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Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly

I'm going to give the good news first:

* On the car: I got it back yesterday, the problem was the ignition switch, covered by warranty. When they took it on a test drive, they heard a rattle, and discovered that the bushings for the rear lower control arms were bad. Replaced them - warranty. Total bill, including rental, nearly $600.00. I paid: Not a cent. Because it was all warranty. (I think my extended warranty has now paid for itself.)

* On school: A very generous donor has given $1,000 to the students in the program with financial need/on loans, etc. So now all I owe is about $844.00 for the semester. Yay! (Um...I'm getting a loan for that amount, but it's better than $1,844!)

Now the Bad:

I hate January 3. Thirteen years ago today, my Dad passed away. So this particular date in history is already a difficult one for me. Please keep him in your prayers. I may write more later on this.


And the downright Ugly:


This afternoon, my DRE and I went out to grab lunch. Ironically, en route to find a restaurant, we were discussing insurance and policies and deductibles.

After we picked up our food, we went back to my car, I carefully backed up and proceeded very slowly towards the lot exit. I was literally creeping along because of all the ice and snow in the lot, and the fact it's a parking lot including cars and pedstrians. My years of insurance have taught me great caution in lots.

But those years of experience couldn't save me. There was sudden movement as I sidled along; a parked car became very suddenly active and SHOT backward, straight into me. There was nothing I could do...I was RIGHT THERE. There was no "forward" impact in the collision as I came to a stop immediately, and watched in amazement as the other car continued backing...right along the front of my car. The other car was going so quickly that he literally could not stop upon impact.

My first reaction (other than to hit the brake) was to shout out something I shouldn't have said, and immediately told my boss sitting next to me that I hadn't said that word.

Everyone was fine. I looked to be sure no one was immediately coming, got out and went around to check the damage. The other guy had parked his car and was walking towards me, apologizing, maybe introducing himself. I greeted him briefly, noting his first name and asked him if he had his insurance card? He did...it was in hand. I told him I'd get mine out, but was focusing on my car for the moment. The impact was to the right front bumper, scraping and "folding" the bumper in places. It's cracked and has a hole punched in it. The grill piece is also "folded". It appeared that the headlinght was not damaged.

We exchanged information cordially, and he apparently recently started a job as a claims adjuster. I told him I'd quit my job as a claims adjuster.

Parking lot accidents are the worst, liability-wise. While this guy will be majority at fault, I know that the liability decision will hold me a percentage at fault...just because it was a parking lot.

Believe me - I used to do this. Although even in lots, I occasionally made a decision that someone was 100%. And this would have been one of those cases. But I also know that common sense is not that common and that this guy's story may be drastically different than mine when he speaks to his company. I had a passenger who will verify my story, however, as a passenger she can't be considered to be an impartial witness.

I don't need this. Not the expense, not the time taken to deal with this stuff. None of it. And depending upon the percentage of my liability, I have to wonder how this is going to affect my rates. I WAS "accident free" and enjoyed a discount. Will that continue?

And I just GOT my car out of the shop!

I will say this...thank God this didn't happen in the rental car.

Although now I'll be in another rental while my car gets repaired.

* sigh *

I want to go home and go to sleep, pull the covers over my head until today is over.

UPDATE: I stopped to get an estimate tonight, and it's the shop I plan to use. I worked with them professionally in the past, and while they aren't my first choice, they ARE the most convenient and they do good work. Whenever I had to go there as an adjuster they bent over backwards and if I didn't know something, they didn't make me feel like an idiot. Well, there's no estimate. He took a look at the damaged area and agrees it needs a teardown. At this point, we're looking at Monday for a drop off, if the Ins. Company has agreed on liability. The other guy involved has the same company, which in some ways actually simplifies things, as it won't go to formal arbitration. I'm only worried about the ultimate liability decision.

And while the cost to repair will likely exceed what I owe for school, I am repairing my car; because while the temptation is great to take the money and run, ultimately I'd be taking a larger loss on trade in value. And as I'm still paying for my car, well...I don't want to drive a piece of junk. Small nicks are one thing. This is another.

Remind me to do a post about the automotive industry from a woman's perspective, from the "inside". Incorporating important insurance information.

11 comments:

Melody said...

I hate parking lots in the winter (come to think of it, I don't like them in summer either). Had an accident similar to yours two years ago. Definitely a day-spoiler. There is one good thing about parking lot accidents, however. Usually nobody is going fast enough that there are injuries. The important thing is that you are safe, and so is the other person. That said, nothing is less fun than paying big bucks for car repairs. We'll pray that the insurance company is fair and just about who is at fault. Snuggle up with Tikaani and some hot chocolate, and watch a funny movie tonight!

Adrienne said...

Arrrgh!! Time for popcorn in bed and a good book!!!

Heidi Saxton said...

Poor dear ... and I'm so sorry to hear about your father. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful, rest in peace. Heidi

Adoro te Devote said...

melody ~ The only problem about the insurance company being "fair and just" is that, if our stories conflict, it will turn to a 50/50 situation. Which is "just" given that the facts can't be proven.

To a degree, anyway...the obvious physics of damage showing speed of travel does support my story, but not all adjusters have the experience necessary to see and understand this. And some adjusters will take the axiom of the "duty to believe your client" so seriously that they will support their client even in the fact of outright proof of a lie. (These latter would make great defense attorneys...)

And some adjusters work for managers who will not take anything different than 50/50 in a parking lot accident, regardless of the facts of loss, even when both parties are telling the exact same story.

So I also pray they are fair, knowledgeable, experienced in reading damages...leading to a properly just decision.

I was frazzled today. Now I know why I always got partial information from people upon the claim report - their brains quit on them. Mine did, too.

Adrienne ~ YEAH! :-)

Heidi ~ Thank you. That's been my overwhelming thing all day long, was nearly in tears this morning when I went to the adoration chapel. You know, my Dad had really bad luck with cars and weird accidents, so even with the accident today, I'm especially remembering Dad. And wondering what he would say about this if he were still alive. Thank you for praying for him.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Good grief, girl!

I'm glad everyone is ok and the news on the school front is great!

Suggestion? Since this was a restaurant parking lot would it be worth your time to go back and see if any staff also saw the incident and get their names as witnesses too?

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Oh, me again: I forgot to mention that I'll remember your Dad in my prayers today.

Adoro said...

Nope. This is a strip of restaurants, and the one it happened in front of happes to have, on it's staff, the brother of the guy who hit me.

Theocoid said...

Ouch, rough start to the new year. I'm sorry to hear it. Prayers for your father in transmission.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: oh, oops! Well, look at the bright side: your year can only get better.

Terry Nelson said...

I hate it wwhen that happens! I hate cars. My greatest sympathy.

And yep - prayers for you and your dad. One reason the holidays are so rough on me my mom, dad, and brother all died close to this season - not in the same year of course.

God blesss you.

Hidden One said...

You have my prayers.