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WORST DAY OF 2016 (details inside and advice needed)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by hanl1, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. hanl1

    hanl1 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Stamford, CT
    Got into an accident this morning on GW bridge!!.. 4 months after getting my 85D. A truck hit my left rear end while we were merging onto the bridge:

    The bumper took it really bad, and even some area above it got hit quite hard too.

    I called the police, and the officer asked for insurance and left me a report, and told me to retrieve the full report online using the information he gave me. Then we all left the scene. This is the first time I got into an accident and I think I made a BIG mistake by not interchanging insurance information with the truck driver personally, as I later realized that it might take up to 10 days before the report can be retrieved online!!I called the local police department and even paid a visit personally, but they wouldn't give me anything and asked me to wait for the online report. Now I'm left with no information on the truck besides this picture I took:


    I called Geico and they asked me to wait for the police report because there isn't much they can do without the truck's insurance information or an alternative solution is to claim it under my collision coverage.
    I'm bleeding inside just by thinking about it, and not really sure how to proceed now.:crying:

    Should I just be patient and wait for the police report? (patience is not my strongest suit, especially in times like this)
    What if the other insurance company is not willing to take responsibility? (barely talked with the trucker driver but he did mumble something like he couldn't see me) Geico said in that case they have a procedure to resolve this but isn't this going to drag along for a long time?
    Or should I get it covered by Geico as collision? Besides the deductible wouldn't this drastically increase my premium? They didn't give me a straight answer when I asked them about the implication on premium with this approach.
    As for the repair, Tesla recommended a couple certified shops to me, but should I wait until the insurance got figured out before contacting them? Or can the repairs happen at the same time?
    Also any idea what repair cost I am looking at? I assume $2k+?

    Some additional details on the state of the car: it's perfectly driveable. The rear left sensor is apparently broken, and I keep getting "Park Assist Not Available", which I guess is due to the broken sensor?

    Haven't felt so bad in a really long time.. advice and condolences are more than welcomed.:crying:
  2. ModelX

    ModelX Active Member

    Aug 24, 2012
    So sorry to hear this!
  3. Festerfeet

    Festerfeet Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    Chengdu, Sichuan,China
    First of all condolences, you have been involved in an accident and your pride and joy has been damaged. On the upside, it sounds like no-one was injured and that is great news.

    I can't offer any advice on how best to proceed as I am not aware of the procedure in the US but I hope you get it sorted to your satisfaction.
  4. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

    Jun 22, 2013
    Northern California
    I am not sure how GEICO operates in NJ since it apparently offers no fault options, so not sure how helpful this is to you, but the last time I had an accident, I had State Farm and they paid the claim then went after the other driver and their insurance company to recover their money. This way, they can start repairing the car while sorting out the paperwork. Again, I am not sure how GEICO operates, but I would venture they do something similar. I think they are going to need the police report to determine if they can go after the other driver (i.e its their fault).
  5. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

    Feb 29, 2012
    Kongsberg, Norway
    Very unfortunate. But I would try to remember that if this is the worst day of 2016, you've had a good year. ;)
  6. RedSoxFan18

    RedSoxFan18 Member

    Nov 12, 2015
    Freeport, ME
    So sorry to hear this. Hopefully you can get it resolved with minimal fuss. My 2 cents would be to start the process with Geico immediately. The will attempt to subrogate the claim through the trucking companies insurance department. That will be a headache and you don't want to be involved in it. Sysco probably has and entire internal department that deals with accidents, I know from personal experience FedEx does, and that will bring you endless headaches. You pay a premium let Geico earn it. You will be out your deductible initially but that will be recovered once Geico and Sysco Insurance sort it out. And if they don't sort it out and ends up coming out against your insurance at least you have the entire process started.
  7. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2012
    WPB Florida
    There are at least two similar accidents (one my wife) where reading the associated threads would be helpful as they both discuss replacing the rear quarter panel. The one I worked from was out of Plantation Florida about two months before my wife was hit. My wife's accident was December 2013.

