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Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:56 pm
by lnrSaxon
Hi friends.

So I've been stressing about this for days now. When I was in Orange County for new years, I got a car, and apparently someone is claiming I did a hit & run on his car. I called his car insurance company yesterday, and the story is that I was in a go straight lane and decided to make a left turn last minute and fled the scene around the Downtown Disney area.

The only thing I remember that i thought was odd in this area at this time is I got in front of a car one lane over, he honked at me, I pulled forward to get into the lane properly, he got around me and kept going in his lane. They were both left turn lanes, and I got into the far left lane. When the light turned green, the car kept driving.

The other car is a newer model SUV, and my car is a small old Honda. They're saying he had damage to the front fender, but my car has absolutely no damage. Logically, it doesn't fly. I'm also not the type of person to hit & run. And moreover, I'm not dumb enough to hit someone, stop at a red light, and still expect to get away with it.

So I think it's all turning out to be either a scam or a misunderstanding. I take my car in for an inspection of photos and measurements on Friday, and I'm hoping that nothing surprises me. But I've been combing over my car neurotically since I found out about this, and it's just not making any sense.

I'm incredibly stressed and tired of the whole situation. To add fuel to the fire, my insurance that I had didn't carry over to this car till after I came back to Portland. Awesome, right?

Even though I know it logically makes no sense, and my car has no damage, I can't help but let it get under my skin and be paranoid and freaked out by it. i'm really hoping they just clear me of all this asap once they've examined my car. -__-;; there's that gnawing feeling that I'm still worried they'll find something, and I'm gonna get blamed for this and all. I'm no pro, but all the neurotic combing i've done to my car doesn't show anything.

If you're the praying type, i would really appreciate prayer for peace, faith, and the end of this mess. My head hurts. -__-;; Empathy and advice would be wonderful, too. :)


Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:56 am
by phyco126
That happened to my mother once, except she had damage from hitting a deer. Someone found her car, then claimed that the damage to her car was done from the damage of her hitting her car. It was certainly a scam, or one heck of a misunderstanding. She finally had to get the police involved because the person ended up stalking her, threatening to throw her in jail and/or sue her. Police sided with my mom, so who knows, maybe the same will happen to you?


Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:34 pm
by Ardent Fox
Punch them. Introduce fist to face.


Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:55 am
by Sonic#
Calm down. You know you didn't do a hit and run. The logic doesn't stand for it either - they have damage to the front fender. How could you have caused that without damage to your own car by going forward? (Why would you go in reverse in the left lane?) It sounds like they only have the testimony of the claimant.

So you're in the clear. Don't let them bully you into giving any money. Don't take any arbitration. You haven't done anything wrong, and unless it's a huge misunderstanding (very small chances of that), you won't even have to take it to court.


Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:23 am
by Nobiyuki77
I agree, the logic doesn't stand. You didn't hit and run.


Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:00 am
by Kizyr
InrSaxon, what this person is trying to do is intimidate you into accepting a settlement to get a little money for fixing their car. My policy is to always, always, always call their bluff. If they threaten to call a lawyer, tell them to go ahead. If they threaten to call the police, tell them to go ahead. And do so confidently--there's absolutely zero way that they can actually get you here (I'll explain why in a moment).

What will most likely happen is that they'll see you're not taking crap from them, and you can't be intimidated, and will back down.

In the unlikely event that they go ahead, they still don't have a chance. Front-end damage is nearly impossible to blame on another driver even when the other driver is at fault. In the absence of any proof, it's a he-said/she-said situation and it ends up that no one is judged responsible. Worst-case scenario, the car in the back is the one that's assumed responsible (often even if a car brakes suddenly in front of you, if you hit them then you're still liable--they're not even doing the scam properly).

Don't bring up insurance stuff unless necessary, by the way. You have insurance now, and since the incident never actually took place it's irrelevant when it kicked in. KF


Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:03 am
by Alunissage
Kizyr wrote:the car in the back is the one that's assumed responsible (often even if a car brakes suddenly in front of you, if you hit them then you're still liable--they're not even doing the scam properly).
This is, unfortunately, true. It's happened to me twice -- someone pulling in front of me suddenly going about 10MPH on a major freeway. Insurance company still considered it my fault, even though at least one of the two was very clearly trying to do something underhanded -- they were claiming damage on the side of the car was from this collision, which was absolutely impossible in the situation. I don't remember what the actual impact on my insurance was as this was when I was still on my parents' insurance at the time and wasn't dealing with it.

