I could use some advice so I thought I would turn to all the wise people who leave all the great comments on this blog whenever I post interesting stuff. And this isn’t even about Elon!

Well, actually it sort of is because I was near the Tesla plant last Friday and thought – what the heck – I want to see the new Model X and maybe they have one on display at the factory. So I get off the exit on 880 north to head east on Fremont Blvd and someone rear ends me pretty hard. My car – 2012 Honda CR-V is still drivable. Not so much for the other car. So – this is all Elon’s fault because if not for me needing to see his new car I wouldn’t have been there. (And they didn’t have one on display making it all a total waste of time.)

Getting back to the point. The other drive has Travelers Insurance so that’s who I’m dealing with. This is all in California. The driver of the other car works for a company and it seems like they would rather pay for it directly rather than involve the insurance.

So – I’m going to need to get things started. I took it in for an estimate from someone who was recommended. The guy said he would have to take it apart to figure out what it was going to cost and couldn’t just eyeball it.

I’m not looking to screw anyone, but don’t want to get screwed. So I’m going to just open this up for advice. Any words of wisdom is appreciated.

Oh – and – I don’t think I’m hurt. It’s been 3 days. Maybe feeling just a little bit sore between the shoulders. Hoping this is no big deal. And I have to say that considering the force of the impact the Honda did really well. I’m still driving it.



  1. Bada Bing says:

    I rear-ended an Escort back in 1982. She enjoyed it, but it ruined my ball-joints.

    • noname says:

      Srry to hear!

      Don’t let other people make their problem yours! They want to save a buck at your expense!

      You are likely now going to have issues that crop up with time as long as you own the car (will it drive as straight and true it did now the unibody frame is possibly bent) and you lost much of the resale value (CARFAX). You’ve also likely lost some of your crash protection for the next accident.

      Be sure “You pick the repair shop”, don’t let them pick it! Your effort should be spent researching/picking a repair shop that is reputable and best likely to restore your car without cutting corners. You will likely need to rent a car too.

      Years back, my car was backed into while parked from a neighbor. I got 3 estimates and submitted them and of course the insurance company (Allstate) picked the cheapest estimate.

      Good luck!

      • Marc Perkel says:

        Good point about the resale value. What I should do to settle is this. The Blue Book value of the car is $18,000. I should just have them give me $18,000 and I give them the car and they can fix it and sell it. Then I’ll go get a new one.

    • lolhahathatsfunny says:

      I hope you were wearing a seatbelt during the rear-ending so as to be well protected.

    • Bada Bing says:

      (If you know what I mean)…

  2. John Not Dvorak kine says:

    You’re lucky you weren’t driving a Tesla. It would have caught fire

  3. Hmeyers says:

    My opinion is that a driver that caused the collision doesn’t have a say whether or not insurance is involved.

    Has the guy been in 10 accidents? Is he financially solvent? What is his reputation?

    You were the one wrongfully inconvenienced.

    There are usually 2 types of drivers:
    1) Safe drivers that pay attention, never get into accidents in typical circumstances after age 25.
    2) The other type.

    This person may be the “other type”.

    Anyway, if this is handled through the insurance company, you don’t deal with the headaches and have a rental car.

    You already have a major headache. Then you volunteered for a 2nd headache by not involving insurance.

    You are the one wronged. What is convenient for the negligent guy who caused this circumstance for you shouldn’t be much of a priority.

    (But that’s your call to make and my opinion will no doubt just be one of many. Only you know what is right for you! Good luck, Marc!)

    • Marc Perkel says:

      The guy hit me in a company car. So it’s his employer I’m dealing with.

      • Hmeyers says:

        That changes things quite a bit, clearly!

        • Mike says:

          As a business owner that has cars and deals with insurance and was recently the receiver of a getting hit, I will say that sometimes it is easier to just write a check and get it over quickly and not screw with insurance. We keep a high deductible on our policy of $7500 because we can drop this in a second and not blink. Pissing with a $500 deductible is not worth our time in billable hours lost to dealing with paperwork.

          In my case a guy hit me, and was uninsured. New bumper for me $2000. I can either write the check and not deal with the mess of filing for uninsured motorist. Or I can file, it is under my deductible, and jack around filing papers to end up writing the same check and wasted time.

          If they are willing to hand you a check, you were not injured, take it and be done.

  4. NewFormatSux says:

    Your first mistake was not getting the police to issue a report.
    If he is willing to pay, you can take the money. The risk you take is if he later refuses to pay. Insurance will almost always say he is liable since he was in the back. Of course it looks like you have no police report to back that up.

  5. ECA says:

    Any accident that requires more then $1000(different in every state, and insurance) needs to be reported to the police..
    Reasoning is, IF that person has to many accidents the licence can be PULLED..
    This is doing things under the table, is UP TO YOU..
    Also requesting to keep the insurance company Out of it, means Their insurance wont go up, because of an Idiot.

