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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Today as I was backing up to parallel park on the street, another car came tearing out from a side street making a turn and slammed right into me. I saw him just before impact so was able to brake, but he really slammed into me pretty hard. However when I got out and surveyed the damage, it was substantially less than I was expecting to find. So, a tribute to BMW! I just got the car 3 months ago and have felt very safe driving it, that it's a very solid car. The other car though, an old Volvo, his hood was a crumpled mess.

Anyway my question is what to do now? We exchanged info, it turns out we live in the same building.
I want my Bimmer restored exactly as it was because there was not a scratch on it (not on the tail end anyway). How do I select a body shop? Should I go to the dealer for an estimate? The parking distance sensor was damaged too.

Second I was wondering if the impact could have caused any damage to the transmission (or any other system/component), since I was in reverse and got jolted forward pretty hard by the impact?

The car is my baby I've been enjoying it so much. How do I handle this? Get an estimate first, or contact the other driver's insurance company first? I want every penny paid for.

As for who was at fault, well he slammed into me, and the driver's wife (an older couple) sort of acknowledged that he was probably to blame.

UPDATE: So today after driving around for a while I saw a puddle forming under the engine, crouched down and saw it dripping. Could it be transmission fluid? The car hasn't had ANY leaks of any kind and I've been watching it like a hawk in the 3 months since I bought it.
I blotted some of the fluid up with a white tissue, photos attached. It did not feel oily. I checked the coolant and it's still totally full.
Or might it be condensation from the AC, does that drain? It was 90 degrees today. Though again I've not seen drainage of any kind previously.

So naturally this leads me to conclude that it's related to the accident?
 

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Damage is not bad, but the part under the tail lights is quite hard to find. Make sure that they add sealer after they weld it back otherwise you will have problems with water in the trunk and rust. It could be done without changing but you need a good body shop. Contact a PDR shop also. Get their opinion also.
Rear bumper reinforcement, pcd sensors, bumper shock absorbers and bumper must be changed no matter what.
Two of the toughest still driving European cars met.
Sorry for your experience.


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Well you are going to have to work with somebody's insurance Co. But go slow. Did you get a police report?

I would speak with your insurance co first and see what the appropriate course of action is. In many cases, your insurance co. will work with the other driver's insurance co.

I would not bother getting an estimate right now.

The best outcome is that one of the insurance companies pays to have it repaired.

But be prepared. While the damage from the single picture looks relatively minor, I bet it is at least $5k of body work.
And if it's at least $5k of body work, an insurance may try to "total" it. If they do that, they may offer you two amounts.

1. take your car and pay you what they think it is worth.
2. Pay you a slightly lower amount and let you keep it.

you can select option #2 and use the money you got to go get it fixed.
But, if they total it, it will likely end up with a salvage title (reported by insurance co)
If you want to keep and drive it, this is okay. However, it will hurt resale value.
 

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The damage under the taillight makes me think they will try and total it.
The Volvo however will cost around $4.55 to repair to factory condition so Mr. Soccer Sox can still go around mashing people in the butt.
keep us posted, good luck
 

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Do what eff suggested, that will most likely be your best outcome.
Got any lawyer friends that may offer you some assistance with the insurance company when they try to low ball you a price for option #2?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well you are going to have to work with somebody's insurance Co. But go slow. Did you get a police report?

I would speak with your insurance co first and see what the appropriate course of action is. In many cases, your insurance co. will work with the other driver's insurance co.

I would not bother getting an estimate right now.

The best outcome is that one of the insurance companies pays to have it repaired.

But be prepared. While the damage from the single picture looks relatively minor, I bet it is at least $5k of body work.
And if it's at least $5k of body work, an insurance may try to "total" it. If they do that, they may offer you two amounts.

1. take your car and pay you what they think it is worth.
2. Pay you a slightly lower amount and let you keep it.

you can select option #2 and use the money you got to go get it fixed.
But, if they total it, it will likely end up with a salvage title (reported by insurance co)
If you want to keep and drive it, this is okay. However, it will hurt resale value.
Salvage? Screw that! Isn't the insurance company required by law to pay the full amount? If they refuse, could I sue them? Alternately could I bill the other driver for the difference? And isn't there a way to prevent it from being titled "salvage" AND have them pay for it? I would continue to incur loss down the line if resale value is hurt as you say.
 

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I believe if the costs add up to 70% or more of the vehicles value then most companies will total it.
 

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Salvage? Screw that! Isn't the insurance company required by law to pay the full amount? If they refuse, could I sue them? Alternately could I bill the other driver for the difference? And isn't there a way to prevent it from being titled "salvage" AND have them pay for it? I would continue to incur loss down the line if resale value is hurt as you say.
Keep us posted on how it goes. 18 yr old BMW's are "totaled" all the time by insurance co/'s in this type of situation.
 

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This car is definitely "totaled" as the repair will be greater than the value of the car. This is why one should consider the option of an "agreed value" policy, in which you can state a higher value (with a higher monthly fee) that ensures you get the car fixed, rather than declared totaled. Post #5 states the OPs options clearly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well you are going to have to work with somebody's insurance Co. But go slow. Did you get a police report?

I would speak with your insurance co first and see what the appropriate course of action is. In many cases, your insurance co. will work with the other driver's insurance co.

I would not bother getting an estimate right now.

The best outcome is that one of the insurance companies pays to have it repaired.

But be prepared. While the damage from the single picture looks relatively minor, I bet it is at least $5k of body work.
And if it's at least $5k of body work, an insurance may try to "total" it. If they do that, they may offer you two amounts.

