Reasonable Repair Cost ?

Old July 18th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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Reasonable Repair Cost ?

I backed into a Corolla with my Wrangler, unfortunately with enough force for my rear mounted full size spare tire to deform (6 inch dent) the plastic rear bumper of that car

There are no scuffs, scratches or any paint damage to the bumper and the owner was able to reach under the car to push the bumper back out into prior shape.

However, hitting the bumper did cause it to flex backward and raise the trunk lid about 1/8 inch out of alignment so that the taillight lens on the trunk is raised 1/8 above the half of the matching lens which is on the rear quarter.

If the above description is clear, how much is a fair amount to pay the owner to re-align the trunk lid.
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Old July 18th, 2017, 01:15 PM
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I suspect you will find that the unseen damage is worse than you think. I had this experience when my wife rear ended a newer car. It looked like nothing and I was going to just pay the owner cash instead of making a claim. I crawled under the car that got hit and it was quickly obvious that the trunk floor was buckled and the bumper bar was bent. I told them to just go through insurance. New cars are designed to absorb impacts, not survive them.
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Old July 18th, 2017, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by VikingBlue View Post
If the above description is clear, how much is a fair amount to pay the owner to re-align the trunk lid.
This likely isn't going to be up to you. At the very least, if I'm the guy you hit, I take my car to have an estimate done and present you with it expecting you to write me a check for the amount. No negotiation. That's what you pay me because that's what it's going to cost me, or I go through my insurance company.

But more likely, if I'm the person you hit, I don't even deal with you. I contact my insurance company immediately, and they handle everything. That's why I have insurance. They'll estimate the repair cost, pay me that minus the deductible, come after you and/or your insurance company to get the total amount of the damage, and then send me the deductible amount, keeping the rest for themselves as reimbursement for what they paid me.

I had this exact type of thing happen when someone backed into my parked car while backing out of a parking space in a parking lot. Did $1400 worth of damage. My insurance company dealt with his insurance company.

Joe is absolutely right. I've been involved in a few situations like this over the years, especially when the three kids were in the learning-to-drive and new-driver phases, and the damage is always more than it looks by just a superficial inspection.
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Old July 18th, 2017, 03:16 PM
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What happens if the owner finds that what you paid him is not enough? I'd just let the insurance handle it and no headaches. One accident is not going to raise your rates much if any.
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Old July 18th, 2017, 06:11 PM
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Not apples-to-apples, but we have a Toyota minivan, and just a few weeks ago my Mom backed into it with her Suburban in her driveway. The Suburban just had a few paint chips missing, but we had a little damage.

I wasn't going to make a claim, since it was just cosmetic damage and the van has 250K+ miles, but my folks wanted to make a claim on their insurance. I got an estimate and a couple days later I got a check in the mail from their insurance. We decided to get it fixed since their insurance paid for the entire thing.

The rear hatch was $900 and they swapped over all the parts (glass, tail lights, etc). The bumper cover was $300. Labor and paint was $1,800, so the total was $3,000.

This is $3,000 in damage:

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Old July 19th, 2017, 06:59 AM
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At the time (Monday), the other owner popped out the bumper and said basically "no worries it's not a new car." I wanted to get him (or his traveling little league team from 30 miles away..we were there for a game) something to repay his good seemed like nothing so we didn't even exchange insurance.

I did give him my text....and he texted me yesterday to say that he noticed the 1/8 offsetafterward. So I'll just have to wait for his reply.

He did mention that another coach of his team owns a body shop...maybe they will go easy on me and work out a fair price rather than go thru insurance.
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Old July 19th, 2017, 07:22 PM
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a picture is worth 1000 words. its hard to tell what to expect with hidden damage if any for such a minor hit. Mostly would be cosmetic.
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