Hello – hope you all enjoyed the weekend! I am going to start this week off with kind of a bang, literally.
I am bringing you what happened to be an issue R and I had to deal with a few nights ago. I forgot to mention in my pro’s and con’s of living in a basement apartment post that sometimes, our landlord’s have guests over, who park in our spots which are in front of the house. This frustrates me to no end – I understand it’s their house, but the fact that we pay to live here, and their guests don’t, makes me feel like we should at least be guaranteed our spots. Depending on how many guests are over, sometimes both of us will have to go around the block, and other times one of us can fit. R happened to let me take the one spot available last week, and parked on the opposite side of the street, where he has parked several times before. He parks in between two houses, so as to not be too close to either neighbor and leave them both enough space. Well, apparently it wasn’t enough!
Someone hit his parked car
That night, I heard the gate to our apartment swing open, and a knock arrived on our door shortly after that. I answered, only to find our landlord standing there looking a bit nervous. He said there had been an accident with one of our cars – one of the neighbors had managed to hit it. Oh great – I immediately felt anxiety coming on and we quickly figured out that R’s car was the one in question. R’s car is not in amazing shape – he purchased what he could afford at the time, which wasn’t much. His paint is rusted in several spots, and there’s a fair amount of dings and dents already on it. I was in the middle of cooking us dinner, so I stayed behind and advised him to take my camera as we didn’t know how bad the damage was. He was only outside for a few minutes before returning. I was wincing in anticipation of the damage report.
Allegedly, the neighbor simply backed out of her driveway and hit his driver side passenger door. She said his car was “in a bad spot.” Immediately I was annoyed – she’s the one that just caused damage to someone else’s car, and her first reaction is to blame him? R’s car is black, which does make it more difficult to see at night, plus being in between the houses, he wasn’t under a light. According to R, the husband was nice and asked if he wanted to call the police. R opted not to, and the husband said that if he changed his mind to let them know.
Filing an accident report
I thought this was ridiculous. She hit his car and she should pay for it, especially since she didn’t have an amazing attitude about it. If that were me, I’d be apologizing left and right. I could not imagine hitting someone else’s car, damaging their personal property, and then blaming them for it. If this had been my car, I would have been fuming. They lucked out in that they happened to hit R’s car, which is already in not-so-great condition. R feels like it is a waste of time since his car is already a piece of crap. He doesn’t mind another dent on it.
My take on the situation
I don’t think this is about a dent, or whether or not your car is crappy. It’s about making sure people are held accountable for their actions. People don’t go around hitting other cars because there are consequences, such as insurance rates going up or settling outside of insurance and paying out of pocket. Any normal person would expect a claim coming their way if they hit a car. It’s the norm, and that’s why we have insurance. I am very lucky to have never been in an accident where I was at fault, but if I were, I would accept it and wait for what the insurance company came back with.
Okay, I admit his car is in bad shape already; it has a huge dent in the top where it looks like someone sat on it. However, he may be able to get part of it looking nice again if the insurance company was willing to fix the dent! It would increase the chances of being able to sell it down the road. In general, it might also change how R feels about his car. He’s not particularly fond of it and makes fun of it constantly because it’s so banged up. He is very much looking forward to the day when he can get another car. For now, it’s paid off, and he’s content with that.
How R feels about it
R doesn’t want to deal with the insurance companies – too much back and forth, he doesn’t have the time for it, and he thinks it is pointless. The first thing he assumed was that his insurance would go up. While I was highly doubtful (the only “fault” of his is that he parked there), I did some quick googling and other people who were in the same situation said it went through the other individual’s insurance.
R felt that if he did go through insurance, that it would mean “starting something” with neighbors we don’t even know. We have never been introduced to anyone on the block and have only seen them in passing. It might create an awkward situation not just for us, but also for our landlord’s.
R also thinks that the neighbor is just going to claim he should not have parked there, and that he will have no case against her. I think that’s silly. It’s not all his “fault” as someone else has been parking in the tiny space between our landlord’s driveway and the neighbors driveway, making it more difficult to get out. Nevertheless, I imagine any careful driver would take the time to assess the situation, and back out slowly and cautiously so as to avoid hitting anything. I am so paranoid about backing out of spaces in parking lots that I try my best to park where I can just go forward, instead of reversing, to avoid the stress.
R thinks filing a claim is pointless and a waste of his time. He doesn’t think his car is worth the effort considering the poor condition it is already in. I think that the neighbor deserves to face the consequences of her actions, especially when she tried to pass the blame onto R instead of apologizing. The husband actually apologized for her. How ridiculous! That is not the proper way of reacting to this situation. R keeps making excuses for them. I had written this post last week when it actually happened, and since then, I have cooled down about it. R has decided to keep with his original choice of inaction, and it is his car, so it’s his right.
I can’t help but take the opposing side as it tends to irk me when there is an imbalance in justice. Hopefully karma will come back to them in some way (I’m not going to wish a car accident on anyone!), but for now, I am really not liking having anxiety about the situation. The very next day, we came home to guests over once again. I was forced to park around the block as I am now too fearful to park where R did. I am really hoping that with school starting soon, the parties will be less of an occurrence. I guess we will see!
What’s your take on the situation? Would you go through insurance, or would you let it be? Have you ever been in such a situation before?