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Accidents Happen: ALWAYS Call The Police

Posted by: Suzanne Flynn
Posted: January 20, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized

On New Year’s Eve, I was enjoying playing with my nephew, Quentin, spending time with my then very pregnant sister, my husband, and my brother in law at their house. Our evening was interrupted by my brother in law stating, “Someone just hit your car!” We all went to the window and saw a young man who had just exited his SUV to look at the damage to my poor bumper. We went outside to talk to him, and he was very apologetic and polite. I was parked in their driveway, and he backed his hitch straight into my bumper when pulling out of the parallel spot. I told him that I had been hit before on my bumper (by another brother in law and his mower), and it cost a little over $500, so he might want to just pay out of pocket for the damage. He said he was on his parents’ insurance, so he wanted to talk to them. He gave me his phone number, address, and I wrote his license plate down, too. The next part of the story is that he was incredibly hard to reach (ie: ignored my calls, e-mails, and texts—this part took me back to my single days!). I finally did reach him after the help of a Carmel police officer. After chastising me for not calling them in the first place, he left a message for the young man to call me back or he would be coming by to see him. What do you know! I received a phone call 30 minutes after that. There were many excuses on why he hadn’t responded to me, but he was still prepared to repair my car. I ended up speaking with his mother, who took over for her 19 year old son. On Wednesday next week, I will take my car in to be fixed, and they will pay for the rental and the repairs.
If we had only called the police and filed a report, it would have been so much easier because I would have had his insurance information and could have gone straight through them rather than spending time and worry on whether they were going to ignore me forever.
I know of another woman who’ve had the same thing happen, but when she called the person to find out how they’d like to arrange repairs, the individual said, “I never hit you,” and she had to pay for herself.
I think you can really see people’s true colors when it comes to an accident. I guess it’s because it costs money, and people are selfish when it comes to their own money. When I was 19, I hit a parked car, and I left a note. He didn’t call me back for 2 weeks; I thought he didn’t want it fixed! Well, he did. I paid for it myself rather than go through my insurance, and I hope that I made it as easy on him as possible. It’s really the golden rule. HOWEVER, since it seems that many people will try to weasel their way out of paying for damage they inflicted, you are better off calling the police.
A few years ago, I was rear ended, and I was waiting for the police to come file a report. Another police officer stopped, and told me that I was wasting their time and that since the gentleman who hit me was admitting he did so and had his insurance information out, I should just take care of it without the police’s help. I did so, and it worked out. I shouldn’t have listened to him though because that was the last accident I was in before this latest one.
The officer from Carmel called me last night to follow up and make sure that everyone was worked out. That really meant a lot to me because I don’t even live in Carmel, and he could have just as easily not followed up. What a nice guy!
The moral of this (not that interesting, let’s be honest) story is to always call the police when you’re involved in any damage to your car… even if the person seems nice and polite. Stay safe out there!
 

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