Monday, May 3, 2010


Living and driving in town is just an accident waiting to happen, regardless how well your driving skills are. Too many people, too many things going on in their own little worlds and too little attention being focused on the world around them. So it was with little surprise that as I sat at the stop sign on a T-intersection waiting for a car to pass by before I pulled out, I could do more and watch the ass end of an ancient Ford Aerostar back out of the driveway across the street and right into my vehicle, the newest one I own none-the-less.

Being I was alone, I may have said a swear word or two which explains why after I pulled back into the driveway of the offending person, that he raised his hand and said immediately that he was at fault. Having never been in an accident before, I was unsure of what I should do but when the guy mentioned something about if I was interested in settling this creatively, I called the cops and had them come out to write a report.

The local cult here in town are if anything, definitely one of the most creative people when it comes to money. They are the masters of getting grants, weaseling out of debts, etc and since this guy was obviously loosely affiliated with the cult, I wanted none of it. We were going through the proper channels.

The man in the Aerostar took my pad and pen from my hand while I was on the phone with the police and started to write down his insurance information. While we were waiting for the police to show up, I told them that if he didn't mind, I wished to write down his insurance information myself which kind of pissed him off but I'm glad I did. After I got home later and was getting the information ready to call my insurance people, I noticed that he gave his address as a post office box instead of a street address, had written down his phone number different than the one he gave me later and also looks like he deliberately tried to make his policy number hard to read by scratching it out in a couple places, appending above it and breaking it into multiple lines as he tried to cram it at the end of a line with half a sheet of blank paper still to write on. Predictable they most certainly are.

The worst part about this whole incident is that vehicle wise, my world has gone to pouring instead of just raining. My wife's car needs some work (both some that I am planning on doing and blogging about later and other that I can't do) and is already scheduled to get it this coming week and was going to take the van back with her to the urban jungle. I'm no sooner going to get hers fixed when I have to take that one in for repair. Fortunately I have my thirteen year old trusty civic as backup which will come in handy over the next few weeks.


Murf said...

He was a sneaky lil' fellow, wasn't he? I always heard that you don't have to exchange phone numbers and addresses, just names and insurance information. I know of a girl whom the guy kept calling repeatedly afterwards because she made the mistake of handing out this information.

R. Sherman said...

I don't know about Iowa, but those sorts of shenanigans would get one a court summons really quick.

Good luck on the repairs. I've been there/done that. It's the transportation logistics which are a pain.


Ed said...

Murf - Since this was my first accident, I read the back of my insurance card which told me to get all those things. Since I was dealing with a guru, my gut told me to get even more information such as VIN number off his vehicle.

R. Sherman - I'm hoping it doesn't come to that but someone who knows this guy just informed me that they wouldn't trust him further than they could throw his van. He was a fairly sprite guy so my trust of him is shorter than I could throw him.

Eutychus2 said...

Be just a little suspicious of those who are 'toooooooooooooo' eager to admit fault ... maybe raising his hand was a Freudian slip and really meant 'stop, beware.' Hope everything works out for you; just putting up with the guy, you deserve that.

Sage said...

a benefit of with a phone with a camera is also to snap a few pictures--include ones of him and his license plate... Sorry about your problems, it's always a pain.

Murf said...

Shame it's not a Saturn. I hear I could bump out such dings with nothing but a hair dryer. The person that said that might have been making fun of my car though. :-)

geri said...

Ugh, that's a bummer. I am appalled at the other guy's sneakiness, it's good you had the presence of mind to get the needed information.

Vince said...

Here we stopped all that rubbish by requiring that an insurance cert' be displayed on the windscreen with the Insurer, policy and the car id number. Not having insurance displayed is a jailable offence. Two years I think.

Ed said...

Eutychus2 - When we started reading the backs of our insurance cards to see all required procedures, he read that he was not supposed to admit fault and said oops. I wished I had a tape recorder of him admitting his fault.

Sage - I do have a cellphone with a camera but it takes miserable pictures.

Murf - I've seen those Saturn commercials where a kid uses the car as a batting backstop but I've also seen a few Saturns with dents around town so I don't believe everything I see.

Geri - I'm hoping that since I have or will have done repairs on three vehicles in a month, that this counts as three strokes of bad luck and I'm not due anymore.

Vince - That seems like a pretty reasonable law to me and I think I would be in favor of it.

Ed said...


Well my insurance company couldn't locate his insurance company but thanks to my keen Googling skills, I turned it up and called them. After providing enough information about their client to satisfy them, they admitted that he had called in and started a claim. So now I wait for their investigation. I did get a quote for the damage and it came out to $1500! Ouch!

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I have come to the conclusion that the minimum charge for the repair of any accident damage regardless of how small is 1500 bucks. I am not sure that body shops don't have a rubber stamp that says 1500 bucks.

I loved both of my long dead Civics (both long dead because I have them to "sons". Sigh!!, Of course they were geriatric at that point anyway)

Beau said...

Sorry about the crunch... that's so frustrating. You did exactly the right thing. Seems like too many people try to just leave or not take responsibility.

I agree with Sage... a camera/phone is great to have and solves a ton of issues right away. Thanks for the "be aware" reminder!

Bone said...

At least it wasn't on private property. I got hit in a Hardees drive-thru once. Talk about a mess.

I just chalked it up to that's what I get for going to Hardees. It was just for breakfast, but still.