    The short of it is that the rear quarter panel is bolted, riveted and glued in place. The Plantation accident was mostly the right rear quarter and ran $22K after an initial estimate of $8K. My wife's car had damage on the two passenger doors and would have been several thousands of dollars more. Repair time was about six weeks with parts taking several weeks to arrive.

    Tesla has reduced their parts costs (shop recently told me the doors are down by 20% and $1200 bumper covers are now down to under $400) and shops have gotten more reasonable with experience. Hopefully your repair costs will be lower or, better yet, that is a scratch on your left rear quarter panel and not a dent (as dents are near impossible to remove in aluminum).

    Lastly, if your state is anything like Florida, you are entitled to have your car repaired and be compensated for the diminished value or the reduction in value for it having been in an accident. Using a Tesla certified shop allows you to trade the car into Tesla at a later date but the value still takes a HUGE hit. For example, the Plantation accident ($22K repair) was offered $8K in diminished value. The final solution after legal action was around $22K and, yes, that was in addition to the original $22K in damage. I have another example of a right front fender replacement that ran $12K with a $12K diminished value payout (without need for litigation). Let the at fault party do the repair to your satisfaction THEN ask to open a diminished value claim.

    Hope the above helps.

  8. Jool

    Jool Member

    Jun 26, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Sorry to hear about your accident, but thankfully you're okay! When my Miata was rear-ended, State Farm started the repair process using my collision coverage, then went after the other party's insurance for my deductible and the costs they incurred. Hopefully it works the same way for you.
  9. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    McKinney, TX
    I can echo the reduced cost of repairs. In the past six months my Model S has been hit in the back twice. The first time was limited to the rear bumper, which was repaired by replacing only the bumper cover, as no structural components were damaged. The second included a single damaged parking sensor, damaged bumper cover, and a small crease to the lower edge of the hatch, which was able to be smoothed and repaired without replacing the hatch. In both cases, the repair was around $1,500 total at the local Tesla-approved body shop.

    As others have said, it may be possible to begin the repair with your insurance company and then the claim will be transferred to the at-fault person's insurance after they step up. It would probably be simpler, however, to just wait for the other guy, providing it's going to be just a week or so. Compared to being without the car for a month, which is possible, waiting another week to simplify your life by involving only one insurance company may be worth it.
  10. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Active Member

    Feb 13, 2013
    That looks more frustrating, than if he really smacked your quarter. Shops will get the entitlement to a new one. $10k here, $10k there. Tesla insurance rates go up. Otherwise, Dent Wizard could probably do a respectable job, and you're looking at the lower price for a rear bumper (used to cost $2,300 labor parts, with parts now about ~$700 cheaper, I think).

    Seriously, one virtue you may not hear about is if the scuff is to the clear coat only, or even somewhat past it, and you opt for the "Ritz" repair, your car will be painted. The bumper is a loss, and painted rubber doesn't match painted metal well, anyway, but a painted full quarter may come out worse than a buffed/touched up scuff. I'd rather live with a tiny tattoo, than get sensitized to a metallic that could be slightly off. The scuff/bumper fix could also be a negotiated cash solution vs. claim (lost value, messed up carfax). A police report may already have marked the car's history. Either way you go, take pictures.
  11. sickfox

    sickfox Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    San Francisco
    ouch! i know it hurts.... :crying:
  12. hanl1

    hanl1 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Stamford, CT
    Thanks all for your kind word and advice.. it's been very helpful.
    Some update:
    The police report is not yet available, but I managed to get in contact with Sysco by directly contacting the headquarters. This afternoon they had a guy from their 3rd party claim administrator (gallagher bassett) contact me and I finally have their insurance information and updated Geico. Geico suggested that 3rd party administrators like this one usually takes a while to process claims, and that I should start the repair process with my collision coverage first and get reimbursed later, which I am okay with. One caveat is, so far Gallagher Bassett does not seem to have shown signs of taking responsibilities, saying they will start the 'investigation'. Guess this will really drag a while.

