Things just get more interesting...

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So, to add to the chaos of a new child in the home, we had a little run-in in the parking lot this Saturday. By "run-in" I mean some idiot driver didn't bother to look where she was going and rammed the side of my car. First, let's take a look at my damage:

I drive a Chrysler Town and Country, two years old, nice big 'tank' type vehicle. While things look pretty crumpled, you can't see anything at all on the inside. By the way, above that 'wrinkle' is where my daughter and son sit. No one was hurt. (Although I have more to say about that later.) Now let's look at the idiot's car:

Her car was a brand new 2004 Pontiac Firebird. As you can see, it was pretty banged up. So, what exactly happaned? My wife was driving (those of you who know me well know I really don't like driving that much) and had just pulled into the parking lot of Albertsons. The idiot was at a fast food restaurant and was pulling out of the 'sub' parking lot into the 'main' parking lot. She was supposed to wait for us to pass, but instead rammed the side of us.

What makes this even more fun (smirk) is the story the driver told. First she said we were speeding, although with three kids in the car, and with just completing a turn, there is no way were speeding. She complained of neck pain and her companion said she broke her foot, but neither wanted to call an ambulance. Even better, they both weren't carrying any form of insurance. (The person in the passenger seat was the owner of the car.) The cop pretty much reamed them a new one, but didn't write them a ticket since the accident occured on private property.

I'm certainly happy that no one was hurt - and this may sound petty but with the way the idiot's reacted to everything, I'm glad their car was totalled. They were totally and completely unapologetic and basically said we hit them. (Amazing - how did we hit them since the damange was on our side... did we slide into them?) Now I'm waiting for a call from the local repair shop that my insurance agency hooked me up with.

Question - my insurance company says I have to pay a deductible - does that apply even when the accident is someone else's fault?

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Kim Bélanger posted on 8/18/2003 at 8:42 AM

Well, i don't live in the US, i'm just a little bit norther (Quebec, Canada) but i expect insurance laws and trends to be pretty much the same, since all insurance corp. are basically 3 or 4 big international groups.

So, up here, when an accident happens in a parking lot, there's always a 50%-50% responsability shared among drivers. The only exception is when you're not in the car. Insurance agent told me that it was too difficult and to much work for them to determine the true responsability and also that since it's low speed and low cost accident, it doesn't worth the time and money to investigate further.

The same kind of idiot ran into my car while my keys were not even in the contact. I got a 500$ deductible to pay for a 400$ reparation.

Insurances are a pain in the .... well you know !

Glad nobody was injured anyway !



Comment 2 by Peter Tilbrook posted on 8/18/2003 at 2:26 PM

Wow! They really banged their car up big time! Good to see!

Glad no-one was hurt though! Don't you just love car parks? No road rules it seems!

Comment 3 by Ben Forta posted on 8/18/2003 at 2:50 PM

Ray, glad all are ok.

As for the insurance, actually it varies from State to State, but odds are that you'll be stuck with the deductible.

Comment 4 by sporter posted on 8/18/2003 at 3:22 PM

Join the club. I was in my first major accident on Thursday (during the power outage.) Some genius decided that he should just fly through intersections when the light was out and he nailed me good. He did the same thing, getting all loud and trying to place blame. Thank goodness for witnesses.

Comment 5 by Ryan posted on 8/18/2003 at 7:42 PM

I'm surprised the cop didn't write a ticket for the others for driving without insurance. Most states I believe require collision insurance to cover the other party in an accident.

Sadly, unless your insurance company can collect from theirs (which won't happen if they don't have insurance), you will pay the deductible. Be happy you have insurance to cover the rest, and if the total cost isn't much higher than your deductible, it may make sense to not claim it. Sure, there will already be a record (that may increase your rates in the future), but it may not increase them as much. ... at least you can go home with a smile knowing the other party has a lot higher 'deductible' (all!) and that they look like fools. Afterall, a married family in a minivan can have a small dent or a slightly off color paint job and it isn't embarrasing. Can you imagine how stupid the other party will be if they don't fix their sports, 20 somethings in a dented up car, or a fixed car with a less than stellar repainting :-)

Comment 6 by Daniel Dura posted on 8/18/2003 at 8:23 PM

It looks like the front-end just fell off of that Firebird. Looks like a well made car (sarcasm intended). Glad you are alright. If it isn't that much ($$) in damage to the van, i wouldn't claim it. Don't give the insurance company a reason to raise your rates.

Comment 7 by James Edmunds posted on 8/18/2003 at 10:53 PM

I live in Louisiana and had someone drive full-speed (more than full speed for my street... more like 40 mph!!) into my parked car. My insurance paid for everything above my deductible, and then recovered the deductible from the other driver's insurance and sent it to me later. If the other driver was in fact not insured, it may depend on whether you have a coverage that supplies coverage when the other driver is not insured... a provision that exists and is recommended in Louisiana for the obvious reasons!

Of course, YMMV (almost literally) depending on your insurance company and your particular policy, but in any case I would suspect that you will recover the above-deductible portion in one action and possibly the other portion through a different mechanism.

Hope this is helpful. And good luck. And thank goodness no one was hurt!

Comment 8 by Camilo Trevino posted on 9/2/2003 at 8:08 AM

Here is Southern CA, it's the law to have Auto Insurance, but thank god the force was with you ;->