Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hit and Run (Two stories about how I was almost a criminal)

I have been involved in 2 hit and run accidents in the past year.
The first happened when my car was parked in front of our house last fall. We were asleep inside and according to a neighbor, about 11:00 pm a white van tried to pull into the spot next to us, crunched my back fender then promptly pulled back out and drove away. He tried to follow the van to get plates but wasn't successful. we found it the next morning, and I was super bummed. We were even more bummed when we contacted our insurance company and they said we only had liability on my vehicle so they wouldn't fix it-- WHAT? When we added my vehicle to the policy we thought we had full coverage-- just like our other vehicle. We were certainly paying for the full coverage, but button somewhere didn't get switched, and the insurance company wouldn't cover it. We were so frustrated. My car was drivable, definitely just some 'cosmetic' damage... but who wants to drive around with a crunched up car if they don't have to? We got the insurance thing straightened out, and counted ourselves lucky that it was not a more major accident where we discovered we only had liability...
But I was furious with this white van person who crunched my car... and then just drove off and never reappeared to accept responsibility for what they had done. Or, you know, pay for the damages they caused. Jerks. I mean it sucks when you make an expensive mistake-- but you have to suck it up and own up to it... and not force other people to have to deal with the consequences of your mistake while you run away. I mean, that's how i would act if the situation was reversed.
Soooo... then a few months later I was sitting at a red light on my way home. There was a tan-ish car in front of me, and the light turned green and I started easing off my brake. However the person in front of me didn't catch the 'Green light go' signal as fast as I did, and I tapped their bumper. Crap. It obviously was not hard enough to do damage to either car or persons involved, even still I was prepared to pull over just to check everyone out and apologize and double check... etc. The passenger in the car in front of me turned around and looked at me in horror... and then they pulled out into the intersection, hesitated, and then took off. I pulled through the intersection and off to the side of the road, wondering if they might come back? But they were long gone. How strange. But okay.
It bugged me though. I mean, no damage done that I know of, but what if something I didn't know of had happened? I didn't know what to do. I talked to my husband and debated calling the local police dept. Just to report that it had happened in case the other person decided to report it. My husband told me because they had left the scene of the accident they had forfeited their rights to a claim of any kind... or whatever. but it still bugged me. I was guilty. I was annoyed that I didn't have a chance to clear myslef of guilt. I might be a criminal now. What if down the road there was a warrant out for my arrest for a hit and run? I mean, I know I am dramatic, but I just couldn't get that thought to leave the back of my mind. I hit, they ran-- was I going to some day be held responsible for this?
Last week I got pulled over by a cop. Apparently cops don't like it when you don't turn into the closest lane. I only got a warning... but I held my breath as I handed him my license and he was running my tags. Would this be it? Would this be the day the hit and run came back to haunt me and I would go to jail and obviously I am a criminal now...
He came back and handed me my insurance and license, along with a pink written warning and told me the error of my ways, asking me to be more attentive about turns in the future and told me to enjoy the day.
... and he could have added that I could enjoy the freedom of knowing that I am not a criminal being pursued by the law. Because I truly felt a sense of relief from that stupid hit and run incident that's been hanging over my head since March. Never has someone been so neurotic so relieved to be pulled over by a cop.

4 comments:

FruitFly said...

I'm glad you found relief! -- I'd have been nervous, too!

My mom's car was hit in a parking lot and the whole side of it was crunched. It was our first ever claim of any sort in our family --- and the insurance company threatened to cancel us because of it. Really? I thought this is why we get insurance? Hm.

Now you behave, young lady. No more car incidents for you!

Derin Beechner (Durk Niblick) said...

http://www.jococourts.org/

Derin Beechner (Durk Niblick) said...

WAIT, cancel that, wrong post...

Derin Beechner (Durk Niblick) said...

WAIT, no, had it right...to check if you have a "criminal record" with the po po. Thought I commented on the baby post. Delete all these, keep the first.