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Old 09-11-2016, 07:02 PM   #1
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Hit and Run



It wouldn't be so bad, but there's a dent on the metal next to the tail light.
I'm getting it fixed at a dealership, so I don't know if they'll pound that out, or if they'll just replace the whole panel.




Details to follow. My questions: once the repair work is done, is there anything I should know about caring for freshly installed/painted parts?
Is there anywhere not so obvious that I should look for other damage, for example, I checked that the hood is still lined up properly.

So here's what happened.
Some time between 3:00 and 5:00 in the morning while I was at work some dirtbag hit my car in the parking lot and took off. I don’t know how fast they were going, but the impact moved the back end of my car about 2 feet, and there were pieces of debris up to 20 feet away. I work in a grocery store, so at that hour there were no other cars parked within 50 yards of mine, and the space where I parked, the side that got hit was next to a median - only a few feet of my car was exposed, and they hit that. The weird thing is that among the debris was red plastic from tail lights. Mine weren’t broken, so it came from their car, which means they backed into me at that speed. What’s weirder is that there was a piece of their car about 2’ x 2’ leaning against my car like it had been placed there after the fact, so that, plus the angle they would have had to hit my car makes me think it might have been done intentionally. Some people just see a nice car and bash it out of jealousy. Maybe they were driving a beater that they didn’t care about or even a stolen car and decided to play demolition derby. I’ll never know. Here's the piece of the other guy’s car (rear left fender):



I know what you’re thinking. Can’t the cops use that piece of car to find this person? The cop said it wouldn’t matter, because I would have to prove that he/she was behind the wheel at the time. He said he’s had plate numbers of hit and run drivers, but without a positive ID of the driver there’s nothing that can be done.


Fortunately the fallout won’t be as bad as I thought. The cop said that since it happened on private property he doesn’t write up a report and instead gave me a “self-report” form to fill out and give to the insurance company. That’s good because now it won’t be registered as having been in an accident. Only police reports get filed with the DMV in Tallahassee, so once it’s fixed, no one will be the wiser. Also, he said that because I’m not at fault it shouldn’t make my insurance rates go up. I haven’t confirmed that yet. My insurance policy includes a rental car while mine is being repaired, so this is only costing me my deductible and personal time. I know, only costing me?... but it could have been much worse. If they had hit me 18” to the right they would have hit the rear wheel, which would likely bend the axle and possibly do frame damage, maybe even totaling out the whole car. And since the top was up I seriously doubt any of those mechanisms got bent.
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Last edited by scandata; 09-11-2016 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:33 PM   #2
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Sorry to see this has happened to your car Mike.

After it's repainted, the normal cure time (before you can apply any sealants or waxes) is generally 90 days. Check with the body shop at the dealership as some paints cure a little quicker.

Body shops don't generally finish paint down really well, so you'll probably have to go back over it with your PC.

The paint will most likely be softer then the factory paint, so you'll use less aggressive pads, and possibly add some water to your 205 to finish down. You can polish as soon as you get it back, just give proper cure time before applying any protection.

Check with the place you work and see if they have any camera's that may have recorded the incident. You never know, you might get a video of the car, and the driver.

With a piece of the other vehicle, a video of the action, and a picture of the driver in the vehicle, you will have plenty of evidence to take legal action.

Best of luck to you my friend.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:50 PM   #3
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Thanks, Joe. We only have one security camera that points in that direction, and I don't think it is angled to reach where I was parked. I'll still give it a look - they may have driven within range before or after hitting it.

So you're saying that polishing is OK to do right away but not waxing? Seems like polishing would be more aggressive, but you know better than I would. I'll probably play it safe and not do either for a while.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:12 PM   #4
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Polishing won't hurt anything. Freshly painted surfaces cure by emitting gas, everything nowadays is VOC compliant, or water based, but they still emit some gas, just not as much as the older types of paint did.

If you seal or wax before it's fully cured, you'll stop this process, polishing will only remove a very small amount of paint, and generally body shop paint is applied much thicker then factory paint, so it won't hurt to polish before the paint is fully cured.

Body shops also generally use rotary polishers for fast finishing, but leave behind some light swirls/holograms most of the time that finishing polish on your PC will take care of easily.

EDIT: I meant to add that the reason body shop paint is generally softer is that factory paint is applied, and then the car is run through a high temp oven to bake it on.

No electrical components have been installed yet, so no danger of any damage from heat. Body shop paints are dried with a heat gun, at a much lower temperature, to prevent damage to electrical components.

