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My First Car Accident. Advice?

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My First Car Accident. Advice?

Old 01-30-08, 05:51 AM
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My First Car Accident. Advice?

I have been driving for 13 years and have never had an accident. But tonight a woman plowed into me at a stoplight while I was completely stopped. She hit me so hard that it pretty much destroyed the back end of my car, pushed me into the car in front of me, and the car in front of him, so 4 cars total. The man driving the fourth car received only a light tap and ended up just driving away after leaving his phone number.

I had the breath knocked out of me but am really not in any kind of pain other than a stiff back. We all exchanged information, the cops showed up but filed no report that i know of because no one was hurt, and then we all left. Even though my back end is pretty mangled, it seemed that I could drive home, but on the way it was very wobbly and I drove 30 miles an hour down the freeway because I felt completely unsafe in the car.

But what worries me and what I would like some opinions on is what happened next. Keep in mind I have never been involved in an accident or an insurance claim of any kind. About thirty minutes after I got home, the woman who hit me called me because she said she forgot to take down my license plate number. I gave it to her... and then she proceeded to rant and rave for almost ten minutes. Basically she just flat out asked me to tell her insurance that the man in front of me slammed on his brakes, which in return made me slam on mine, and resulted in her hitting me. This, she said, would take us completely off the hook with our insurance companies and blame the man in front of me. "If our stories match up, it will be 2 against 1," she said. I did not confirm or deny that I would do this, but when we hung up she seemed to think that I would.

I did not. I called her insurance company and told them the truth... that I was completely stopped at a light, as was the man in front of me, when she plowed into me. I heard no brakes and was completely blindsided. I did not tell them about her call to me because, frankly, I thought they would not beleive me and it would make me seem like someone who was trying to cook up some kind of scheme. But what worries me is this: if she is telling her insurance company one thing (a lie) and I am telling them another (the truth), why would they beleive me or support my claim? Wouldn't they surely back her since by blaming the other man, they wouldn't have to pay to repair 3 vehicles? Where does this leave me? Have I set myself up to be royally fucked because I told the honest truth?

If there is anyone who has expereinced an accident before or who works in the auto insurance industry who might give me some advice, i would certainly apreciate it. I'll be talking with my agent tomorrow, but I am unsure of whether or not I should tell him about this call since I don't really have any way to prove it.

Last edited by Living Dead; 01-30-08 at 05:57 AM.
Old 01-30-08, 06:11 AM
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It just flat doesn't matter what the car in front of you did. Since you should always leave enough distance between you and the car in front of you to safely brake should the need arise, she obviously didn't. A rear-end collision is always the fault of the collider (barring other circumstances such as an unsafe lane change).
Old 01-30-08, 06:44 AM
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I'm surprised there wasn't some kind of accident report taken. At the very least, the police officer should be able to provide testimony of some kind. There's no point in worrying about it now as you've told the TRUTH.

It sounds like your car suffered moderate-major cosmetic damage but you were still allowed to drive it home. Who would have been to blame if YOUR car failed and caused a 2nd accident on the way home? Let's entertain the idea that you are lawsuit happy. You could sue the lady, probably the police, throw in both insurance companies for good measure. You could have been rich! You really dropped the ball on this one, man.

Last edited by beesonosu; 01-30-08 at 06:51 AM.
Old 01-30-08, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Living Dead

We all exchanged information, the cops showed up but filed no report that i know of because no one was hurt, and then we all left.
That really doesn't make sense. I've only been in a couple of minor fender-benders and they took a report because there was property damage. No one was hurt.

Neither accident was my fault. The first accident the other guy admitted fault was very helpful in working with his insurance company to get the claim. I got my car fixed, for "free", and just sent the invoices and paperwork to his ins. co. and I never heard anything else after that. Everything went fine.

The second accident we both had the same insurance company. The lady responsible for the accident was putting up a little fight, so I just went to State Farm and told them she was not cooperating and they filed the claim against her for me.

But in both cases, no injuries, and the police filled out a report.
Old 01-30-08, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 7Keys
That really doesn't make sense. I've only been in a couple of minor fender-benders and they took a report because there was property damage. No one was hurt.
Different jurisdictions seem to have different regulations about when it is appropriate to write a report. As long as no one is hurt and there is no obvious traffic/moving violation that would result in a ticket, it really is a civil matter which most PDs are seemingly trying to distance themselves from these days.
Old 01-30-08, 08:34 AM
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if you are hurt, then you should have called an ambulance.... would have helped if you had a case...
Old 01-30-08, 08:50 AM
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Yes, you should have gone in an ambulance, I wish I would have.

Get a lawyer, and do not talk to anyone you were involved in the accident with ever (too late it sounds like though). Believe me, if you end up going to trial or arbitration (I've done that twice) everything you've said to anyone will come back to haunt you. This is all assuming that you are hurt and want to be compensated later.