    If you combine the two, above..
    You MAY have a person that SHOULD NOT be driving..
    And they are asking you not to report anything..
    I think the reports must be given in 30-45 days, otherwise you have little recourse..

    I would ASK for repairs and a bonus on top, for not reporting.

  6. Ah_Yea says:

    I second NewFormatSux and ECA.

    Report it, report it now if it’s not too late.

    It is FELONY HIT AND RUN to leave the scene of an accident where damage has occurred or someone injured. Since there is damage, and possibly harm to the other person, not reporting is serious business. Hard to run your business when in the Greybar Hotel.

    Imagine what would happen to you if the other guy decides to file a complaint against you saying you ran?

    He hit you, he pays. Nuff’ said.

    • Marc Perkel says:

      It’s not hit and run. No one ran. I got his info and he got mine.

      • Ah_Yea says:

        Did you file a police report? If so, you are in the clear. If not, it’s hit and run. Getting the other guys info is irrelevant in the eyes of the law. It’s who did and didn’t report it. If you didn’t report it, you are taking a huge risk.

      • MikeN says:

        Thing is, doing the police report takes away their interest in paying without insurance.
        Also going thru insurance, possibly even just the police report, will influence your Carfax report when you try to sell the car in the future. It will be listed as having been in an accident and lower its resale value. If you can get a good cash amount from the other party, I would take that. If it is a company, there is a chance you can get full price and they take the car, contrary to my earlier sarcasm.

        You didn’t actually post any pictures of damage, but replacement parts and installation will be thousands of dollars if they have to replace doors or quarterpanels. Bumpers are less.

    • MikeN says:

      I was in an accident, and the other person’s insurance TOLD them they could leave. I insisted on calling the police, and the driver ended up being charged with a violation.

  7. Marc Perkel says:

    Just a thought – maybe this would be a fair offer.

    They buy my car for the private sale blue book price and they fix it and do what they want. I take the money and add some and get me a new car.

    I’m dealing with the driver’s employer and I think they are worried about an insurance rate increase so this gets them out of using their insurance. And – it get’s me a new car.

    • Hmeyers says:

      Ironically, if you lease a car and have it fixed at a certified shop, it is the car manufacturer’s resale value problem. And not yours.

      Assuming at the end of the lease period you turn in the car instead of buy it, haha.

      And if it there is an accident on the CarFax, methinks most people would opt out of buying the car at the end of lease.

    • Ah_Yea says:


      What you’re telling us is:

      Car insurance is so expensive in California that it’s cheaper to buy you a new car than to make a claim??

      As a good liberal, you should demand ACTION!!

      We need —

      The Affordable Car-e Act!!

      • Marc Perkel says:

        They seem to be willing to pay for the damages to my car. But then I lose value for it being wrecked. If they buy my car they do get my car so the difference isn’t that great between what I’m suggesting and what they are willing to do.

        • jpfitz says:

          If the car is fixable the auto insurance company will want to fix the car. If the ins company wants to junk the car and pay you the value take the money. Do not settle about your sore shoulders, make sure to go through the ins company and make no statement except that you were rear ended.

          You may have whiplash Marc, and not know it. I almost broke my neck at c4 and c5 while diving into a pool. Your head snaps back violently in a rear end collision. Besides calling the Police, see a doctor to be safe.

          Feel better Marc.

    • MikeN says:

      You can ask, but I doubt they would be interested in that additional price. However, if the damage is thousands of dollars then the price difference might not be so much. The insurance increase is likely to only be a few hundred dollars a year difference.

      And what are you doing driving an SUV while talking about wanting higher mileage?

  8. Mr Diesel says:

    I have been rear-ended 5 times, once in a McDonald’s drive-thru (that was sad as it was a disabled guy who had just gotten the car). I was hit in a head-on driver’s side glancing blow once by a van that went airborne through an intersection. Only in the latter case did I go to the hospital and learned to ALWAYS go to the hospital in an accident. Got a tidy little settlement as well. At the time insurance companies would give you 4 times the medical bills and you pay all the bills (medical).

    ALWAYS call the police and ALWAYS go to the hospital. My lawyer told me what to do and it didn’t cost me a dime for his advice.

    • McCullough says:

      I concur with Mr. Vin Diesel. Don’t take the minor injury too lightly. Get his insurance company involved just in case, they will want to settle with you quickly but don’t do it, just in case.

      If you have an injury that comes back, you wont have any options after you settle.

  9. noname says:

    Marc, you should post damage pictures and cost of repair estimates?

    • Mr Diesel says:

      Not sure if I would post anything of detail on an open blog site. While it might just be paranoia on my part you just never know who is looking or “listening”.

