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Reply to I Got Hit by a Police Car!     
Old 02-16-2017, 05:45 PM   #1
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! I Got Hit by a Police Car!
My insurance determined that the police officer was at fault since he had the red light and was driving too fast for conditions. So, I've gotten a couple estimates so far and both are easily more than the Blue Book value of the car(total loss).

I have heard that the city will sometimes just cut you a check instead of going through their insurance. They've given me a form to fill out asking for the dollar amount of damages I am seeking.

I would like to do whatever I can to encourage them to just cut me the check. So, with that in mind, should I give them the repair estimate value or the Blue Book value of the car(since it is a total loss)?
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:34 PM   #2
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car!
Just have your insurance company write you the check. You'll be done. Your insurance company will deal with the city and get reimbursed and then they will send you your deductible.

That is, of course, if the city agrees the police officer is at fault. If not, it can drag out for a while. Let your insurance company deal with it.

It is likely that the city paying through the insurance company will pay faster then if the city writes the check. Not sure why you care one way or the other, but if it is over a certain amount, the city has to get approval from higher ups to write the check. Insurance company will just write it after the fault determination.

Any insurance company will do their own inspection to determine repair costs. Blue Book value is meaningless, if its a total loss, they will do a determination of value (probably similar to the Blue Book value) plus taxes, fees, etc.

Also, if a lienholder is involved the check will get made out to the lienholder and you.

Dan
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:21 PM   #3
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car! GoodDriver is the thread starter for: I Got Hit by a Police Car!

That would be convenient if I could get my insurance company to handle it that way. I only have liability coverage, though. Does that change things?

Also, can you tell me which Blue Book value would be closest to what they would pay out(Retail, Private Party, etc.)?
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:15 PM   #4
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car!
You are talking about a process of negotiation.

You are asking for someone on the forum to read a crystal ball and tell you exactly what the result will be so you can ask for it.

The flexibility of used car pricing is why dealers have auto auctions.

IMO you could take 3 people from the forum and put them in your situation and there would be 3 different payouts from the city.

The approach I would take in that situation would be to go to the library or my credit union and look at an NADA book. I would write down the retail and the loan or wholesale values of the vehicle. I would look at what the "std" mileage for the year is and what adjustments would be made for mileage up or down. I would look at accessories to see if there were any increases or decreases in the value dictated by additional or missing accessories.

I would then think about my car, is it average, below average or above average and set a price in relation to the information I wrote down from the NADA book. I would then add $200 - $500 to give myself some negotiating room, give that figure to the relevant city office and see what happened.

Someone else might do it quite differently.

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"...no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused..."
A Christmas Carol

Last edited by LostDollar; 02-18-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:38 PM   #5
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car!
The simple answer is to look up the value on KBB (bluebook), look at private party sale (usually the highest), be honest about the condition of your car and start with that.

From there, add sales tax, registration fees and whatever else you would need to pay if you had to buy the car (remember, thats the goal, to buy your exact car).

Don't expect to get that much though, the city will likely look at it and start deducting. Worn tires, stained seats, paint scratches, oil leaks, high mileage, whatever is applicable.

If you only had liability coverage, I assume the car isn't worth a tremendous amount (less then $5K??). That makes this a much easier process.

Has the city accepted fault yet? That will be the determining factor in this.

Dan
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:47 AM   #6
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car! GoodDriver is the thread starter for: I Got Hit by a Police Car!

The city is waiting for me to return the form before they move forward with the process to determine fault, payment, etc.

That is why I am seeking advice as to how much I should ask from the city. If it is too high, I'm sure they will pass it on to the insurance company.

My hope is that I could potentially get a higher payout and it be a much easier process if the city just accepts fault and pays me directly.

Personally, I think it is pretty clear the officer was at fault, as does my insurance company, but the city probably has the liberty to do whatever they please on the matter.

And yes, from what I can gather on this forum and elsewhere, payout on a total loss is around KBB private party value. So, maybe I should ask a little more than that and see if they go for it?
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:14 AM   #7
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car!
Read the second paragraph of DJS' second post - again - carefully.

You don't ask for those things, you are ignoring money you will have to spend again in the process of getting another vehicle.

Whether you use NADA or Kelly, you HAVE to relate the condition and characteristics of your vehicle to the average price listing of the book and adjust it up or down accordingly.

If this is a pristine vehicle that came from your grandma and has 20K-30K less miles than the average for that year and model, then it is worth more.

If it is a "beater" that has been driven into the ground and not maintained properly then it is worth less.

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"...no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused..."
A Christmas Carol
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:56 AM   #8
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car!
Did that cop write himself a ticket for running a red light and wreckless driving?
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:07 AM   #9
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car! GoodDriver is the thread starter for: I Got Hit by a Police Car!

LostDollar - I understand those details just fine. What I did not know at first was what base value to expect for the total loss payout. Since then, every knowledgeable and helpful person I've asked that simple question returns the same answer - KBB private party(condition specific, of course) or somewhere between NADA average trade-in and clean retail.

If it helps, here's the details of my case: my car books for only $1500 all things considered. The estimates I've gotten are for $6000+. So, easily a total loss. But, it still runs and drives, so I intend to keep the car.

Naturally, I just want to maximize the payout I receive from this incident. From what I understand if it goes to insurance I will have to pay salvage value to get my car back. I assume if the city pays me directly for damages that they will not be confiscating my vehicle, thus saving me the cost of recovering my car. So, it seems if I can get the city to cut me the check that it would work out better for me. That is why my original question was how much I should ask the city for damages sought.

I've never been in an accident with a city vehicle before. I don't know how these things work. If anyone has knowledgeable insight or personal experience in this matter I would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:28 AM   #10
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I Got Hit by a Police Car! Re: I Got Hit by a Police Car!
I'm sorry, I did not understand your situation.

Getting paid for a vehicle and getting to keep it at the same time is beyond my experience. That seems a stretch but maybe it can be done.

My city has a central maintenance facility and an "old" vehicle storage lot from which they periodically hold auctions to clear out the "worn out" items. I can't imagine why they would behave differently than an insurance company in settling for an accident-paying for the car, putting in with items for the next auction and selling it to recover a portion of their costs.

I hope you can get a satisfactory solution to your situation.

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"...no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused..."
A Christmas Carol
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