When it comes to being injured in a car accident, you can’t have human body damage without having auto body damage. While personal health is the most important post-accident recovery, the cars themselves often have to undergo anywhere from minor to extensive reconstruction work, unless of course they become “totaled” and sent to the junkyard. To understand more about what can happen to a vehicle in anything from a fender bender to a rollover, we got a mechanic’s take on auto accidents. Mike Griesa, the owner of Titan Auto Body, was nice enough to answer the following questions for us:
What types of situations and damages have you seen over the years?
The smallest damage is a scratch on a car. The biggest auto damage I’ve seen happened five years ago, a 72 year old man was driving his Porsche on the highway when he got slammed into from behind. The impact crushed the rear end of the car which then went air born, hit a pole, and caught on fire. But do not worry, this man is doing well and living out his life with his family.
What always surprises you? What never surprises you?
Indirect damage, for example, when a vehicle gets hit in the rear bumper but the radio is broken, is always a surprise. In bigger accidents, it’s really common to be able to trace the damage directly from the point of impact through the whole vehicle.
What is the average repair cost of a vehicle that has been rear-ended? T-boned? Rolled over?
The average repair costs of a vehicle that has been rear-ended or front-ended are around $3,000 anywhere in the country. Most vehicles that have been T-boned are usually totaled. Most of the time vehicles cannot handle being hit from the side because they are not designed for side collisions. “No bumpers on the side of vehicles!” The average repair cost of a vehicle that has been rolled over is usually around $10,000. Just like being T-boned, most of the time vehicles cannot handle being rolled over.
What makes a vehicle “totaled” and unable to be fixed?
There are two ways a car is declared totaled and unable to be fixed, the damage is either too great economically or structurally. When a car is economically totaled, meaning it will cost too much money to fix; the insurance company of the customer takes into consideration the cost of the repair plus what they can get from the salvage and/or rental car expense and/or diminished value of the car (what the vehicle was worth before the accident). The insurance company takes all of the costs, expenses, and values to find out if the vehicle is worth the money to fix. When the vehicle is structurally totaled, the vehicle cannot be restored to the same condition it was in before the accident. In other words, structurally totaled is not structurally sound.
Do you think one model of a vehicle is safer than others?
The bigger the vehicle the safer you are. In other words “tonnage rights”! Then again Volvo is voted the safest brand, with Mercedes in second and BMW in third.
We all know wearing seatbelts and not driving while distracted are important, do you have any other advice for how to stay safe on the road?
To stay safe on the road you should drive defensively, drive with patience, look at other people’s driving patterns, be aware of other people on the road, and always be aware of blind spots.
Thank you for answering our questions, Mike! If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Arizona, the Phoenix Personal Injury attorneys can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.