Insurance companies are like wolves.
Old 01-30-08, 09:22 AM
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The police officer should of wrote her a ticket, filed a report, and you should of been taken directly to the hospital.. Your car should of been towed to the nearest garage or home.
Old 01-30-08, 09:31 AM
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If you told the officer that there were no injuries and everyone drove their cars away, there is no real reason for the officer to do an accident report. We, and most agencies that I know of down here in Texas, would have given you what's called a "blue form" (even though it's white now, go figure) which is something you fill out yourself to send to your insurance. Other than that, it really is a civil matter. Our job is to provide traffic control, facilitate the exchance of information, and get you on your way.

As for ticketing the lady at fault...it's a judgment call. A lot of times I figure that the cost and trouble that she's going to have to go through with car repairs is far more punitive and more of a learning experience than a ticket. If they are nice people, I don't like to add to their problems that just hit them all at once.
Old 01-30-08, 09:45 AM
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I'm sorry, but you're at fault. The living dead should NOT be driving. Too often, I've seen "you people" stop in the middle of traffic and hop out of the car in order to feast on a pedestrian's brains. I bet that's what happened here.
Old 01-30-08, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by antennaball

As for ticketing the lady at fault...it's a judgment call. A lot of times I figure that the cost and trouble that she's going to have to go through with car repairs is far more punitive and more of a learning experience than a ticket. If they are nice people, I don't like to add to their problems that just hit them all at once.

If she would of gotton a ticket it would be clear to the insurance company who was at fault. He should of insisted he got a ticket.
Old 01-30-08, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE
If she would of gotton a ticket it would be clear to the insurance company who was at fault. He should of insisted he got a ticket.
1.) Nobody is going to "insist" that someone else gets a ticket. That would pretty much seal it in my mind that that person would, in fact, NOT get a ticket.

2.) The insurance company trains their investigators well. It's going to be pretty damn obvious when the lady's front end is damaged and the OP's rear-end is damaged that there was a rear-end collision. As I stated earlier, it's a no-brainer. Plus, you've got the OTHER involved vehicle who can easily attest to the fact that lady-at-fault was the vehicle that initiated the first contact.

3.) It's "should have" and "would have". Sorry, pet peeve.
Old 01-30-08, 10:03 AM
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That really sucks about your brand new laptop that got destroyed in the trunk of your car.
Old 01-30-08, 10:03 AM
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Be prepared, cause the guy who you hit, has to make a claim on your insurance cause it was you that hit him, not the lady.

I was just hit almost the same way this weekend, from the rear, but was at a yield, not completely stopped. I called his insurance company, they took fault cause it was from the rear, my car is already in the shop, the gave me a rental, and my car will be done in a few days. Came out to about $1000 in damage. His car had to be towed. Mine just the rear bumper, tail light, and quarter panel had damage.
Old 01-30-08, 10:13 AM
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When I got in accident (not my fault), I filled out the report of what happened and my insurance company took care of everything.
Old 01-30-08, 10:48 AM
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Who is your insurance company? I have Allstate and when a lady cut me off I just called them and they had my car repaired and then went after her insurance company for me. Her insurance company did call me later after all was fixed and gave me a settlement for the wrist that I sprained on the steering wheel (no hosipital or doctor visit).

Maybe you should go to the doctor at least to have your back looked at.

Agree you should have just had the car towed.

GLAD YOU TOLD THE TRUTH!! She is really playing with fire by trying to cook up a story.

Like someone else above said, it doesn't matter who stopped how fast, what matters is she failed to stop. I bet the cops wrote a report of their time at the scene, etc, they just didn't give her a ticket.

The lawyer thing sounds overboard, I would call your insurance company, tell them what happened, tell them that your in contact with her insurance company and they will either tell you that they will take care of it or to continue to work with her insurance company.
Old 01-30-08, 11:32 AM
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the guy that hit me wanted to pay me off at the accident...then when the case was in deliberation, he said that i tried to pay him off... ....

dont trust anyone here... back yourself big time on this
Old 01-30-08, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by raven56706
the guy that hit me wanted to pay me off at the accident...then when the case was in deliberation, he said that i tried to pay him off... ....

dont trust anyone here... back yourself big time on this

That happened to me once. This lady bumped me from behind just causing a minor scratch on the bumper. I was all for filing a claim and doing a report but this lady asked me how much I thought it would fix and said it would probably be a couple of hundred.. She gave me $250.00 in cash on the spot. I said ok, great...


Hire a lwayer and sue for pain and suffering on your back. You don't know what kind of long term damage may have occured. When I fell of a ladder it took 2 years for the pain in my back to show up....
Old 01-30-08, 11:47 AM
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It is going to be pretty obvious to everyone what happened, so the fact that the lady lied won't affect the outcome. Now if both of you had the same story, maybe it would get stickier (though as has been said, it doesn't matter anyway - you slamming on your brakes wouldn't cause an accident if the woman had been following at the correct distance).

