Sunday, December 14, 2003

Well, I was in another car accident on friday. I was heading along adelaide, and the van beside me suddenly veered into my lane and smashed the side of my car. It was a fairly low speed accident, so no one was hurt. The driver was 17 and was doing deliveries for his parents bakery. He was delivering the pies, but I was the one who got creamed! Haha - jokes don't get worse than that. Anyways, the van was insured to the bakery - and he (though distraught) asked about avoiding insurance. I said I'll give him a couple hours to talk to his parents, then he should call me to see what we can work out. I headed over to the body shop to get an estimate - the damage turned out to be a little under $2k. There were scratches and dents all down the side of my car, and the front right fender was basically toast. The father called, and I decided to go to their bakery to meet them. At first, the mother was trying to assign responsibility. I quickly put an end to that - I wasn't there to debate fault, it was clear in every way that the son simply didn't look in my lane before moving into it! Anyways, I told them the estimate I received, and they were (to say the least) disheartened. It turns out that if the accident goes through insurance, the son won't be able to drive anymore resulting in no deliveries. As someone who has been screwed over by insurance companies time and again, I felt their pain. So I told them I would go back to the body shop the next day, and see what we can do. Before heading over to the body shop the next morning, I washed my car so I could more easily assess damage. It turned out that the scratches all down the side were quite heavy (and had to be fixed). At the body shop, we did a formal estimate, to which we found that the headlights needed replacing, as well as some stuff "underneath". I called the father back and said that the best deal i could get was $1,800. He asked for some time to think about it, I said he has an hour. In Ontario, you have 24 hours to report an accident (occasionally up to 48 hours). After deliberation he called back and asked for more time. I declined, as the deadline was fast approaching. I could tell what he was up to with his next comment - which was "Well, the accident could have happened at any time you and my son agree on." Obviously, he was starting to try to find ways out. I understood his dilemma, but felt that I'd done as much as possible to be nice about the whole thing (including offering to pay for the car rental myself!). I think he started to feel that he could take advantage of me - that I was a "sucker" (ie far-too-nice-canadian-type). I said I needed a decision from him right now - 1,800 cash right away (before the end of 24 hours), or we go through insurance. I also said that there's nothing in this for me - either through insurance or not. I'm only doing this to try to help and be nice to fellow people. He deliberated for a moment, then said that they've decided to go through insurance, and that he feels that the accident may not have happened in the way that myself and his son described. This really made me lose my cool - as I've done everything I could to help them out - including getting repeated estimates, calling around, and even driving up town to meet them at their establishment. And now he's threatening to lie about what really happened in order to try to partially assign fault to me. I told him I was disgusted by his lack of integrity as a man, and good luck because his lies won't work, then hung up. They're a new family in canada (rough english), and don't know the system that well, so I feel comfortable that their lies will be exposed. I've already prepped the police and my insurance company with this.

I suppose a question that falls out of this experience is this: How can one try to do good things again when people shit on it? For example, next accident that is someone else's fault - should I even bother? I know I probably will - stupid ain't it?!

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