Thief high centered my Jeep on a boulder. What now?
February 22, 2012 10:51 AM Subscribe
Stolen car, undercarriage damage, and an auto insurance claim. What do I need to know?
posted by clearly to travel & transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Last night, as I was approaching my Jeep in a parking lot, I heard its engine start. I realized somebody was trying to steal my car, and pounded on the drivers side window as I came close enough and yelled at him to get out of my car. The thief was startled, put the car in reverse, and popped the clutch. I dodged out of the way, and he, not looking behind him, wound up backing into a center parking lot island at a pretty high speed, ramming a boulder in the middle of the island, and ultimately high centered the Jeep on the boulder.
He hit the boulder with the rear bumper, which caused the back end to jump up, and the boulder to scrape along the undercarriage until the Jeep finally came to rest on its front right suspension arm with its two front tires in the air. The boulder scraped just about the entire length of the undercarriage of my Jeep, as evidenced by scrapes and dents on my skid plates and frame.
I had a tow truck lift my Jeep off the boulder, and was able to drive it home, a couple blocks away. It didn't sound good, and was shaky and rattling even while idling. I don't know much about what to look for as far as undercarriage/suspension/drivetrain damage, and want to be sure that possible structural damage isn't dismissed as scrapes on my skid plates. My dad insisted that any inspection require lifting my Jeep onto a rack to check for underside structural damage, but even then, I don't know enough to be able to identify damage to the drivetrain or undercarriage. I just know that it wasn't driving well, and that my Jeep took a really hard blow landing on that boulder.
Do you have any recommendations for me as far as working with the claims adjuster and/or mechanic in determining possible undercarriage damage? How do I make sure that my Jeep is made whole again?
When the thief fled, I called the police on my cell, and followed after him at a distance. I chased him to an alley where he was apprehended by the police a few minutes later and charged with GTA. It was pure luck that I walked out when I did, and pure instinct to chase after him. I doubt that he has auto insurance to levy a claim against, but that is still a possibility.