Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Accident...Some Attitude...and A Reversal of Fault


Last month I had a fender bender as I was pulling out of Reid's school. Luke was in the car with me and we were backing out of the school driveway which is very near a corner of a fast moving street. Of course I looked to make sure no one was behind me or coming around the corner as I backed out...and everything looked clear in my rear view camera. However as I backed out a gentleman came quickly around the corner and hit my car which was already out in the street and *turned* as I was about to go north up the street, the same direction he was going in...which is why he hit the left side of my car rather than the right since I had already assumed my position in the street (a point I had to keep making to the insurance co. over and over again!). A bummer for sure...but the story is actually one of perseverance when it comes to the insurance company and pressing to make sure your side of the story is heard...and if giving some attitude is necessary, so be it...because as I found judgements can be "overturned"! 

The morning the incident happened I called our insurance co. to report what happened and since we both have the same insurance there was to be no out of pocket deductible, we both would have our cars fixed and I believed her to say it was equal fault. I was fine with that actually because I knew that would not affect my premium and was giving him the benefit of the doubt. No big deal I thought...until I opened a letter stating they found me 100% at fault and my premium would be going up. I was livid. It turns out there was a 3rd party who had made this judgement based on his side of the story. THEY NEVER EVEN TALKED TO ME but based their decision on the grounds that I was backing out, so it was my fault, period. Ummhhh yeah, let's just say this did not go over well with me. I was also told that his car was classified "totaled" and they paid him a check for $3000. Are you kidding me?? Do you see the minimal damage on my car...? I was basically stationary in the street and his car, going fast, hit the side of my car causing damage to his right side (doesn't that constitute evidence that he was speeding?). Apparently the body damage cost as much to fix as the car was worth so they totaled it out and paid him a nice fat check and he can still drive his car.  

I asked to speak to this "third party girl's" supervisor who was quite perturbed when he found out she had never spoken with me before making the judgement and further ticked when I told him I had an eye witness... and explained that this man was coming around a corner not going straight down the street as he indicated...and that it was my left side of the car that was damaged which could only have occurred had I already been far into the street. He was frustrated that all the facts were not layed out and apologized but said it was still my fault. Every time I told him something he said, "well that's not what the other guy said"...ummm, are you not representing both of us?? Since when does this man's false account override mine...especially when you never got my side in the first place? I asked for the case to be reopened and for someone to go to the site to see just how close the driveway is to the corner and to see the flow of traffic. This was never done...they looked at the street view via satellite and considered it "looked at"...not good enough for me! They finally spoke with the eye witness but concluded that it was still my fault...though she gave them the same account I did. I was livid...totally livid. I told the man that had this truly been my fault I would not be fighting, I am not like that...I would take the lump and move on but it wasn't my fault and I had grounds to fight so fight on I did....and I knew they just needed me to go away because they blew this case from the beginning and they knew it, they never should of paid this guy so quickly. But, fight on I did and I told the man I would cancel my insurance because of the way they handled the situation and because they did not honor my previous written request to have someone go to the scene (I have been with this insurance since I was 16). He agreed to go to the scene and would "try" to have an open mind but he didn't see how he would gain any other information to change his mind. How is that for confidence that he will "try to have an open mind"? So, at this point I was just ticked and wanted him to come to the scene just to purely inconvenience him because at this point I had come to understand that they stood to get in trouble if they changed things now since they had already paid him (it had something to do with the type of insurance he has and needing to make a claim against mine). But....I got him to come, and as fate would have it my eye witness was there when he arrived and was able to again give her account....and I made him take pictures of my car out in the street as it was that day and made him aware of my rear view camera and the beeping sounds it makes if I get too close to anyone which never went off that day because the incident happened too fast...because the other driver came around the corner too fast. And you know what.....??? After 40 minutes of going over everything...one more time...he looked at me and said, "I tried to come out here with an open mind and as I see this now, this is not your fault". Excuse me...this is what I have been telling you all along! Aghhh, good news...good, good news! Remember that roll of the eyes and smirk I told you about in the last post that Toby so often has to give me? Yep...got it again but this time with a "way to go Tiger". LOL....sometimes it pays to be a tiger! 
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7 comments:

Michelle said...

Oh yes it certainly pays to be a Tiger...good job girl! so frusterating...I was getting mad at them just reading that. So glad your fight paid off. We have had to fight like that many of times, but each and every time it's paid off!! Way to go Tiger! :)

T21 Traveling Afghan said...

I'm glad that worked out for you! Dealing with insurance companies can be such a pain in the patooty!

Nan P. said...

We have an advert campaign here every so often, all about people putting false or inflated insurance claims: in essence they still from our (the consumers) pocket, because the more the insurance companies pay out on faulse claims, the more expensive insurance premium become. And it's so true! - mind you, I am not defending insurance co's in anyway here, they have no problems ripping us off when it suits!

Anyway, some neck the other driver had! And good on you for putting the company right. Can they retrieve the money from him and give it to you instead for anxiety, stress and aggravation?

Cheri said...

I wish Nan...I'd love a check to arrive in my mail for all the energy and frustration I exerted!! :)

Bethany said...

OMG what a PITA! So are they not raising your premium now?

Cheri said...

No, they ended up not raising my premium because of the overturned fault status. Yahoo!

Kele said...

Whoo Hoo! I am smirking right now too, IT PAYS TO BE A TIGER!!