1. take your car and pay you what they think it is worth.
2. Pay you a slightly lower amount and let you keep it.

you can select option #2 and use the money you got to go get it fixed.
But, if they total it, it will likely end up with a salvage title (reported by insurance co)
If you want to keep and drive it, this is okay. However, it will hurt resale value.
Keep us posted on how it goes. 18 yr old BMW's are "totaled" all the time by insurance co/'s in this type of situation.
Here's what I don't get. First, who determines the value of a car, and second, who says it's even relevant? I shopped online for a good 6 months before finding that car! It met ALL of my criteria: 1) it was an E39, 2) single owner (for the last 17 years), older retired gentleman who took care of it, kept it in a garage & had maintenance records, 3) it has gray interior (I wanted either gray or tan) & grey exterior (I wanted either silver or grey), and 4) It was relatively low miles, 131,000 when I bought it, below average for a 20 yo car and 5) It has folding rear seats, an absolute MUST have for me, and kinda rare for US models from what I've heard (and found during my search).

Do you know how rare it is to find a car that hits literally ALL of your criteria?! I'm just venting, but I will be fuming mad if anyone tries to deny me the right to have it fully restored to its previous condition, or better. And not at my expense.

I'll definitely update! These cars are collector's items as far as I'm concerned. And I have a list of mods I've been wanting to make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh yeah
Keep us posted on how it goes. 18 yr old BMW's are "totaled" all the time by insurance co/'s in this type of situation.
Oh yeah I didn't get a police report. I called but they said it was optional for officers to come out. I did shoot a short video though showing the damage & position of the cars, and the other drive lives in my building. But I thought that if I tell my insurance company (Geico) about an accident, that would cause MY rates to go up. Not sure if that's the case if it wasn't my fault.
 

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Here's what I don't get. First, who determines the value of a car, and second, who says it's even relevant? I shopped online for a good 6 months before finding that car! It met ALL of my criteria:
I am not saying your car WILL be totaled. I am saying it might be totaled.

The Insurance company (yours or the other driver's) gets to determine value...They're the ones you are paying to insure it. You do have a right to dispute their determination, and document its higher value. Some folks get a slightly higher payout, but this is simply a negotiation with the insurance company, and you don't have much leverage.

And remember, Geico (who I also use) quoted you an insurance policy for an average 2003 BMW 530i (if that's what you have), and you agreed to pay it. The other driver's insurance co., is going to be less interested in making you happy - unless it is Geico.

If you drive a car that you cherish, that's worth well above what an average car of your model is worth, you need a stated, or agreed-upon, value policy.
 

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.....
UPDATE: So today after driving around for a while I saw a puddle forming under the engine, crouched down and saw it dripping. Could it be transmission fluid? The car hasn't had ANY leaks of any kind and I've been watching it like a hawk in the 3 months since I bought it.
I blotted some of the fluid up with a white tissue, photos attached. It did not feel oily. I checked the coolant and it's still totally full.
Or might it be condensation from the AC, does that drain? It was 90 degrees today. Though again I've not seen drainage of any kind previously.

So naturally this leads me to conclude that it's related to the accident?
Hard to say what that fluid is...and whether it is connected to the accident or not...It does look too dark to be AC condensation. You will need to get the car on ramps, jack stands or a lift to go see what it is.
 

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It's Ac condensation. You didn't put your finger in it and sniff... not sure still, put it on you tongue, oily taste = engine oil or the transmission has bladder issues, if it sweet then it's coolant, but don't drink it it's blue but not Gatorade. If it's tasteless, you go back in the car and drive, it's just ac condensation. Learned the trick from an old truck mechanic about 30 years ago and never failed once.

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Here's what I don't get. First, who determines the value of a car, and second, who says it's even relevant? I shopped online for a good 6 months before finding that car! It met ALL of my criteria: 1) it was an E39, 2) single owner (for the last 17 years), older retired gentleman who took care of it, kept it in a garage & had maintenance records, 3) it has gray interior (I wanted either gray or tan) & grey exterior (I wanted either silver or grey), and 4) It was relatively low miles, 131,000 when I bought it, below average for a 20 yo car and 5) It has folding rear seats, an absolute MUST have for me, and kinda rare for US models from what I've heard (and found during my search).

Do you know how rare it is to find a car that hits literally ALL of your criteria?! I'm just venting, but I will be fuming mad if anyone tries to deny me the right to have it fully restored to its previous condition, or better. And not at my expense.

I'll definitely update! These cars are collector's items as far as I'm concerned. And I have a list of mods I've been wanting to make.
Yea hate to break it to you but dont get too excited.

These cars are "collector" items for collectors, not the insurance company. Theyll most likely pay out 70% of the fair market value of the car in your area. Which in generall is around $1-$3k depending on mileage and regardless of how clean or the costof any mods it may have.

Body work is expensive especially when its on a non removable panel. Add in that its a 18yr old car the cost to fix that is definitely going to be high and most likely exceed the value of the car.

So yeah be prepared to get it totaled. Or if you can lawyer up you might be able to get them to just write you a check without taking the car and labeling it as salvage. I did this to avoid having my car undergo the horrible process of title fixing.

Ive never had luck with my own insurance company being helpful so if you still want your car, a lawyer might be the way to go. Do you have any neck or head pain lol?
 

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Big Question: OP, what did you pay for the car?

Also, are you close to Mexico?
Good work there, at a fraction of the cost up here.

Also, I happen to have some E39 body parts lying around...
Pretty much everything you need...minus the PDC stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Big Question: OP, what did you pay for the car?

Also, are you close to Mexico?
Good work there, at a fraction of the cost up here.

Also, I happen to have some E39 body parts lying around...
Pretty much everything you need...minus the PDC stuff...
I paid $4250 for it, which included the seller having it smog certified. I'm in L.A. but would not set foot in Mexico! Going to visit a body shop today recommended by the dealership, so will see what they say.
 
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