Monday, August 11, 2008

I hate Mondays.

Ugh.

We're backing out of a parking space at Planet Sub on Main St. today. We're almost out of the spot, shifted into drive to move forward, and we noticed an enormous Lexus SUV backing out of the handicapped spot behind us. We lay on the horn for what seemed like an eternity to no avail - the SUV smacked right into the side of our beloved Prius, causing an ugly dent right above the wheel well. We'd managed to drive it for over a year and half without so much as a door ding. I am not pleased.

We pull back into our space, and I get out of the car. I head over to the SUV who has pulled back into the handicapped spot to find two teenage boys getting out of the car. They're obviously not handicapped, and have no handicapped plate or placard. Nice. "I'm going to need your insurance information," I say, and head back to my car to assess the damage and start taking pictures.

About 2-3 minutes pass, and one of the boys says that his mom is on the way. He apparently doesn't have any insurance information. I nod at him and say, "alright."

Mr. Awesome is by this time on the phone with our insurance agent, who tells us that because the accident happened on private property, we'd need to walk it in to the police station.

About another 5-7 minutes pass, and the mom shows up in an Audi and parks in another handicapped space. Again, no handicapped plate or placard. I see where her son gets it. She gets out of her car and I ask her for their insurance information. Rather than give it to me, she says that the police are on their way. She goes on to say that this is private property and her niece was in an accident on private property and the insurance agencies would probably say it was no one's fault. I make a mental "whatever" note -this was definitely her son's fault.

The police arrive and tell us that they came because someone (the mother) called in a report of a disturbance in regards to an accident. The woman told the police we were arguing with her kid in order to get the police to come on site. I'm baffled.

A police officer asks for our side of the story and we tell him. Then he asks for the kid's version, and the kid says that we were backing out at the same time and hit each other. The passenger in the kid's car says, "We heard the horn for about a second. Like this: BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP." He beeps for longer than a second. The kid fails to mention that our car was stopped, and he hit us. Lovely. It's pretty obvious that he's lying, based on the damage. The side of our car is banged up, the back corner bumper of theirs is dented. Ergo, their back bumper hit our side. End of story.

The police officer gives us a police report that has insurance info on it and we head back to work. Our car has an ugly dent and scrape and because the accident occurred on private property, the police can't find anyone at fault - the insurance companies will have to hash that one out.

I get back to my office and call their insurance company to file a claim. The insurance company has no record of the policy number from the police report - they say their policy numbers have more letters and numbers than what I gave them. They have no record of the address from the report. They don't have a policy for the name of the kid listed in the report. Lovely again.

I call the police department to ask if we can get the name of the mother from the scene, since she's probably the one listed on the policy and the insurance company could use that to find the policy. The woman I spoke with said that they don't have to record the name of policy holders, and if the mother gave the officer wrong information, there's nothing they could do. Her exact words were, "People lie all the time. Everyone lies. If we chase down and lock up everyone who lied in this country, we wouldn't have enough room in the prisons." Bottom line is that there's nothing they can do. All together now: lovely.

I call the phone number for the kid listed in the police report, and luckily reach the mother, who still doesn't tell me her name. She says the officer must not have written everything down correctly. She says she's in the process of moving, and she's not in her car, so she doesn't have the insurance policy information with her. In the background, I hear a man ask, "Well, what does she want?" apparently in reference to me. The mother says she'll call me back in about 20 minutes with the information.

In the mean time, I manage to find out the name of the mother. I call their insurance company back and file a claim. The mother apparently hadn't reported anything yet. I give the company my information and they say they'll have a claims associate call me within a day or so to get more information.

I call my insurance company, and give them the information they need in order to file my own claim. They tell me not to have them submit it unless it looks like the other company won't work with us. I won't know until I speak to a claims associate.

The mother still hasn't called me back, three hours later.

This sucks. We were not at fault, and the  lying handicapped-space parking family will probably get off without any penalty, while our rates will go up and we'll be out our Prius for several days while it gets repaired. And the week is just getting started.

7 comments:

  1. Damn damn damn ... that really sucks!

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  2. insurance rates don't automatically go up so it may not be so bad. if you are out of money you may be able to sue them in small claims court. why not.

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  3. I can sympathize mightily with this. I've had a few deals like this, the best being the time I heard my car alarm going off in my driveway. I looked out the window and there was a car stuck to the side of my car. Nobody in sight anywhere. Called the cops and they told me there was nothing they could do because in Kansas, there has to be a key in the ignition to find fault. No key, no driver, no fault. Turns out the owner had abandoned her car because the transmission had fallen out. She was also nice enough to cancel her insurance after she left it. Apparently her car just happened to roll down the street and into my car.

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  4. Even READING this makes my blood boil.
    How can things like this happen?
    What a colossal waste of your time, energy, and remarkable patience.
    I would have been LIVID, and probably would have made a huge scene.

    I am livid FOR you! So sorry. All you can hope for is an equally attractive karmic retribution for that oxygen-wasting family and their handicapped-parking-stealing, gas-guzzling, incompetent family members.

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  5. Sucks to be you at the moment. What ever happened to being required to provide proof of insurance? Back in the day, and I am sure you remember it well, my little Dodge Colt became an accordion and we HAD to provide insurance. The officers took this information and wrote it down, they didn't just ask you for your insurance number.

    BTW - I use Rob's parking placard way more than you would approve of. :)

    Love From STL!

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  6. Damn, good luck with this. I had a woman hit my car and total it. After the police came to the scene, I called it in to her insurance. Guess what? Her policy had been canceled for nonpayment the month before. Hopefully everything well work out better for you.

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  7. Let me give you some advice, albeit late advice. Graph paper. With a detailed, written account of what happened. Diagram your car, where the other car was, use arrows, show how you did everything in your power to avoid the accident and the SUV continued on and hit you.
    The more detail YOU can provide, the better. Screw the cops. They don't care. The kid's mom is going to ignore & lie and do what she can to avoid this - well, screw her. But as much ammo as you can give your insurance company, the better. I rear-ended an idiot in Minneapolis who went through a jogged intersection by running the stop light she had, and moving into my lane to turn. My insurance company thanked ME and said they'd wished all their clients were as detailed in their accounts as I had been, because I gave them documentation and a clear visual as to what had happened. And they made her company pay.
    It's worth it & it also helps with channeling the anger. Good luck & I'm sorry this happened!

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