But yes, if there is any way that your own insurance carrier can decide you should have done something (I have no idea how I could possibly have avoided the abovementioned collision short of running myself into the center divide, which would not have been an improvement) they will find it. Another reason to just stick to the instance you are specifically dealing with and not muddy the water.

However, if I read the post correctly, the scenario the other driver's insurance company gave could account for front bumper damage. If A is to the left of B and B makes a left turn while A goes straight, B may collide with A's bumper.


Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:42 pm
by phyco126
You know what makes me mad about the law though? Someone reversed into my car, causing a couple hundred dollars in damage. Then she turned around and tried to claim that I ran a stop sign and rear-ended her, despite the fact that I had a witness. But, in the end, both insurance companies declined to cover anyone, stating its impossible to know who was really at fault. As such, we both ate the cost of fixing our cars. And by eating the cost, I mean her insurance fixed her car, and because I only had liability, I was the one that got shafted.


Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:33 am
by lnrSaxon
Thanks for the support, guys. :)

I contacted my insurance company to file a claim today, and it sounds like they're taking over from here. yay. :) I go in for inspection for the other insurance company tomorrow, and my insurance company is sending a guy to inspect my car on Saturday. The guy I talked with tonight for my insurance company isn't seeing the probability of their story either, and he's driven in that area nearly as many times as I have (which is to say A LOT!).

I also contacted the other insurance company's guy today to ask if there was a police report (especially since they're claiming hit & run), and there wasn't. I also asked what the damage was, and he couldn't tell me that with absolute certainty either. And CA law states that accidents with damage over $750 (I think... it's been a while since i've had to deal with accident stuff) have to be reported to the police and another form has to be filled out within 10 days. It was well after 2 weeks that I was contacted, and considering how fast they've been moving this week, it tells me that the other person didn't even report it until much later (the incident was on 12/30/10).

And I am about 95% sure that it was a white SUV, but they're saying it's a beige Honda Odyssey mini van. The 5% goes to it being after 8pm and dark, but I remember that car being a big white tall car driving past me and kept going. I don't think this is the same car, and I'm just about convinced this is a scam, and someone decided to try and take advantage of the situation they witnessed.

I'm about to lose my mind! Keep up the support and prayers, please! It's the only thing that can get me through this. >_< Thank you guys so much for all the reassurance and letting me know the facts that I was unaware of.

And dude, phyco, that sucks. :( I knew a girl who profited from that law. She got around a car and had to slam her brakes for whatever reason and the little car slammed right into her. My only accident (a few years ago), I got shafted by that law, too. Accident happened ahead of me, and I wasn't able to stop in time. =/ And I only had liability. Still do.


Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:07 pm
by phyco126
I'd look at the laws for sure. In Colorado, every single accident must have a report filed, even ones with little to no damage. Otherwise, both drivers could potentially be charged with hit and run. That too happened to my mom, lol. She backed into someone, left a note for them (since only damage was a few small scratch marks). Never heard anything back. Several days later, police were knocking on her door for failure to submit a police report and fleeing the scene of an accident.


Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:46 pm
by lnrSaxon
dude, that's lame. -___-;; that stinks that your mom was trying to do the right thing and gets in trouble for it.

but the inspection went well. The inspector guy said he couldn't see anything that shows any sign of collision, so I think I'm in the clear. Or at least the sun's peaking through the clouds. I still have an inspection for my insurance company to do, but I figured if the "opposing" side is good, mine should be, too. :)


Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:13 pm
by lnrSaxon
case just closed in my favor!


Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:20 pm
by phyco126
Yay! I'm so happy!


Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:30 pm
by Sonic#
Great! Now take a deep breath and plunge your head into some ice cream!


Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:42 am
by Dragonmaster Lou
Great news! Yay!


Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:12 am
by whitedragon_nall
Awesome! Glad everything worked out for you.


Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:20 am
by lnrSaxon
Sonic# wrote:Great! Now take a deep breath and plunge your head into some ice cream!
That is the best suggestion i've heard all day! :D