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Got in my first accident ever at 29, been driving for 12 years. Completely my fault, I saw a fire truck about three blocks away, and thought the guy in front of me was on board with going on the green light, since it was going to be awhile until the fire truck even got to us. I was looking to the right and moving forward, and didn’t realize he decided to stop and wait. Yeah, never good. Live and learn.

After I found out the other party was okay, I went into instant depression about my car... insurance sent me to Seidners, they sent me an estimate for $5,200. Luckily my deductible is $500.
 

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:(

A Guy
 

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Sucks, doesn't it? I just went through the same thing with my 2018 GT (my first at-fault accident as well and I'm 47). Mine had about $10k in damages (definitely more damage than yours).

They'll be able to fix yours up like new in no time - don't stress over it. Just watch to see if they use OEM parts or not - a lot of insurance companies will try to tell the shop to use aftermarket. I found out that a new OEM headlight alone costs $907! It's crazy how expensive it is to repair these cars - and how easily they break apart.

Good luck - let us know how it goes!
 

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Remember, you can go to any body shop you prefer. I know nothing about Seidners but if you like a different shop, you're entitled to change and not be stuck with where you insurance company wants you to go. That's assuming there is no fine print in your contract.
 

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Well at least it's not extensive damage. After having supervised a large dealership Body shop for five years my tip for you is to pull the shop's estimator aside and insist in a nice way that he assign your job to their best painter and best body man. There is an enormous competence range in any given shop and the pay system encourages short cuts. Also do some research and if you find a better shop before they start you can move it. And if they say it will take five days.........it won't. Prepare for much longer then they say.

Your comment about looking away reminded me of my at fault crash back in 1977 on I-17 in Phoenix. I'm in a 1976 Dodge Aspen. Vehicle in front is a 1968 Charger driven by an off duty cop in uniform which made this even more embarrassing as people drove by laughing. There had been news reports of people throwing things off overpasses. As I approached an overpass, a kid was hanging over the railing of it so I looked up as I went under the overpass to make sure he wasn't dropping anything. When I looked back down, all the brake lights in the world were illuminated except mine, and I ran into the Charger, (AKA Tank). Aspen....front end accordioned up to the doors. Charger (AKA Tank) two dimples in the rear valance panel.
 

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Sorry about this accident. $5200 to replace basically plastic is where we are at now. It's crazy.
 

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I will say this - after getting my car back from a shop with great reviews, all of the certifications (iCar Gold, ASE, etc), there were still quite a few issues with their work.

Make sure you do a *very good* "inspection" of the car when you get it back! Look at the last few posts in my "Crash" thread to see some of the sloppy work done on my car. Granted I may be more "picky" than some, but I think all of us here are pretty "picky" about their cars...

https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f19/minor-accident-what-do-you-think-670311/index8.html#post8472105
 

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Thanks all. All the parts listed in the invoice for replacement have Mopar parts numbers which looks good. I’ll be sure to do a VERY THOROUGH inspection upon arrival. I’m not taking it home unless it’s the way it was left there.
 

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So sorry man...I have been lucky and have not been in any fender benders for well over 25 years now. post a pic or two when you get her back! Good luck!
 

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It's amazing how many little things that get overlooked at even the "best" shops. For example, let's say your car has exactly 14 plastic fasteners holding various pieces of plastic in place. Very common to get the car back with missing fasteners, and often in places that are not in clear sight. I really enjoyed MJB4450's response above. That's some good advice, sir.

Good luck
 

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Speed based compensation encourages shortcuts.

Another thing to think about... the person giving you a haircut needs a state license. The person responsible for evaluating the damage to your vehicle, doing the repair and assuring that it is safe for the road, needs absolutely nothing that shows he/she is qualified for the task.
 

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In NY you must be certified to write an auto body damage estimate. Ask for certification before you even start the process.
 

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Depends on where you go. I will say most shops just employ body men who do the work and it is supervised by someone who is certified. My family shop (in business for over 60 years) is run by my 2 brothers. I left 26 years ago for a civil service job. They go to all kinds of training and certification courses in order to stay on top of these high tech cars. Then they teach the workers how it is done. Some insurance adjusters hate us because we won't bend to their demands that saves the insurance company money. If you do the job correctly, the customers always come back and their referrals have kept us in business this long. Some customers come in looking for short cuts and ways to save money or put the insurance money in their pocket. We show them the door and wish them luck.
 

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Don't let the certifications give you too much confidence in a shop. The shop that did the repairs on my 2018 GT also had certifications (i-Car Gold Class, ASE, etc) and they still cut corners everywhere, so certifications alone doesn't ensure they will do a good job. Although, neither do reviews (the place I went to had av average of 4.8 out of 5 star reviews). It seems word-of-mouth is the only reliable way of knowing what shops are good - and even that can change easily if the recently replaced the employees that used to do the great work. It really kind of sucks for the person getting the repairs done - you are at the mercy of peolpe you just don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Don't let the certifications give you too much confidence in a shop. The shop that did the repairs on my 2018 GT also had certifications (i-Car Gold Class, ASE, etc) and they still cut corners everywhere, so certifications alone doesn't ensure they will do a good job. Although, neither do reviews (the place I went to had av average of 4.8 out of 5 star reviews). It seems word-of-mouth is the only reliable way of knowing what shops are good - and even that can change easily if the recently replaced the employees that used to do the great work. It really kind of sucks for the person getting the repairs done - you are at the mercy of peolpe you just don't know.
Never said I trusted anyone, was only replying to a response. I will be certain to inspect my vehicle well upon receipt, as well as continue to monitor it over time. It will be repaired correctly, one way or another. But I appreciate your concern, it’s these members experiences that give us all the knowledge we need!
 

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Never said I trusted anyone, was only replying to a response. I will be certain to inspect my vehicle well upon receipt, as well as continue to monitor it over time. It will be repaired correctly, one way or another. But I appreciate your concern, it’s these members experiences that give us all the knowledge we need!
Actually, that was really "directed" towards you specifically - just adding to the conversation about certifications. To me, experience is almost always better than certifications, regardless of the field. But when most people look for a body-shop, it's just one of the things we have to rely on to hopefully find a compentent body shop. Certifications, reviews and word-of-mouth. Unfortunately, from my latest experience, word-of-mouth seems to be the only reliable method of finding a good body shop, as I learned the hard way. :)

Trust me - I am NOT trying to "preach" or tell you what you should or shouldn't do. It's a lot easier to say you should have done this or shouldn't haven't done that when your not the one in the "situation". When it's you in the situation, things aren't always quite as easy or as "black-and-white" as others make it out to be. You have to deal with "real life", time constraints, logistical issues, the insurance company, the body shop, etc, etc, etc. There is no easy, foolproof way of getting things done, done right and done in a reasonable time-frame.

It'll be interesting to see what the body shop does about my panel alignment issues. The ensured me that they could successfully repair the minimal damange on one of the fenders and the hood - but it seems my current alignment issues are due to the repaired fender and hood (the side where they actually replaced the fender is fine). I don't see the body shop eating the cost to replace the fender and/or hood at this point. Not sure if they can successfully go back to the insurance company to get them to pay for replacing them now either though. We'll see what happens on Tuesday...

Good luck with your repairs - please do post back when done about your experience!
 
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