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claim | two accidents, two damages, one payment

by Terri Ann

On December 12, I was stopped at a rotary in MA waiting for traffic to pass, so that I could enter the rotary. The car behind be was stopped as well, and then started to go, in anticipation of me going, and hit me.

I could not enter the rotary as the car in the rotary had the directional on to exit.. but never did. The car in the rotary was traveling very fast and traveling in the outside lane, preventing me from entering the rotary. The man behind me hit me, from a as he thought the car in the rotary was exiting because of the directional light.

My minivan had damage to the rear bumper on the drivers side top section. It was 2 tears about 3 inches long.

The rest of the bumper was fine. The elderly man who hit me provided his information, we went through his insurance and after the appraisal, I was issued a $944.00 check for the repairs. The facility that I went to for the appraisal. was booked for repairs until the beginning of March.

I cashed the $944.00 check that arrived in January, and waited for an appointment in March for my car to be fixed. It was just cosmetic type damage in one little spot on the drivers side and I could wait for the repair. It posed no problem to the car.

At the beginning of March, I was at a red light, stopped and a girl drove right into the back of my minivan. She was not paying attention at all, and drove directlly into the back of my minivan. We are all thankfully fine, but I was the one and only car on the road at that red light, and the girl just drove into me, without slowing down.

This time, my entire bumper was pushed in, the back hatchback door of my minivan was crushed in and my daughters wheelchair was damaged. Thank God, my 3 daughters and I were ok. I brought my minivan into the same shop for appraising and repairs. The girl that hit me had the same insurance company as I. Liberty Mutual determined that she was 100 percent at fault and my minivan was brought in right away for evaluation and repair.

I was given a rental for the duration. Ihe shop asked for a copy of my appraisal from the 1st incident (Commerce Insurance) and then my car was appraised by Liberty Mutual. The agent from Liberty called me and I he asked me questions about my car. I told him that my car prior to this accident, with exeption to the 2 tears on the left side of the bumber.

I told him that this accident completely caved in the entire back of my minivan and harmed my daughters wheelchair. The rear door of the minivan would also not close properly. the bumber was crashed in as well as the door.. all in the center of the rear bumper. The next correspondence that I had, was a summary letter . In the mail, to let me know that a check was issued directly to the body shop for the parts/labor.

Everything looked good except that there was a charge for a new bumper, not covered in the 2nd accident claim. It was $235.00 applied to the 1st accident. I called Liberty Mutual to tell them that after the first accident in Mid December, that my rear bumber was fine, except for the 2 tears on the left drivers side. I told the Liberty Mutual agent the 2nd accident caused major damage to the bumber and door, both in the center rear or the minivan.

He said that there was previous damage and that is correct, but is like comparing a scratch to a majoright, except this accident caused a huge amount of damage.

I told them that if this bodyshop had openings earlier in January or Feb. and my bumber had been repaired and then the girl hit my car in March, I would require a brand new bumber from her damage to my minivan. The 2nd accident caused a lot of damage to my vehicle.

The back door or the minivan would not even close properly. It was unsafe to drive. The next communication I had with the body shop was that my car was fixed and to come in to return the rental and pick up my car.

I had not heard any more from Liberty Mutual, other than a summary letter acknowledging payment to the body shop for the repair. When I picked up my car last night I noticed the wonderful repairs to the car, it looked fantastic, just like it did prior to the 2 accidents. Then my shock set in, I was presented with a bill for $944 that I owed, in order to pick up my car, in addition to the funds paid directly to the bodyshop for my repairs. No on ever told me that I would have to pay this, nor was it authorized by me. The 2nd accident had nothing to do with the first accident.

The shop that fixed my vehicle charged me the $944.00 as my portion to fix the car.. on top of the money that Liberty Mutual paid to fix my car. They said that the $944.00 was to replace the bumper from the previous accident ( that was not my fault ) and the claim was with Commerce Insurance.. nothing to do with Liberty Mutual. They said that it was a cross repair.

I am so upset.. as the 2nd accident in March completely destroyed my bumper and the rear hatchback door of my car.

The girl that hit me at the red light was completely responsible for the bumper being replaced. I am calling my agent on Monday morning and also going to the bodyshop that did my repair work. All of this work was done without my consent to pay the extra $944.00.

I need advice as I am upset that Liberty Mutual would not take into account that the 2nd accident caused immense damage to my car, as well as extremely frightening myself and my 3 young daughters, and breaking my daughters wheelchair.

Please advise as to how to handle this?

Thank you. I was shocked when I went in. I could only receive my car if I paid the $944.00 on top amount that Liberty Mutual directly paid the body shop for the new accident. Please help me?

Answer to Insurance claim | two accidents, two damages, one payment

Hello Terri Ann,

Unfortunately what you describe sounds like how this claim needs to be handled.

Under the first accident, you had damages of $944.00 (scratch or not). The first insurance company (Commerce Insurance), paid you $944.00 for all damages caused and made you whole. Except that you decided to drive a car without fixing it. In other words, you were driving a car with $944.00 worth of damages.

When the second accident happened, more damage was caused to your car. They owe you to put you back in the situation you were prior the accident. Prior the accident, you had a vehicle with $944.00 worth of damages, then Liberty Mutual is putting you back in the same position. You received that amount from the first insurance company, therefore, if you pay that amount to the repair facility, then the vehicle would be repair back to pre accident condition, with no scratches. You would be put exactly in the position you were before the accident.

You should talk to a local attorney about this.

Good Luck

Comments for claim | two accidents, two damages, one payment

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Apr 02, 2012
Thank You
by: Terri Ann

I appreciate your response. I did have a chance to speak to the insurance company today and the bodyshop.

I always intended to have my car repaired and had the money from Commerce to fix the car from the first accident. I had a letter from Liberty Mutual that contained information from the 2nd accident/ stating that the total amount to repair the minivan was $2290, they issued a check directly to the bodyshop in the amount or $ 1909.00 and the difference was to reflect "prior damage".

When I arrive at the bodyshop to pick up my car, I expected to pay the difference between $ 2200 and $1909... leaving me with a balance owed of $ 381.00. That was the only correspondence I had from Liberty Mutual regarding the accident. I questioned why that amount changed from $381.00 to $ 944.00.

I had the money and I paid the $ 944.00, I just wanted and explanation. I am waiting for Liberty Mutual to call me back. I went to the local office today to inquire.. with all of my paperwork, from the first accident appraisal, 2nd accident bills and copies of checks from both and bills I paid to bodyshop.

Hello Terri Ann

Well, that is interesting. You should only owe them the difference between the two (the appraisal and what the insurance company paid).

You are correct, talk to Liberty Mutual and have the adjuster contact the bodyshop and figure out why, exactly, there is the difference.

The bodyshop should not using any prior damage estimate to get more money out of you.

Do get to the bottom of it. I am sorry I miss understood your question.

Thank you.

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