With my last 335i (E90) I was hit (without fault) by a driver cutting left in front of me on large boulevard. The car was only a few months old. Air bags deployed and the car suffered about $28k of damage (my memory is the sticker for the car was about $50k). It was not totaled. I had minor-to-medium medical issues that came out over time and caused me to lose work and otherwise suffer. I went to the hospital after splitting headaches days after the accident. At this point I had already been approached to sign off on any damage beyond what happened to my car.
Its a long story and not too relevant. In short, the other driver was insured but with miserable insurance at bare minimum coverages. I ended up getting paid out to the limit on his insurance and then having to sue my own insurance company (AAA) against my uninsured motorist coverage to get anywhere near what I should have received. Apparently that is typically uninsured and UNDERinsured coverage. My new policy now has a very high limit in this area after dealing with this.
My point though and the biggest advice I learned after dealing with this via a personal injury lawyer, depositions, and two years of insurance claims leading to two payouts to barely make myself whole was:
Every single pain, ache, ANYTHING. Your memory of the event, every phone call: EVERYTHING. Especially with the passengers, etc., you NEED to make sure you are covered beyond simply getting a new car. You may be dealing with this for some while. Being a well spoken and persistent claimant with documentation will help you A LOT. Ultimately if this goes beyond just getting your car replaced (or even if that is the only issue) the insurance company will look at what they are up against. Your record, your statements, everything - even if this isn't your fault. Being a formidable adversary will help you A LOT. The insurance company, cheap or not, will always look for a way to pay you less if possible.
Protect yourself. You have a lot to do with how this turns out. The best and worse case scenarios are often not close together and you can, with little effort, make sure you (or your passengers) are not taken advantage of. I'm not advocating opportunism but once you settle, things are finished. Documenting and being persistent can insure that you make out fairly.
Last edited by akaMomo; 12-30-2012 at 08:44 PM.