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FortKnox's Journal: Car Wreck 48

Journal by FortKnox
I was in a fender-bender today.
I own 3 cars (recently bought a minivan and trying to sell my old 94 Grand Cherokee), so which one was hit? The brand new one, of course (01 Grand Am).

I was driving into an intersection (where the light was green), and the minivan in front of me was practically at a stop without anyone in front of them. I was past the turn lane, and needed to turn, so I jumped in and went on my merry way. Apparently, the minivan figured out he wanted to turn, also, and turned into the lane without checking. He got my passenger side back door scratched, and my mudflap is in pretty bad shape.

I'm almost positive he is at fault. Just merely by the fact that he hit my backend with the front corner of his minivan is enough to show that I was already in the lane, he merged after I had already mostly passed him, so he should have checked before merging.

Regardless, I'm pretty p*ssed off the car is banged up and I have to go through channels to get it fixed, and have to deal with 2 insurance companies. Also, this was my first accident with another person, so I did everything wrong. Didn't call the police, only exchanged insurance info (no one claimed fault or anything). They were an older couple from florida, so I have to let the insurance company's claims department go find out numbers and put in calls to see what happens. Hopefully, he'll just claim fault and be done with it, so I can get my car fixed and go on with life.

I just hate having other crap interfering with life.
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Car Wreck

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  • That's all I have to say about that.
    Good luck with the claim. If it's below your deductible, it probably won't even matter.
    • Unless he has broad collision. Generally how it works is this: if the other driver is 100% at fault for the accident, then you pay no deductible. If the other driver is >50% at fault, but less than <100%, then then it's on a sliding percentage scale how much deductible you pay.

      However, because no police report was filed, this is going to be a problem, because there is no 'at fault' determination.

      In some states (e.g., Michigan), if you hit someone in the a$$, then you are automatically 100% at fau
      • Actually, he asked if we should, and I said "I dunno, this hasn't ever happened to me, its your call"
      • However, because no police report was filed, this is going to be a problem, because there is no 'at fault' determination.

        That's really not true. It's only a problem if the state you are in has no-fault (like New Jersey) If the insurance companies can't process it as no-fault, they'll duke it out as to who's fault it was. They'll send out appraisers to determine the type of damage, get both sides of the story, and go from there.

        In some states (like Massachusetts) if you don't have the police on the sc

        • In some states (like Massachusetts)

          Massachusetts? No offense, but that whole states government is funded off of car wreck citations.... ;-)
          • Massachusetts? No offense, but that whole states government is funded off of car wreck citations.... ;-)

            Bzzt. Sorry, Sorry. The correct answer is: "What is state funding based off of towing fees because some unsuspecting tourist bastard parked on the wrong side of the street at the wrong time, or for 30 seconds over their meter limit.

            :P

        • I live in a no-fault state (Michigan) so I'm answering from my own experience with Michigan's no-fault laws, which, of course, are supposed to stop lawsuits but often fail to do so.
          • Heh, no-fault is a disaster (I grew up in NJ, also no-fault) It should be illegal, because things often get processed as no-fault when there's low damage (like ~1000 or so) Unfortunately, that means both parties insurance premiums go up. Nothing like getting rear-ended at a stop sign and watching your premuims skyrocket 'cause of some other dumbass.
    • 1.5 years I had an "accident" while pushing my car (the battery was stalled and it was parked so that it couldn't be jumped where it was) anyway, the door got damaged in the process and I filed a claim, getting about $500 beyond my deductible to fix it from insurance.

      My insurer, PROGRESSIVE, deemed it to be an accident where I was at fault and when I renewed raised my premium by 70%, so that within the first year the additional premium would more than exceed what they had paid out. And that rate would be
  • Unless you are injured, the police report isn't actually going to say much unless it is very obvious who was at fault.

    My first accident, I was rear-ended but saw it coming so I tried to spin my car off to the side (yay for high-torque rear-wheel drive) and he nailed the left rear quarter panel (Because the retard jerked the wheel *towards* my car, not away) and the cops wouldn't issue a clear 'At-Fault' ruling, just note the damages in the police report and suggest he was at fault.

