The neighbor in question was a young mother with her infant daughter in the car. She told me that she had turned in her seat to check on the child, lost control of her car, and hit mine.
She was hysterical. I helped her to get the child out of the car and into my house (it was under freezing outside) made her a cup of tea, called the police to get a report number, and helped her sort out her information.
As it happened, she was driving legally, on a valid driver’s licence, in a vehicle that was registered to her and fully insured. None of those things are a given in this town.
For the last three days I have been dealing with the situation. It’s been a nightmare. I don’t blame the other driver at all–she made an error in judgement, and she took full responsibility for her actions. She came to me after the accident, found which house was mine and told me what she had done. (Granted, her car wasn’t drivable, but I don’t believe that she would have driven off if she could.)
The insurance company, however, has not been at all helpful. They promised to get me a rental car, but then couldn’t arrange it. The said that they would pay to have my car taken to my mechanic, but then towed it to a shop on the other side of the county. Which meant then that I and my roommate both had to take a half day off work to go up and get my personal items out of the car.
They decided to total out the car. I was not given the option to buy the car back from them and I was not given a rundown of the damage, the estimated cost of repairs, and the rationale for deciding it wasn’t fixable. I was just told how much they would pay me, and that was it.
The adjuster wasn’t available when we went up to get my things and the plates from the car. Just as well–I would not have been a polite customer.
After numerous calls to numerous numbers, I have decided that the best way to deal with the situation is to mail the title to their claim center in Georgia and wait for them to mail me back a check. It means waiting longer for the settlement money, but it’s worth it to not have to see or speak with any of their employees.
This car meant a lot to me. My sister gave it to me in early summer, and it was the newest and best car I have ever owned.