Thank you for your reply. The problem is I'm just really confused. I had never been in an accident until I got the Mazda 3 in Apr. 05 and I have since been in 3, the other two being fender benders. In the last one, it wasn't my fault either, but my ins. co. (usaa) paid for the repairs and my rental and I assume they were reimbursed. But I dealt only with my ins. co.
This time, we didn't know the info. on the other party until we got a hold of the police report a few days ago. My ins. co. went ahead and got started with my car and my rental. So I am told the $900 rental car coverage on my police applies. If I want to be reimbursed for my out of pocket rental expenses, I'll have to go after his ins. co. (which is why I got a lawyer). When I was talking to the adjuster about how they were hardly saving anything by having my car repaired, he responded "a savings is a savings". I asked if it was true they would be reimbursed by the other guy's ins. co. and he said 'yes, but we still have to make the right decision or they won't agree to reimburse us.'
Going off what kbb says my car is worth, I was fighting them to the death about totalling the car. When they come back with a 28 page report detailing the value of my car, at $19,400, how can I fight that? I have told them what the car costs new and they just said they'd fax me the report, and they did. How can I fight this? It shows that dealerships in my area are marking 05 Mazda 3's at 19K. But that is not what they are getting, and I'm not a dealership. I don't understand why usaa would want to overpay for a total loss. And how is dealership asking price the same as fair market value??
(btw, the local mazda body shop says THEY would total it if the car was going to cost 40% of the value to repair, but usaa says they don't go by any %, 90% is still less than 100%, so they won't total it if it can be fixed)
Everyone keeps asking me why I am not dealing with his ins. co. Well, first of all I have a lawyer so they told me not to deal with them anyway. But still, usaa is telling me what my policy covers and that's that, they they will seek reimbursement for their expenses. Is this how it normally works?
I don't know what to believe about how a car holds up after a second major accident, that's why I'm looking for facts. I don't want to fight a losing battle if there isn't a real reason. The body shop says they can fix it safely. But I am not able to put all the trust in the world on the safety of my unborn baby in the hands of an auto-body shop that I know little about. I know they are reputable, but a 2% chance of my car not crumpling properly in another accident is too much of a risk for me to take. Driving on L.A. freeways everyday, I think it's a matter of time before I get hit again. I emailed the CA Office of Traffic Safety and they told me to find the website of California Department of General Services, Office of Automotive Repair and/or the National Highway Traffic Safety Associations, so I guess I'll try that now. Any suggestions?
So for now, the body shop has started to order parts and tear down my car. Is it too late to fight? I feel like I've exhausted my points about what my car is worth and how safe it will be and got nowhere, and I don't know what else to do.
btw, I love the Mazda 3 and totally recommend it. I cried when it got damaged (yea, I'm a girl lol), but then thought of it as a sign that I need a safer vehicle with side airbags. Want to buy mine when it gets out of the shop? lol It's a great car, I will miss it.