Monday, March 19, 2007

Damage (Over)Done

(My apologies to Shaun Groves for this gross (mis)appropriation of the title of one of his great songs.)

I'm no stranger to auto accidents, unfortunately. Add Friday afternoon to the long list of dings my various cars have suffered. I'm not really a bad driver, and most of the accidents are not my fault, but that never makes dealing with them any easier. Especially when it comes to working out insurance disputes. As accidents go, though, this one tops my list for "best overall outcome" (at least, thus far).

Euphrony's carHere are the details: I was driving home, minding my own business, when approaching a green light I observe an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens entering the intersection from the cross street. Naturally, I slow to a stop and allow the emergency vehicle to pass through the intersection; the person behind me, though, did not see or hear the sirens, did not see my brake lights, and rear-ended me. He was a nice, older gentleman, who was very responsible about the whole thing. There was a cop trying to pass us both, on his way to the same accident the first car was going to, and witnessed our fender bender. (With the choice of responding to this minor accident or proceeding to the other, a fatality crash, he chose the easy job and stuck with us.) My car was drivable, with the rear bumper mostly removed but not interfering with driving, and so after the paperwork I drove on home. The other car had a bit of front-end damage, was leaking assorted necessary fluids, and was towed. About 90-minutes after getting home, I get a call from the other guy's insurance (wow! he'd already called it in!) and we got the repairs for my car set up (I'm taking it in today). This, for me, is a first: not having to hound the other guy's insurance to get my car fixed!

This is kind of nice, in a bizarre way, as this damage was on top of other, more minor, damage to my rear bumper. About 18-months ago, actually just a few days before Hurricane Rita hit and forced the Euphrony's to take a 16.5-hour trip to Dallas (normally 4 hours), I was rear-ended by a lady, denting up the back bumper but only creating cosmetic damage. I got her insurance, but did not insist on police on the scene. It was about 10 days later when I was finally able to talk with her insurance, only to find that she gave me a canceled policy, a home phone number that was canceled a few days later, and a cell phone number for her husband that was also soon canceled. Seeing as how trying to pursue this would probably end up costing me more out of pocket than the damage would reduce the value of the car, I eventually let it drop. But now, with the major damage quite literally on top of the minor damage, it will all get repaired. And, at the same time, I'm going to get a ding out of my door that my neighbor put there by backing out of her driveway into my car (she'll pay for that, not the guy who rear-ended me). But wait, there's more! These repairs will not begin to touch the matching pair of dents on either corner of my front bumper, left there by careless parkers in two parking lots. I did say that I've had my share of accidents, didn't I? All in the day of a Houston driver.

Are you accident prone? Does your car insurer love you or hate you? Got a good accident story, or a bad one? Feel free to share them here.

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Anne said...

It's not worth having a nice car anymore. Glad to know everything has worked out so smoothly.

This word verification is getting pretty strange looking.

Anonymous said...

Geez, Euph! That's quite a brief history of accidents there! At least none of the accidents have blood-stains. My wife has told me all about you Houston drivers...

euphrony said...

Apparently this accident created a bit of (very odd) celebrity for me/my car. I was driving home from work yesterday afternoon, along the same path, and I had a young guy in a jacked-up truck pull up beside me and start yelling and pointing at my car. Thinking my rear bumper might have decided to fall off, I turn down the radio so I can hear him say "I saw that happen, dude! Pretty awesome!" Getting rear-ended is "pretty awesome"? Have I missed something?

Anne, yes, I have noticed that these word verifications are getting more and more ridiculous.

Cach, you ain't heard the half of my accident stories. I could tell about the time I was driving near Renaissance Festival and had a pregnant girl pull out in front of me, thinking that 20 feet was ample room to move into traffic in front of a car going 70-mph. Or there's the time that my car was sandwiched between an 18-wheeler and my wife's car on the freeway. But among all the accidents my family has been in, none have caused more than bumps and bruises (by the grace of God alone).

euphrony said...

Is it a bad thing when the guy at the body shop (one of 6 there who work with insurance repair cases) remembers you by name? Is that a bad sign?

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