Accident Advice - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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Accident Advice

Would like to request feedback and encouragement on a situation regarding a accident Car is a 99 E300 with a flawless body. The bumpers have scars but the body was great. Visiting my sister, one of her friends husband's backs into the passenger door and leaves a dent larger than a soccer/basketball just aft of the door hinge. Estimate for the work starts at $3500 minimum from a local body shop. The people who hit the car would like to keep it a private deal and not report it for insurance. They may change that idea when I get a compete estimate. The car cost $3000 and I put $3000 into repairs. I'm not sure what I should do at this point. Does the insurance company have an obligation to restore the car if the value is less than the repair? I could see the repair being in the $4,000 range. Is it crazy to think I could buy a used door and do the repair myself with compensation from the people who hit the car? If I go the self repair what should I base the compensation on? If the compensation request is too high I think insurance will then be involved. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 05:37 AM
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Insurance will total the car.... But you can buy it back from them as salvage. Been there done that, twice actually.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 06:48 AM
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My advice assumes having friendly relations with your sister and some understanding for her friends is also important to you. You would:
- Get more than one estimate for repair, telling the shops up front that insurance isn’t paying and you’re looking for a low cost option. This would either be door replacement or dent repair, with painting.
- Take the quote you’re happy with to the friend and get a written agreement that he will pay for it, up to a maximum amount for any overruns

I would only go through insurance if the guy balks at paying, and/or you were looking`for an excuse to get rid of the car.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 09:25 AM
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I agree that dealing with friends will make for a difficult decision, but money is money.
On other hand, can you post a picture? I know at least in California "paintless dent removal" is very popular business and even they are not cheap, definitely less than above quotes.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 09:50 AM
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Since this involve family if you are capable then buy a new/used door and get it repainted. Send the bill for $1000 to the guy that hit it.

Your insurance will total the car.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. Sorry for not updating. My sister's friend comes over with a check for $3,000. It solved the problem for me in that I thanked her and said we were good. At this point I'm going to look for a used door and have it painted. I only used the car a few days a week so there is no rush on my side. It's looking more like a NY taxi than I like. Thanks again for all your help. You would think at age 67 these situations would not become simple.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 02:42 PM
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^ Used door repainted is the way to go.

In the old days you could have a door "re-skinned", that is the outer sheet metal replaced without replacing the whole door too.

Trouble is on a 20+ year old car the insurance is likely to total it if a light bulb blows. 😞

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They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me" - Nathaniel Lee
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 04:22 AM
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I had to replace a door and luckily found it in the same color just 90 miles away.

It took 90 minutes to swap it over to my car and it only cost $300 for the used
door with the exact options and interior color door cards still on the donor door.
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