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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you that I talk to back and forth via private messages know, I recently got into a pretty bad car accident in my CLK 55. Not my fault at all, some ignorant cell phone user who happened to be behind the wheel of a Dodge Ram made a left hand turn in front of my car at an intersection. Long story short, there was a cop sitting in the intersection that witnessed the entire thing and I released of all liability at the scene. Luckily this yahoo was insured and the EXCELLENT passive safety features of my car left me with nothing more than a sore back (I cannot say the same for my poor car though).

So here's the problem. The car is an '02, the last year of production for AMG 208's. Insurance laws in my state dictate that the car must be repaired with parts from either that year car or newer. As there isn't a newer car available and there aren't two many used CLK parts out there, the estimate has quickly risen to well over the value of the car new (it truely is carnage, the front end is GONE). Now Allstate (the other guy's insurance-and a very shifty company according to my body shop), is low-balling the hell out of me on the toal loss value. I am at the point that I will lose money (it's a leased car) if I take this insult of a settlement. I told them that I will not release what's left of the car from my body shop (the advantages of being in this industry) until we agree on a figure based a little more on fairness.

So I guess, after all this rambling, my question to you good people is this: what the hell do I do? I have never even been in an accident before, and I don't know exactly how to proceed. I'm playing as much hardball with these people as I know how to play, but i feel I don't know all the rules. I implore anyone with any experience in these matters to let me hear your story and what you did in that situation. Any help or insight at all is appreciated. Thanks all.
 

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I have not had the misfortune to be in you situation, but I can tell you what your next move should be. You should consult an attorney. I'm sure there are seveal who are customers of your dealership. I'll bet the dealership has a firm on retainer or at least a relationship with a law firm. Ask them for a referral, if they don't want to take on the case themselves.
 

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My opinion

I was in a similar situation once. Insurance companies can reall suck. They play used car salesmen. Hold your ground. Don't accept anything unfair from the pirates!!
 

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Don't know if this will help. Most dealerships base trade-in values not on Edmund's or Kelly's; but a resource called Galves. They are located at http://www.galves.com/.

My guess is that you enter the parameters of your car and get an idea of what a dealer would pay you as if you were going to trade in your car. I would think that the car insurance company would have a hard time arguing against that amount as Galves is considered the industry standard (at least that's what my MB salesman told me).

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips. I did check out Galves, and even though they are a bit lower than what I'd seen so far, they are still more in line with my thinking than Allstate's. Waiting to hear from them today on this. I do not like to give too much away during negotiations (a big part of my business). These people are in for a shock if they think their strong-arm tactics are going to intimidate me into losing money over their client's negligence. I did contact my attorney (one of my clients, conveniently enough) and gave him the run-down. My insurance company has also said they'd send a lawyer to bat for me. I hope this doen't turn into some long drawn out fiasco. I very recently finished a longstanding suit and don't ever want to be involved in one again.
 

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I hope it all worked out for you. As a fellow 2002 CLK55 owner, I was very sorry to read of your accident....at least you weren't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is all supposed to be finished totally this week. I'm just waiting for the good hands ( :roll: )people to finish it all up. I'm still not sure if I'm going to get another 208 (209's look like Acuras) or something a little more practical (the llittle boy is growing up too quickly). I'm kind of partial towards an '03 E55, but I'm not too partial to the C240 loaner cars I know I'll be driving for a good part of that ownership experince. Who knows, at this point I'm content to tool around in my old 202 until something really hits me. It's almost blashemy, but I drove an '02 M5 we took in on trade for a couple of days and loved it, but from what I understand, they're even worse for stupid little problems. Plus, most of them have been beat to hell already. The '02 996's are going pretty cheap right now after the release of the 997. Might eschew all desires for practicality and start the midlife crisis early.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I understand it really is their job. I had a pretty bad shoulder injury a few years back at another job and was sidlined for almost a year. I almost think the constant garbage I had to deal with through the insurance company was worse than the surgeries or subsequent therapy sessions. It kind of speaks for customer service as a whole any more, in any industry. A few years ago, I used to complain about the lack of a real voice on the other end of the phone when trying to reach some sort of customer service. Now, the actual people are as bad as the machines. I don't know if the blame lies on outsourcing these jobs or just a relative lack of consideration for the customer when creating the protocol that these "representatives" must follow. It almost seems the trend in business is to make after sales support so difficult and frustrating to come by, that most people will give up and move on, thus keeping the bottom line a little lower. I don't know if I need a tin foil hat for this one or not...
 

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Different insurance companies have different styles and reputations. I'm surprised to hear that Allstate was disappointing, I haven't heard that before. State Farm is supposed to be very good, and Progressive is supposed to be the worst by far at responding to their own customers and the other side in an accident. It's kind of ironic, given that the company's founder is a big funder of lefty politics, ostensibly a man supporting the people, etc., etc., while his company's institutionalized a policy of screwing anyone, anywhere, anytime that it's possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
State Farm can be good, but they pretty much set the standard. I had a long top with the gentleman who runs my body shop and he recommended either State Farm, General Casualty and Universal Casualty as decent providers. Allstate kind of gets by on a reputation for reliability that no longer exists (sort of like this home stereo company, oh and this car company I know of :D )
 

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I have Allstate and they have always been a reliable company for me. But then, my claims have been small and spread over many years. Most claims have been storm damage and kid screw-ups. Those Allstate MF's have made a lot of money off my good fortune. But, why not? I have had a good life, too.

Look, I expect that any company would protect its assets. It keeps my premium down if they screw you. I suspect that the first response that any lawyer would advise their client is admit no guilt and then the second would be, minimize the liability if fault is established. That's what Allstate has done. It's up to you and your advocate to show cause as to why they should pay the sum you believe is reasonable. I am glad Allstate does that.

Now if Allstate ducked its responsibility through some facade or other, I'd sue those MoFo's until Queen Elizabeth bled. In other words, I'd hire a narwhal--a force of nature with a long, sharp lance.

Ribulose
 

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Discussion Starter #13
At this point in time, it looks like I'm going to do OK. All the resolutions are pretty much in my favor. I went back and forth with these coc----pardon, people of ill refute. for some time to get a reasonable settlement for my now deceased baby. As long as the check I get matches the number my Narwhal figured out with them , then I am in good standings. Only time will tell.
 
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