Guilt(y)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On Tuesday while I was out with my family the mailman delivered a slip letting me know that my passport had arrived in town and I could pick it up the next morning. I had been anxiously awaiting it's arrival since I have absolutely zero identification right now and was relieved to hear it had finally arrived. As Slappy and I were headed out of town Wednesday early-afternoon, we swung by the post office to pick it up.

Amazingly, the pick-up was easy. They didn't ask for any identification (which, admittedly is a little scary, but since I didn't have any until I picked up the passport, I am grateful for this lapse in security) and we didn't have to wait in any lines at all. It was easy.

Way too easy.

We hopped back in the car and started to back out. And suddenly, we collided with something.

I had been looking out the rear view mirror the entire time and even at the moment of impact (and for the 5 seconds I didn't move the car afterwards), I still couldn't see anything behind me. I had no idea what I had hit, and it wasn't until I got out of my car I discovered that it was, in fact, a Ford Mustang. (Of course it was).

And while my (mom's) car had virtually no damage (that was distinguishable from the damage she had created by running into my car TWICE), the other car, of course, did. No, it was not serious damage, no it is not totaled, but there is a patch about eight inches long and 4 inches wide of scratches and denting, just above the wheel well of her back driver's side tire.

I gave the other driver what little information I had (considering I have no driver's license, no proof of insurance, etc.), and got hers. I promptly called my insurance to report it like a good citizen and they promptly informed me that though I am insured with them and they appreciated the heads-up, that the insurance follows the car, not the driver. Which makes a great deal of sense. You know, in case my car ever decides to go joy-riding without me. That way it's insured and everything.

Seriously, stupidest rule ever.

So I contacted my mom's insurance and gave them the information. And while I explained that it was my fault, they would not accept my admission of guilt fault. They said that it was their job to assess fault and they would let me know their decision after they had someone review all the information.

And then we waited.

I got a call today from my mom letting me know that her insurance called and indicated that they found the other driver and I equally at fault in the accident. And since we're not claiming damages on our car, we'd just be responsible for half of her repairs.

From the moment I heard the decision I was sick about it. I know it's ridiculous, I know that since I have no money I shouldn't be wanting to pay more, but I hit her car. I didn't see her, I didn't stop driving until I hit her, it was my fault. No, I don't have a witness to verify. No, I didn't see her and slam on the gas to hit her, but my car was moving and hers was not. It was my fault.

And thankfully, I was given an opportunity to explain this. The insurance company called to get a little more information and I told the truth, because it was absolutely the right thing to do. I hate that I have to pay for the repairs to her car, but I hate myself infinitely less for not trying to escape the punishment I deserve for my negligence.

And now, having done the right thing, I'm going to try to erase this whole event from my memory. Especially the part about having to pay money. It'll be like a backwards surprise. You know, the crappy kind that involve credit card debt and two more years of interest laden payments.

Doing the right thing is seriously such a bitch a pain in the ass the most non-2009 New Year's resolution word ever.

5 comments:

Becs said...

Yes, of course, follow your own north star / internal moral compass. But realize that it is futile to argue with insurance companies. The quicker you get to acceptance on that, the sooner you can shrug it off. Kinda.

Flea said...

You'll always know that you did the right thing. That's good character on your part. Does your mom own a tank, that you didn't see the Mustang? I hate driving other people's cars. Everything's different, including visibility.

Overflowing Brain said...

It's a RAV4, otherwise known as The Blind-spot-mobile

Becs said...

Toyota is very good at making blind spots lately. My 2006 Camry has a honking huge blind spot by the roof post on the passenger side. It must be hiding a massive air bag. Also, I can't turn around in my seat to look behind me without clocking myself in the head.

Carol said...

On Thanksgiving day, 1995, I was driving and was tired. So tired, that I chose not to double check the blind spot (you know the one, where the frame of the car meets the windshield?). I just decided that since I couldn't see anything coming via the windshield, and nothing via the side window, that I was safe. I wasn't.

My car was totalled. The other guy was injured, and was hospitalized.
I was STRONGLY advised (read ordered) by the insurance company, not to admit that it was my fault, no matter what. I tried to argue with them, because I have absolutely no doubt that it was my fault, 100%, but they got pretty angry when I said that.

Ultimately, I have no idea what happened. Apparently the insurance companies solved it between themselves, but even after all these years, I feel bad that I wasn't more adamant about my role in that accident. I hope the guy is ok and that he doesn't hate me.