Yesterday this 84-year-old guy in a Murano crosses over 2 lanes into my car. I slammed on my brakes when I realized he was coming at me, but I wasn’t quick enough & he bashed in the area over my passenger side front tire.
This is the 2nd accident I’ve ever been in. The first was when some teenager from out of state ran a red light & clipped the back end of my car. I was in college at the time, & she & her girlfriends begged me not to call whoever’s dad it was that owned the car. She wrote me a check, which bounced, & moved back home to wherever it was she lived. I ended up contacting her parents, who wrote me a new check, but it was such a headache. I learned, from that incident, that one must always make a police report.
When we pulled over, the driver of the other car – we shall call him Mr. K – got out & after surveying the minimal damage to his car (a dent, 2 scratches) & the bashed in quarter panel of my car smilingly said, “I’ll take care of it.” When I looked at him in confusion, he said that we didn’t need to call the insurance company or even the police; that he would just take care of his own damage & I would just take care of my own. “Because, you see,” he said. “If we call the insurance company, you’ll be at fault because I had the right of way. But we don’t need to do that, see?” He & his wife were ready to get back into their car & leave when I said, “I’m sorry; can you wait just a minute? I need to call someone for advice.” Because I really was confused. I am just not experienced in stuff like this.
I had been at a red light, waiting to turn left onto Kalanianaole Highway. Mr. K had been across the intersection from me, waiting to turn right. We were both heading to Hawaii Kai. On the green I had turned left & entered the left lane. Mr. K had turned right, crossed over 2 lanes, & would have come sideways into my car if I didn’t hit my brakes. This was completely out of the intersection at this point.
I spoke to a cop friend, who said it didn’t sound like it was my fault. I then called 911 & half an hour later a young officer arrived. During that half hour I chatted with Mr. & Mrs. K, who were extremely pleasant. Mrs. K wanted to know why I wasn’t married, since I was such a pretty girl, & when I explained that I had caregiven for my grandparents she praised me over & over again. Mr. K told me about his weekly bowling activities with an Okinawan group & about their daughter & her dog that loves to eat Okinawan sweet potato.
They were like a dear uncle & aunt. There was a part of me that kept considering how quick Mr. K had been to offer to not call the police or the insurance companies, but old people really are my kryptonite. Threaten me with children & I am ambivalent. But old folks? I love old folks. Maybe it’s from being an oldest child & growing up always with adults rather than my peers. I’ve always liked old folks. There’s a wholesomeness to them in my mind.
When the officer asked if we were going to call our insurance companies, Mr. K beamed at me. I felt terrible. I was replaying the accident over in my mind, & I didn’t think I was at fault. However, this nice old man was trying to do me a kindness, even if it wasn’t really. “I honestly don’t know who was at fault,” I said carefully. I looked at Mr. K & I crumpled. “But I would feel so bad calling your insurance company. So we’ll see. I don’t know.”
We all got back into our cars, saying goodbye & how it was nice to have met each other, & I drove away feeling utterly sad. I felt that I absolutely couldn’t pursue this sweet old couple for repair costs, yet I had had some unexpected expenditures this month (mostly at the veterinarian’s) & I was pretty low on funds. I had also been screwed out of some tips as well as shifts by my Tuesday night job (which I quit). I decided that I would take my car to a shop, & if the repair cost was low enough I would just pay it myself without bothering Mr. & Mrs. K. If it was expensive I would send them a copy of the invoice & explain to them why the accident was actually Mr. K’s fault & leave it to their own judgment to assist me or not. I thought to myself that this world is just so litigious & greedy that if I had a chance to be kind to someone else I would. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling of depression over the entire incident. It just still seemed unfair. And my poor car was hurt.
This morning I received a call from Mr. K’s insurance company.
That’s just rich. That guy’s car hardly had any damage but he decided to call his insurance company on me after that whole song & dance. I should have known; I even told KK last night on the phone that I hoped that guy wasn’t actually bullshitting me, because his generation is the very one that has the least amount of conscience about screwing people over – to them, it’s survival.
Well, that’s it then. I was going to let you off the hook Mr. K, but now you can go fuck yourself. I even drew a diagram of the accident, which I submitted to the insurance company today. Tomorrow I am taking my car to their appraiser.
At this point in time I don’t know why Mr. K called his insurance, actually. Maybe he thinks that whoever calls insurance first gets the upper hand. But frankly, he should have just let me go on & be a martyr. I’m glad he called his insurance company because I felt really sad about martyrdom. Now I don’t have to do it.
SCREW YOU MR. K.
5/12/2010 Update: I saw Allstate’s estimator on 4/23, who wrote my repairs up at just under $500 & persistently expressed to me his interest in getting married & having a ton of kids & following God. I didn’t want to tell him I am Agnostic. Also, he wasn’t my type. Anyway, today Melissa from Allstate called me to say that after taking Mr. K’s statement & looking at maps & whatnot, they think that the majority of fault is mine. They said they would like to investigate further & asked me to contact my insurance, which I did. I can’t decide which I’m more of right now – incredulously confused or annoyed.
5/24/2010 Update: After getting my statement, the GEICO rep was unable to get Mr. K’s statement or even a return call from Melissa at Allstate for a week. Based on the information I gave her, she submitted her decision declining responsibility. She did tell me that when she spoke with Mrs. K on the phone, Mrs. K had said that I was such a nice girl & that she didn’t know how the accident happened but if they were at fault they should just pay it. And so now I feel bad about ranting about Mr. K. See how weaksauce I am.