      • MikeN says:

        Too late, if this goes to court or perhaps even the insurance company, they could see that he has acknowledged reading e-mail at a traffic light.

        • Mr Diesel says:

          Yep, forgot all about the Tesla fiasco.

          • noname says:

            Tesla & Marc, not perfect together!!

            Marc you need to take of vow of Tesla chastity!

            For your own safety, safety of your passengers and the public, you can never look at a Telsa, Powerwall, SpaceX launch or even think of them again!

            Marc for you Telsa damaging influence will lead to blindness!

          • MikeN says:

            He might as well drink the original Kool-aid.

  10. Jerry says:

    Do not forget to file a California DMV Form SR 1. You will get fined heavily if you do not.

  11. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Soft tissue damage (from whiplash, even those that feel fine at the time) can not show up for up to a year or so. don’t know why that is, but thats the worst case for early settlements. Don’t know how often that happens either and my “impression” is that such late developing injuries cannot be detected by the docs until they appear. All part of the “pain and suffering.”

    All the advice above sounds good. I’d do the car swap for a check but assume they won’t. Tell the cops “HE” was a business man and you took his advice until you asked around and confirmed you should have reported it.

    Funny….I recently took 2-3 Cal Driver tests. The issue of mandatory reporting, which only helps the consumer, was not asked about. Ha, ha……..when does our Gubment ever protect us?

  12. Another Thing says:

    So if you’re not hurt, good for you!


    Get them to pay for ALL your repairs, including a rental car, personal inconvenience, AND the monetary impact the CarFax record WILL have on your car’s trade-in value.

  13. Dave says:

    Two important precautions; 1) Make sure the collision repair shop gives you a “Lifetime Warranty” on the repair. Insurance companies will also issue a “Lifetime Warranty” on the repair, ask. However you may be required to use one of their specific shops. Because collision shops come and go having the insurance company stand behind the repair may be a good choice rather than have this company just pay for the repair. If you know the collision shop well and or trust them then it’s not a problem. 2) Shops are also be certified by different car manufacturers as well as some independent companies such as Verifax Automotive. Good technicians are trained by OEM companies such as Honda and have access to the latest repair information. These days this is important.

  14. fishguy says:

    1) Do not settle.

    2) File an accident report asap.

    3) Remember, you are NOT dealing with the other driver. You are dealing with their insurance company. Period. If you let them “take you out of the loop” or coerce you in to evading the law you, absolve all rights and open yourself up to the other party filing a claim against you and your insurance (I assume you have notified them? You haven’t?!? OMG!!)

    4) Document everything. Go see your doctor.

    5) Grow up. Don’t be a victim!

    • Hmeyers says:

      ^^^ Jackasss who didn’t bother to read anything Marc wrote.

      Thanks for making the world a worse place!

  15. Sticker Shock says:


    Anytime someone who crashes into you says, “let’s not get the insurance involved,” it’s time to GET THE INSURANCE INVOLVED!!! That is, unless the guy wants to buy your car for IN CASH for FULL PRICE (and you want to sell it).

    But if you want to be a nice guy, try to remember where nice guys finish.


  16. Hmeyers says:

    ^^^ Here’s a another one that can’t be bothered to read anything Marc has posted.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      I’m not following you HM. Marc asked for input. Shirley this means call outs of agreement and disagreement?

      Whats your disagreement?

      • MikeN says:

        His disagreement is that the posters exhibit the same level of reading comprehension as you.

  17. JR says:

    This is what you should have done. This happened to me a few months ago:

    1. Contact Police – They should create an accident report
    2. Contact your Insurance Company – Tell them what happened
    3. Take pictures if you have phone+camera or camera. You can upload into claim system if your insurance Co has this capability
    3.1 Don’t admit to anything. Be nice.
    4. Do not give your phone number to the other person. Only the info on your insurance card is necessary
    6. The police should provide an accident report summary on the spot, which will contain info about both parties’ insurance. If not, you’ll have to wait several days for the report.
    7. Have your insurance company manage the reports & contacts to/from other insurance company. Make sure you get the location of the Police Office/precinct
    8. Your insurance company should direct you to an auto body shop that will give you an estimate, repair and loaner car. (I have a $500 deductible & I got it back after all was repaird, back bumper)

    I have GEICO – they took care of me, because I pay for it.


    • MikeN says:

      What’s wrong with this: His car now has an accident in its Carfax report and loses value at resale.

      If the other side is willing to pay without going to insurance, then he doesn’t suffer this loss, and the other party doesn’t get a higher insurance rate.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Yah…… what is exactly wrong with committing fraud and putting a potentially unsafe vehicle back on the road?

        Mike N—-serving humanity ….. all these years.

  18. J says:

    get a lawyer…it cuts through all the BS…and drives the Claims adjusters crazy


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