    The last accident I got
  • I can definately relate. Though I've never bought a new car, it seems like every time I get a car set up perfectly, replacing all the major repair needs, I get in an accident. (been in three so far).

    Hopefully, he'll just claim fault and be done with it, so I can get my car fixed and go on with life.

    However nice that would be, and however nice they seemed, I doubt that will happen. Second accident I was involved in, the car in front of me on the freeway pulled onto the shoulder, and then as I went by at
  • They never do. Always call the cops if there is damage that you aren't willing to pay for yourself.

    I was in an accident about 18 months ago in which the other car, in the far right lane, cut across three lanes to attempt a left turn in front of me. No signal, no slowing, wrong lane by three, no indication at all that they were going to turn. I saw them veering toward me and slammed on the brakes, but there was a collision anyhow.

    It was a car full of 17 year old girls from out of state. They could te

    • They never do. Always call the cops if there is damage that you aren't willing to pay for yourself.

      Calling the cops is only required in two cases:
      a) Injured or deaths are involved
      b) You can't agree together on filling the insurance forms (you have standardized insurance forms in the US, don't you?)

      Anyways, if none of the above applies, calling the cops will just piss them off and you don't want pissed off cops.

      When the insurance forms are filled in, it's the job of the experts at the insurance c

      • IANAL but I remember that if the damage is over $300 then you have to call the cops. This might vary by state. Also, you don't want the other person to suddenly develop a case of back pain weeks later and decide to go after you.

        I don't have any insurance forms to fill out immediately after an accident. All I have is a little card that says what my policy number is and when it expires. I am guessing that things are very different in Europe.

        • I am guessing that things are very different in Europe.

          Most definately according to what you write.
          Here is info on the "constat à l'amiable" [www.acl.lu] from the Automobile Club Luxembourg (ACL) [www.acl.lu] (which I am of course member of), the equivalent of your AAA. Sorry that it is in french, but google is your friend [google.com].

          • I am guessing that things are very different in Europe.

            Most definately according to what you write.

            The system in Luxembourg sounds very different from the UK: there is no mutual anything, and the police must by law be called if anyone injured or anyone else's property is damaged (i.e. not your own). You are required to give the other person your name, address and insurance company's information, then the insurance companies sort it out between themselves. You give your own insurance company a descript

            • Well, if you actually went to the site linked to your would see that the blue cover says "Constat Européen d'Accident". Notice that second word? Yeah, I thought so. Yes, the UK might be different... but the UK is always different. I don't even know why we bother with the UK in the first place.

              Here the rule is simple: injury or death, call the police. Damages is between you and the other party (that is why it is called "constat amiable", which means friendly... you don't want to get angy over just

              • Well, if you actually went to the site linked to your would see that the blue cover says "Constat Européen d'Accident". Notice that second word? Yeah, I thought so. Yes, the UK might be different... but the UK is always different. I don't even know why we bother with the UK in the first place.

                That's mutual; we only ever voted to join the "Common Market". The rest all happened without our knowledge or consent; the last poll showed 52% would withdraw rather than accept the new EU constitution.

                As for

                • As for the "Europeen" bit, that's either wishful thinking or arrogance (or a mix): it is not even EU-wide, let alone Europe-wide! Who organizes this form, if not the police - one driver supplies the other with one? Or some third party?

                  I wouldn't call it arrogance, nor wishful thinking. Sometimes you don't need government to organise something useful. It is indeed a third party that came up with this form, and this third party is (unsurprisingly) a european association of insurances. It is calles Com [assur.org]

                  • I wouldn't call it arrogance, nor wishful thinking. Sometimes you don't need government to organise something useful. It is indeed a third party that came up with this form, and this third party is (unsurprisingly) a european association of insurances. It is calles Comité Européen des Assurances.

                    My question was, who organises getting the form and filling it in? In the UK, the police collect the relevant information at the scene. Who does this in your beloved Luxembourg if the police aren't calle

                    • In the UK, the police collect the relevant information at the scene. Who does this in your beloved Luxembourg if the police aren't called?