The hardness also varies based upon what type of hardener is used by the body shop, but because it isn't "baked" on, it's generally softer.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:22 PM   #5
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I didn't know that about gas emissions. Thanks for the "Body Shop 101" lesson!
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:57 PM   #6
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scandata. The cops comment is wrong re the other parties liability coverage. It's the
CAR that's insured on auto liability policies, not the driver. If you find the car or truck
that hit you, you can collect from their policy unless that car was stolen at the time
of the accident.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:03 PM   #7
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scandata. The cops comment is wrong re the other parties liability coverage. It's the
CAR that's insured on auto liability policies, not the driver. If you find the car or truck
that hit you, you can collect from their policy unless that car was stolen at the time
of the accident.
I never thought of it that way. Maybe the cop was only thinking of who gets charges pressed against them. It makes sense that the owner of the car's insurance would be liable. I'll have to keep my eye out for a blue car with a missing rear left quarter panel.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:05 PM   #8
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Could have been an illegal immigrant from Miami-Dade ..... ?

Illegals always hit and run .....

Next time install a Dash and Rear Camera in your SS.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:49 PM   #9
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I'm sure your repair will show up in a Carfax.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbosa View Post
Could have been an illegal immigrant from Miami-Dade ..... ?

Illegals always hit and run .....

Next time install a Dash and Rear Camera in your SS.
I have a dashcam. The car was already parked and I was inside at work. My dashcam wasn't running at the time.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:04 AM   #11
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Our society in general has gone downhill in the last 10 years. People are careless, vulgar, apathy. It happens in Jupiter also. Illegals generally hit and run because if they stop at the scene and the Police come, they can be arrested on the spot and jailed. Perhaps this is a good reason to make sure you vote in November!
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:16 PM   #12
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It's worse than you think. That is a custom, limited production, rare vehicle. In fact, the only models more rare were the 200x Indi Pace cars (only half were available to the public), COPO vehicles and Neiman Marcus edition. The next highest production ran vehicle was the Dusk @ 1012 units. You are looking at a minimum 20% loss based on a diminished value claim. Get a 3rd party adjuster before agreeing to any work being performed and definitely do not sign anything or pick up the vehicle if it is still in the shop until you get a 3rd party adjuster.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:08 PM   #13
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It's worse than you think. That is a custom, limited production, rare vehicle. In fact, the only models more rare were the 200x Indi Pace cars (only half were available to the public), COPO vehicles and Neiman Marcus edition. The next highest production ran vehicle was the Dusk @ 1012 units. You are looking at a minimum 20% loss based on a diminished value claim. Get a 3rd party adjuster before agreeing to any work being performed and definitely do not sign anything or pick up the vehicle if it is still in the shop until you get a 3rd party adjuster.
Thanks for the advice. So are you saying that the insurance company should reimburse me for the diminished value as well as the repair? The cop that came out said that the insurance company doesn't report accidents to anywhere that would put it on a CarFax report, and since he didn't file a report, it's won't go farther than myself and the insurance company (according to him). That sounds too good to be true, so I'm not counting on it.

My insurance company isn't doing the estimate themselves, they've set an appointment at a Chevy dealership that has a body shop, and they'll estimate the cost. The estimate will be for using genuine Chevy parts, installed by Chevy personnel, so I figure that's probably going to be a higher estimate than any local body shop would give.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scandata View Post
Thanks for the advice. So are you saying that the insurance company should reimburse me for the diminished value as well as the repair? The cop that came out said that the insurance company doesn't report accidents to anywhere that would put it on a CarFax report, and since he didn't file a report, it's won't go farther than myself and the insurance company (according to him). That sounds too good to be true, so I'm not counting on it.

My insurance company isn't doing the estimate themselves, they've set an appointment at a Chevy dealership that has a body shop, and they'll estimate the cost. The estimate will be for using genuine Chevy parts, installed by Chevy personnel, so I figure that's probably going to be a higher estimate than any local body shop would give.
Honestly, I would call an attorney, the link I provided or Google the same. I wouldn't dismiss this and LEOs are not licensed insurance professionals qualified to be providing legal advice. Insurance companies are not the only means to register a CarFAX and if you called the police and registered the accident (per state insurance regulations), your VIN is already publicly registered as being in an accident. Besides which, getting registered onto carfax is 100% irrelevant. It's not straight forward, but the diminished value claim is not paid out against yourself per-se, it comes from a different, unrelated bucket on your policy just like medical does. If your company is worth 2c, it will get filed against uninsured motorist clause if you have it (very good), otherwise (and if you don't have UM) it will be filed against your COMP (bad).

I would be very hesitant to ask your insurance company directly first, because it is in their best interest to discourage you at any and all costs from filing this. Another good reason to have an independent insurance agent and/or collectors insurance. If you have an independent agent (NOT State Farm/Allstate/Geico/USAA/etc), then yes, call them and ask...they 100% work for YOU and have no loyalty to the underwriter.

...and yea, it's becoming more rare for insurance companies to do their own adjusting. Most states allow "qualified repair centers" to act as an insurance adjuster, preventing the need for the company to actually send anyone to look at the car.
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