referral to this fellow who lived and worked in Portsmouth. I brought my policy with me, told the guy the facts, and looked hangdog. He started reading through the policy. And he did a Bela Lugosi laugh that went on and on and just wouldn't stop. It was seriously scary. He had found the part in the policy where the Legislature of Massachusetts, having Had It with weaselly insurance companies, had inserted the fateful words, "If the insurance company refuses to pay and is found in the wrong in a Court of Law, they will be liable for Double Damages and Reasonable Lawyer's Fees." It's been a while; it might have been treble damages, I don't remember. This is all before Arbitration became a Thing, mind you.

The lawyer then made a Phone Call. It was entertaining to listen to his side of it. But, after fifteen minutes, he hung up, and told me that I was going to be paid. Less his 30% cut, of course, but that was a lot better for a starving college student than nothing.

As a result of all this, my opinions about how All Lawyers Were Evil were reversed. Hope you don't need one.
 

afadeev

Active Member
Feb 28, 2019
1,280
1,469
NYC
[...]I just crashed my model three after having a It for less than three months. [...]It was brought by a tow truck to a tow yard, however I was giving advice to have it towed out of there myself and brought to either my house or a tesla certified mechanic.
Reason being: they said if my insurance gets to it first (I was probably at fault more than the other person) Then they are more likely to just declare it a total loss.

Unless you plan to pay for the repairs out of pocket (I have ZERO ideas as to why anyone would do that, if you have insurance), why would you bother hiding your car from the insurance company?
Whomever gave you that advice is not your friend.
You've been paying for your insurance coverage for JUST an event like this one. Use it!

I am under my 50,000 mile warranty. I don’t know if that matters.

It doesn't.
OEM warranty doesn't cover accident damage repairs.
Your insurance does. Work with your insurance!

Am I better off bringing it directly to an official Tesla location or should I have a trusted tesla mechanic work on it and have my insurance cover as much as possible?

Step 1: Call the insurance company to file the claim.
Step 2: Insurance company will give you a list of local shops authorized to work on Teslas.
Step 3: Call around, see which one can start working on your car soonest. Pick a shop, have your car towed to them.
Step 4: Verify your rental coverage with your insurance company. Once confirmed, call the affiliated car rental place to get a rental. You will need it, since repairs to your car will take time (it's unlikely to be totaled, but who knows).
Step 5: If the body shop (from Step 3) and the insurance adjuster total the car, you will get a settlement check. Then you can go shopping for a new car. If not, keep driving the rental until your car is repaired (may take months).

-Also I have not reported this (obviously I’m planning to) to my insurance yet because the tow yard is closed till Monday and I don’t want them to get access to the car before I can get it…is that smart or should I contact them ASAP for a rental etc.?

Call you insurance ASAP.
The longer you wait, the more problems you will have.

I’m pretty devastated honestly because I had a car totaled last year and I hope thats not the case again

Maybe you should consider signing up to a high performance driving school (aka HPDE) to remedy this developing habit of braking by impact?
Consider something one of the local events from the link below:

If the cost to repair is less than the value of the car, the car gets totaled, given to the insurance company, and you get a check for the value of the car minus the deductible. The "value" is sometimes up for argument

Correction - the decision to "total" the car is reached when repairs exceed ~60-75% (varies by State, and by insurance company) of the present "value" of the car. Since we don't know what Model 3 configuration and year OP was driving, it's impossible what the # is.
And it doesn't matter. The repair shop + adjuster will do that for you.

HTH,
a
 
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Well whoever suggested the driving school last time the total was not my fault… just really bad luck. Honestly I was just gonna go to Insurance and do it the way you guys are saying except this person said not to do that I’ve never heard that information before which is why I brought it to here because it sounded crazy. He’s not a very reliable source he was just someone who said it happened to him recently with his car
Unfortunately I don’t have rental Coverage on my insurance so if I were to get it repaired it would be a long time without a car which sucks. I literally just got this car a few month ago in August and was searching and researching online for like almost a month before I got it. It had the $2k speed boost… Honestly everybody I talked toI told them it was best my best purchase ever made so it’s a big bummer.

I know I wish I had more photos to show you guys but I only have that one from across the highway because I had my dog with me and I just wanted him to be OK.

Even the lady from progressive told me try to get more photos and I saw the trooper taking pictures with his cell phone I’m trying to contact him. She said it’s gonna be quicker if you get photos of what it looks like so we can see whether to send this to the shop or send it directly to auction.

Even though it’ll be a long repair I really don’t wanna lose this car but with the expenses and everything it could be above 15 K it’s probably not worth it if it winds up being that much. Just staying positive right now in general I appreciate any responses guys.
 
And yeah as the person said not to trust a cop’s opinion…I thought it wasnt a total because the airbag didnt go off both batteries completely fine… it was turning on and off fine it was just out front right side there was bad damage but this trooper said it’s probably a total but he kind of seemed like a small brained individual
 
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Unless you plan to pay for the repairs out of pocket (I have ZERO ideas as to why anyone would do that, if you have insurance), why would you bother hiding your car from the insurance company?
Whomever gave you that advice is not your friend.
You've been paying for your insurance coverage for JUST an event like this one. Use it!



It doesn't.
OEM warranty doesn't cover accident damage repairs.
Your insurance does. Work with your insurance!



Step 1: Call the insurance company to file the claim.
Step 2: Insurance company will give you a list of local shops authorized to work on Teslas.
Step 3: Call around, see which one can start working on your car soonest. Pick a shop, have your car towed to them.
Step 4: Verify your rental coverage with your insurance company. Once confirmed, call the affiliated car rental place to get a rental. You will need it, since repairs to your car will take time (it's unlikely to be totaled, but who knows).
Step 5: If the body shop (from Step 3) and the insurance adjuster total the car, you will get a settlement check. Then you can go shopping for a new car. If not, keep driving the rental until your car is repaired (may take months).



Call you insurance ASAP.
The longer you wait, the more problems you will have.



Maybe you should consider signing up to a high performance driving school (aka HPDE) to remedy this developing habit of braking by impact?
Consider something one of the local events from the link below:



Correction - the decision to "total" the car is reached when repairs exceed ~60-75% (varies by State, and by insurance company) of the present "value" of the car. Since we don't know what Model 3 configuration and year OP was driving, it's impossible what the # is.
And it doesn't matter. The repair shop + adjuster will do that for you.

HTH,
a
Well since I just bought the car it was around 54K because of the high price is right now and it was a 2020 long range with the speed boost performance and a lot of upgrades of the interior done by the previous owner and brand new OEM rims/tires and everything. Had 37k miles. Honestly it was in beautiful condition, the previous owner took great care of it and she said there was never a problem
 
Well since I just bought the car it was around 54K because of the high price is right now and it was a 2020 long range with the speed boost performance and a lot of upgrades of the interior done by the previous owner and brand new OEM rims/tires and everything. Had 37k miles. Honestly it was in beautiful condition, the previous owner took great care of it and she said there was never a problem
Please tell me you did a large downpayment or have gap insurance.
 
lmao Where did I say say anything about an automatic total because of the airbag??? Or anything about the Internet. I literally used the word “figured” meaning It could be a positive thing that the accident wasnt as critical

Also yeah I put over $30k for my down payment.

Lastly… I have an update here are some photos of the vehicle apparently it’s not that bad but they said the suspension may have been a little bit affected

Other than these two photos the rest the car is perfectly fine
 

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