Anyway, it wasn't your fault, the police were called, you notified your insurance company and they will take care of it. That's what they are for.
Old 01-30-08, 11:47 AM
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living dead.... my car was hit pretty hard in the back... i come to find out i have a herniated disk from it....
Old 01-30-08, 11:51 AM
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I've been in a few accidents. The other people involved were almost always honest. I've always let my insurance company go after the other driver. That's why I keep paying them money. The advice that I've heard about lawyers is that if you get them involved, you get the same amount of money you would have gotten without them, and they get the rest.

As for the woman who tried to get you to cover her ass by blaming an innocent person: tell your insurance company what she said. Tell the innocent person she tried to do to him. She may have called him too, trying to get him to agree to shift the blame onto you.

Keep good notes of what she says. Be scrupulously honest with the insurance adjuster who inspects your car. He sees a lot of crashed cars every day, and can read the evidence.
Old 01-30-08, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by raven56706
the guy that hit me wanted to pay me off at the accident...then when the case was in deliberation, he said that i tried to pay him off... ....

dont trust anyone here... back yourself big time on this
That part I agreed. There are so many weird people out there. On my first accident, which is my fault (hit her from behind), I filled out the report and took the blame. She called me and kept accusing me for driving too close to her. In realistic, I did not drive too close to her – she stopped so hard and suddenly (I couldn’t see ahead of her) and I hit brake so hard and skidded into her. But it doesn’t matter, I hit her from behind and I just took the blame.
Old 01-30-08, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by McHawkson
That part I agreed. There are so many weird people out there. On my first accident, which is my fault (hit her from behind), I filled out the report and took the blame. She called me and kept accusing me for driving too close to her. In realistic, I did not drive too close to her – she stopped so hard and suddenly (I couldn’t see ahead of her) and I hit brake so hard and skidded into her. But it doesn’t matter, I hit her from behind and I just took the blame.

You were driving too close to her. If you can't stop in time when she stops you are too close.
Old 01-30-08, 12:23 PM
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Advice:

Tell your insurance exactly what happened, and give them all the information you have. Go see a doctor, and let your insurance know and they will deal with all claims and negotiations with the girl's insurance.

All you have to do is take care of yourself (medical wise), and file a claim. Your insurance should pay for it and then go after it from her insurance. Same with car repairs.

This is exactly why we pay for insurance. Its their job. You shouldn't ever have to talk to the girl or her insurance directly. Just your agent, your doctor, and your mechanic.

Originally Posted by antennaball
1.) Nobody is going to "insist" that someone else gets a ticket. That would pretty much seal it in my mind that that person would, in fact, NOT get a ticket.

2.) The insurance company trains their investigators well. It's going to be pretty damn obvious when the lady's front end is damaged and the OP's rear-end is damaged that there was a rear-end collision. As I stated earlier, it's a no-brainer. Plus, you've got the OTHER involved vehicle who can easily attest to the fact that lady-at-fault was the vehicle that initiated the first contact.

3.) It's "should have" and "would have". Sorry, pet peeve.
What he could have done was have the officer write a collision report, and by doing that, they 99.9% would have had to write her a citation (assigning someone fault).
Old 01-30-08, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I'm sorry, but you're at fault. The living dead should NOT be driving. Too often, I've seen "you people" stop in the middle of traffic and hop out of the car in order to feast on a pedestrian's brains. I bet that's what happened here.

Thanks for the laugh. I kind of needed that. While I have been guitly of devouring the brains of drivers in the past when they pissed me off, this was not one of those cases.

My insurance is State Farm. And please, if anyone has any State Farm horror stories, don't post them. The last thing i need is MORE worry.

As far as the police report goes, three officers showed up. They gave all of us pre-printed forms that told us what to ask the other people for, i.e. insurance, plate #'s, driver's license, etc. I was grateful for this assistance, because I was inexpereinced and probably wouldn't have taken down ALL the information I needed. i asked if they hadto write an accident report, but he told me no, that since no one was hurt, they were not required to do so. The officers also looked at my car and saw that the tires were not rubbing despite the major cosmetic damage. They suggested that I could drive it home and one even stasyed on the scene until all of us were finished with the info exchange to see if I could drive away. I did get home safely, but it certainly didn't feel right. When I would change lanes the car would wobble. So I slowed down immediately.

Last year my girlfriend was sideswiped by a car tha took off her driver's side mirror. The car drove away, hit and run. When she called the police, they told her that if no one was hurt, they didn't even need to come to the scene, much less take a report. And this was a damn hit and run! Here in Los Angeles, it seems you have to be hurt or dead for the police to take a report.

In retrospect, maybe I should have taken the ambulance ride, but I do not have health insurance and didn't really feel hurt. This morning I also feel fine, so suing for something MIGHT happen 2 years from now just doesn't seem right.

Last edited by Living Dead; 01-30-08 at 12:34 PM.

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