                      You do... you and the other driver(s). The form has a right and a left side with the same fields. On one side you fill in your data and your viewpoint, on the left side the other driver fills in his data and his viewpoint. In the center, there is space to draw the scene from above indicating in what directions the cars came, adding eventual traffic signs, etc... T

                    • You do... you and the other driver(s). The form has a right and a left side with the same fields. On one side you fill in your data and your viewpoint, on the left side the other driver fills in his data and his viewpoint. In the center, there is space to draw the scene from above indicating in what directions the cars came, adding eventual traffic signs, etc... The form is translated in a myriad of languages: so if I crash into a portugese guy who only speaks portugese, I can just fill his form by matching
                    • So you have to carry these forms with you all the time?

                      Oh, come on.. Don't be silly... You have to carry around a lot of papers just to drive. Insurance paper, your permit for the car, technical aptness of your car, your drivers licence. It just sits in your car for when you need it. Just put it in your glovebox, that is how it works. I just checked tonight, I even have two forms in my car lying around. One in german and one in french.

                      Hm. Here, apart from anything else, most accidents will disr

                    • Oh, come on.. Don't be silly... You have to carry around a lot of papers just to drive. Insurance paper, your permit for the car, technical aptness of your car, your drivers licence.

                      None of which apply in the UK: the only piece of paper required is your "tax disk" - a small circle of paper affixed to the bottom left of the windscreen. Nothing else. No warning triangle, either.

                      You do know english is not my native language... Why do you pick on me?

                      Not picking on you - I just found the idea of the police a

  • You have an accident where someone does not claim fault on site be sure to get a police report but pull your vehicles off to the side of the road. I don't know how many times I've seen idiots with their cars in the middle of the road waiting for the police to investigate. If they do claim fault, get it in writing or use the audio recorder function of your cell phone. Make sure to get a driver's license and insurance card, a backup id might be a good idea too. The most important thing to do in any accident i
  • I'm glad you weren't hurt although you should should know (if you don't already) that sometimes back and neck injuries from car accidents like that can manifest themselves 2 or 3 days later.

    Didn't call the police

    I don't know about the state you are in but here in Michigan you have 14 days to file a report. You may wish to call the police in the area of the accident and find out what you can do. If you need to file a claim and you think you're not at fault I would suggest filing the report and creatin

  • ...with how a lot of older folks tend to drive. There is an assumption that simply by going really slow, one is safe. Then something like this happens and they realize that a driver really needs to stay in the ballgame and doublecheck his blind spot and side before changing lanes.

    One time I was at a stoplight about 15 cars behind the front. I was at the point where a new middle lane was created from the grassy median as an only turn lane for the light. Since the lane began right where I was, I entered

  • ...They were an older couple from florida...

    That really narrows the field.

    While the young and fast may cause more death and destruction, the old and slow are probably responsible for many more fender benders.

    Be thankful that old Fla drivers are sparce up there. We see them 24/7 down here.

    Florida is a NO-FAULT auto insurance state. Unfortunately many drivers take a NOT-MY-FAULT approach when a wreck occurs.

  • ...I'll never like the Grand Am (but the Grand Prix and Bonneville are schweet!). Out of that platform, the Olds Alero (RIP... *tear*) was always my favorite (at least since its introduction).

  • this. [cnn.com]

    We need serious driver's liscense reform. Retesting every year after a certain age. Older people can be very dangerous behind the wheel.
  • get photos of your car NOW, before it goes anywhere or the adjuster shows up.

    BE THERE when the adjuster is.

    KEEP TRACK with documentation. Document everything- Every conversation that you have by phone, every letter, everything you can remember about the incident.

    Put the accident down in writing, along with all this info you've got (including their insurance info) in a written statement, and get it to your insurance company fast. keep a copy.

    Be prepared to be aggressive if that's what it takes; th

  • Last November I was in a grocery store parking lot, turning left out of a parking row into a lane that eventually led to the main road. At the same time, another car pulled out of a parking row to my left (so he was essentially behind me), decided I was turning too slowly(!), and thought he could make it if he sped really fast and passed me on the right. He didn't make it, but the damage was my front passenger bumper and his driverside door, so it looked like I just blindly turned into him. My insurance com

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