    Anyways, I have got in contact with a repair shop that both Tesla and Geico are okay with, and will be waiting for the police report and go from there.
    Do you guys know whether taking the collision coverage will increase my premium, if the case was not resolved soon enough?
  13. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

    Jun 18, 2012
    Isle of Colonsay, UK
    Now is the time to fork out for a dashcam install... whilst its still hurting, as otherwise it will get put on the back-burner. Even if it wouldn't have helped much here, you never know what could happen next. 2016 is only 8 days old! MW
  14. CarmaKazi

    CarmaKazi Member

    Jun 10, 2015
    Houston, TX
    You might consider calling the Sysco office and explain the incident. They might be able to direct you to their transportation department that Im sure handles plenty of accidents. In which case, if their driver has any accountability, he would have already reported it and they would process the claim. I had a similar situation. Long story short, even after the truck driver admitted to me he was at fault and we exchanged info, the insurance company said it was his word vs mine. Though I didn't have a report to state otherwise, i ended up calling the company the guy worked for and the owner of the company approved the repairs. Good luck to you and your baby. Oh and I installed a dash cam 3 days later.
  15. JST

    JST Active Member

    May 23, 2013

    For whatever it's worth, prices do not seem to have come down. Current estimate from the Tesla authorized shop to replace my quarter panel is just shy of 19 grand.

    Still very preliminary, but not encouraging.
  16. travwill

    travwill Active Member

    May 1, 2015
    Chicago, IL
    I will say that painting a simple scratch, with the basic white paint, cost $1K recently for us - way more simple and required no cosmetic repairs beyond the smoothing/painting of an area due to about a 2-3" scratch. You'll likely look at much more in repair cost.
  17. Quantum`

    Quantum` Member

    Oct 17, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    I'm telling you to NOT begin the repairs. If you put the claim on your insurance you WILL get a rate hike and you will not get diminished value. Not to mention that Geico always screws you on claims anyway.

    I can't believe how long it's taking for you to get the report. In WA I got the police report on-line the next day, and filed suit that same day as Dude told the cop he has insurance, but guess what? No-fault states suck for problems like this.
  18. silverp85+

    silverp85+ Member

    Dec 21, 2015
    New York
    #18 silverp85+, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
    SON OF A........!
    that driver would have had a limp before he got back in the truck! :cursing:

    oh... uh... good thing you're ok

    BUT, SON OF A......!:mad:

    PS: you may want to hide the trucks plate number
  19. ElectricTundra

    ElectricTundra P85D AP1

    Feb 5, 2015
    Sorry to hear about this. The process will take some time so relax.

    A few thoughts to keep in mind. Sysco is likely self insured and Bassett are their administrator. Both have a goal of not paying out anything or better have you and your insurance pay them for damage to the truck (and business time lost, etc.). Be very careful what you say to whom. They will use whatever they can to reduce their costs and anything you say that gives them a way to either pin blame on you (eg, for merging when you shouldn't have and in a way that the truck could not avoid hitting you) or call it 50:50 fault (eg, nobody clearly to blame, each pay their own costs) is good for them and bad for you (assuming it is not your fault). IOW, they are your adversary, not friend.

    Immediately write down gobs of notes about everything you can remember in great detail. Exactly where who was, speeds, other cars around, weather, etc. You'll be surprised how much stuff you'll forget if you don't do that.

    Be careful what you post online. They do read forums and use anything they can in their favor.
  20. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

    Oct 6, 2015
    I'm very sorry to hear about your accident!! That really stinks! Read your policy carefully to see what you're looking at for premium impact. Our Geico policy in MN includes an addendum that carefully explains what will happen to our premiums for each type of claim (at-fault, no-fault, uninsured driver, comprehensive, etc) or for each type of moving violation (speeding ticket, etc). That document explains what % increase in premium will happen in each case. In some cases, the increase is 0%, as long as you don't have too many claims. For example, a comprehensive claim for hitting a deer will not raise your premiums according to that document. However, your insurance company could potentially drop you because of an expensive claim, even if it wasn't your fault.

    Your blanket statement is not correct.

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