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New Fun and Crunch!
I was off to see a client in Montrose early this afternoon. I was on Ocean View and getting ready to turn right onto Honolulu. A bit ahead of me was a large beige Mercedes sedan.

There is a little boutique restaurant there, and apparently the lady driving the Mercedes was in a hurry to pick up her order. She dove into a empty spot at the curb, slightly at an angle, then flung her drivers side door open without looking. !!BangCaarrraaaaaaash!!!.

This took me completely by surprise, but checking in my rear view mirror, I could see what had happened. The damage to my car shows I did not hit her door, her door hit me, because the damage doesn't start until aft of the front bumper.

This happened right across the street from the local Police station, so the scene was swarming with cops within a couple of minutes.

So, my car is drivable but the passenger side mirror was scraped off and rendered into fragments, and I have severe denting in the right front fender and passenger side door. Most of the trim on the front quarter was ripped off.

The Mercedes was not drivable because the driver side door couldn't be closed.

I heard her complaining to the cops that if it happened two seconds later she would be dead on the pavement. I think she was trying to somehow imply this was all my fault.

I got to my client an hour late, but with enough time to finish the job. The office manager told me that the husband of the owner, Dr. Zarate, was involved in exactly the same accident in exactly the same place two weeks before.
New Yikes! :-( Glad you're Ok.
If it's any consolation, you can probably get a good deal on a new car now.


I found my driver's side mirror in the street once; I think a trash truck knocked it off. The insurance/body shop replaced it with a junkyard special, but I had it/them replaced with a pair of new replacements at RockAuto.com for a good price (the painters painted them for free).

Good luck!

New I do not expect this to be a total.
The door would be easily replaced. The fender is more of a problem, but there is no noticeable displacement of body parts. I will be talking to the insurance adjustor on Monday.
New They totaled my VW Jetta wagon when I was rear-ended on the highway.
3 pm on a weekday in rural Ohio on I-75, going 70 mph, and was rear ended by an Explorer who was weaving through traffic going too fast and not watching what he was doing...

Smashed the bumper and the hatch. Rest of the car was fine.

But it was over 12-ish years old and over $2k in damage, so they said it was totaled. :-(. They paid me, I got it fixed, and I still have it (and it is still insured with USAA).

Be prepared. :-(. Good luck!

New How does that work for resale?
Over here, if the insurer determines that the cost of repair exceeds the value of the vehicle, it is "written off".

There are four categories of write-off (lifted from a UK car site):

  • Category A write-off: These vehicles are usually burnt-out and they must be totally crushed including all spare parts

  • Category B write-off: These vehicles cannot return to road and the shell must be crushed, but their spare parts may be salvaged and sold for spares

  • Category S write-off: Repairable, but cost of repair is more than value of car. Has been determined to have some sort of structural damage (previously category C)

  • Category N write-off: Again repairable, but it would cost more than the car's value to fix. Shouldn't have sustained any structural damage (previously category D)

  • Cat S and N cars are common on the resale market, and can be quite a bargain - however, a lot of buyers (myself included) are nervous about these cars - especially Cat S, and will avoid buying them. (When selling a vehicle it is mandatory to declare any insurance write-off)
    New Only category I've heard is "salvage"

    New No, there is another designation . . .
    . . "Submarine". This is for cars refurbed after floods in the Mississippi drainage system.
    New I almost want to buy one so I can tell people I'm driving a submarine

    New in mississippi that is a salvage flood tiitle so the potential new owner is aware
    "Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman
    New Dunno. It's probably worthless as a general principle.
    It's a 2004 Jetta TDI. Too old to be part of the "dieselgate" stuff, but the value was killed anyway.

    I don't understand the details of "totaling" and so forth. Virginia would have required that I get a "salvage title" once it had been ruled a total loss if it were less than 10 years old at the time, but wasn't, so I didn't. Everyone probably assumes that normal cars over 10 years old are near-junk anyway.

    I plan to give it away to the local NPR station or a local charity if/when I decide it's too old for a new clutch, or am willing to pull the trigger and go electric, or whatever. They'll auction it off or send it to the crusher and I'll get a note in the mail telling me what they were able to get for it, and I'll use that for a federal income tax deduction. (J got over a value of $900 for her 1993 Corolla that had 203,000 miles on it at the time. We were astounded.)

         Fun and Crunch! - (Andrew Grygus) - (9)
             Yikes! :-( Glad you're Ok. - (Another Scott) - (8)
                 I do not expect this to be a total. - (Andrew Grygus) - (7)
                     They totaled my VW Jetta wagon when I was rear-ended on the highway. - (Another Scott) - (6)
                         How does that work for resale? - (pwhysall) - (5)
                             Only category I've heard is "salvage" -NT - (drook) - (3)
                                 No, there is another designation . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (2)
                                     I almost want to buy one so I can tell people I'm driving a submarine -NT - (drook)
                                     in mississippi that is a salvage flood tiitle so the potential new owner is aware -NT - (boxley)
                             Dunno. It's probably worthless as a general principle. - (Another Scott)

    Three rings for the elven-kings under the sky
    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone.
    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die
    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
    One Ring to rule them all
    One Ring to find them
    One Ring to bring them all

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