The vehicle is a 2014, so fairly new. It actually was in an accident prior to us buying it (it was a rental). There was an inspection done on it after we bought it at the mechanic said where the accident happened, there really should not have been an accident report even done on it (so super small of a dent and completely repaired in rear bumper). However, then we hit a deer a few months ago causing some more damage to a fender (non-reported).
You appear to have your mind set on diminished value. You are getting ahead of yourself. There's nothing you can do about that until the car is repaired so put it out of your mind for a while.
He told me today it probably won't be totaled. He said he works with insurance adjusters all the time, and that they have a particular process of doing the estimation (they go through it together and come to agreement). Does that raise any red flags to anyone?
No red flags there. It's common.
if they can agree on an estimation to start, the deal is just done.
Not necessarily. The first inspection might result in an estimate but additional damage might be found during tear-down, at which time the shop contacts the insurance company and gets the adjuster back out for a supplement.
He also said that Chrysler is very particular about OEM parts. He said the insurance may write up aftermarket parts, but that Chrysler matches the price of the aftermarket and gives OEM parts to put on their vehicles. Again, red flag or is this true?
I have no clue. If it's true then you are fine. If it's not, and the insurance company writes it up for cheaper parts the burden will be on you to prove (not just say) that the cheaper parts are inferior to OEM parts.
Again, if this vehicle were totaled, I would not get what I need to pay off hte loan and get a new vehicle.
If you didn't buy GAP coverage and your vehicle has depreciated faster than the loan amortization, that has nothing to do with the claim. If there had been no accident and you tried to sell the car now and got less than the loan payoff that'd be unfortunate but there would be nobody to blame for it.
It's a 2014, with an accident on the record, damage to front fender (from deer), plus this damage here. We really juts need to repair it and keep it, drive it til it dies.
Or at least until it's paid off and the market value is low enough so that it won't make a difference.
my wife is a musician. She said her neck / shoulder / back pain is beginning to get better which is great, but her shoulder is getting worse. If she cannot perform as a musician as she usually does for her job (for 90 days), then this would qualify as 'serious injury', correct? Now, if that's true... would the only way to gain compensation for this be to go through the courts and sue the driver at fault? Or would this open up 'pain and suffering' through insurance?
Again, you're getting ahead of yourself. A lot depends on the nature of the injury, the diagnosis, what it will take to treat, etc, etc. After 90 days, if she still cannot work due to the injury, you are free to approach the other driver's insurance company with the claim and see how it goes. I don't know how that works in NY but my guess is that the insurance company will balk and you'll have to get an attorney and jump through some serious hoops to pursue a claim like that.