1. Aug 25, 2009

### Janus

Staff Emeritus
Just a little bit after her leaving the house, I got a call from my wife that she'd been in an accident. A car in front of her slowed to turn into a parking lot and when she slowed down, she was rear-ended by the car behind.

I got in my car and drove over. The Police were already there and making a report. The driver of the other car apparently didn't have a valid license, and had an outstanding warrant. (My wife thinks that there were others in the car, but they bailed right after the accident) He was cuffed and taken away. He was driving a loaner, and at least the owner of the car was insured, and we able to get the insurance information.

Anyway, after I made sure my wife was okay and got her calmed down some I called my insurance company, in part to figure out where I wanted to have the car towed to. While I was on the phone a tow truck showed up. I had to walk down the street a little to get the name of the cross street where the accident occurred, and when I returned our car had been taken away. The driver never even bothered to tell us where he was taking it! He just hooked it up and drove off.
Fortunately, someone got the number for the towing company, and we were able to find out where it was taken. We drove over there but it was all locked up with no one around. I got hold of my insurance company and let them know where the car had been taken so that they could arrange to have it towed to the auto body shop.

Tomorrow we'll have to take care of the DMV accident report, the auto body shop and picking up a rental car etc.

All in all, not a good evening.

2. Aug 25, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

Accidents suck, but at least she wasn't hurt.

3. Aug 25, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Sorry to hear about the bad evening, Janus. Like Russ said, at least she wasn't hurt. If she shows any signs of delayed pain, be sure to get to a hospital or doctor. Problems like neck injuries can manifest themselves many hours after the event.

There is a saying that was passed along to me by an insurance investigator: If you think you are having a bad day, try having an accident.

4. Aug 25, 2009

### jobyts

As a side note, if your car is towed, you can call the police to know the details. The towing company is required to inform the police. But I'm not sure if they call the police right at the moment they did the towing, or only after reaching their destination. In the latter case, you need to wait for, say, 30 minutes.

5. Aug 25, 2009

### hypatia

I hope the rest of your week goes better. Give a big hug to your wife, from us.

6. Aug 25, 2009

### 27Thousand

I hate car accidents.

7. Aug 25, 2009

### turbo

Too bad, Janus. Lots of stuff converging to make one really bad night. I hope your wife is well and has no delayed-onset problems.

8. Aug 25, 2009

### flatmaster

This is why I plan on selling the car after I move. There a pain.

9. Aug 26, 2009

### Loren Booda

Hopefully, this incident will soon be a distant memory. As a learning opportunity, your wife was driving properly, carried her license, exercised sobriety, wore her seat belt, had you as a safety and dealt with the aftermath effectively - little to none followed by the offenders.

10. Aug 26, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

I'd like to expand on Ivan's comments a bit. I'd recommend calling for a non-emergency appointment with your wife's general practitioner doctor, to be checked out. Even if she feels fine, it's always good after an accident to see your GP doc.

11. Aug 26, 2009

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I'm glad to hear your wife was unhurt, and it sounds like nobody else was hurt either. That's the most important thing.

The rest sounds like an absolute nightmare to deal with though. I can't believe they just towed your car away without even telling you where they were taking it, or asking if you had a preferred service (you can refuse the service the cops call, by the way...too late now, but might help someone else...if you don't know who to call, most of the time one is as good as any other, but sometimes you know about one company or another having a reputation for not being careful or ripping off customers and managing to get a bit more than their fair share of police calls that you specifically want to avoid).

When the person causing the accident was an unlicensed, uninsured driver in a borrowed car, the insurance red tape is probably going to drag on a long time. I hope the owner of that other car learned a lesson about not loaning the car to someone who has a revoked license. What an idiot! Honestly, I blame that person as much or more than the one behind the wheel, because that is the person who enabled the unlicensed driver to have access to a vehicle rather than be out walking, getting a cab, or finding a ride.

12. Aug 26, 2009

### GeorginaS

I'm glad your wife is okay, Janus. I second what berkeman said.

I'm a bit confused about the arrival of a tow truck that you didn't call that came and took your vehicle away. I'd have a pretty hard time paying for that towing bill given that you have no contractual obligation with them. But anyway. If you're both insured, the insurance companies will figure it out. At least -- it sounds -- like liability doesn't rest with your wife. Which is also good.

I hope it all works out as painlessly as possible.

13. Aug 26, 2009

### mgb_phys

It's common - standard procedure in some places. If your broken down car is blocking a lane on the Brooklyn bridge the police would rather not have Manhattan grind to a halt while you phone around for the best deal.

The complaints here have been the other way around - people abandon $500 clunkers on the road when they break down - the tow company gets called by the police to pick them up but the owner never collects them, and they are only worth$40 scrap. Leaving the tow company out of pocket.

Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
14. Aug 26, 2009

### dlgoff

Amen. I was rear-ended last fall and thought I was okay until a couple of days later. It's been almost a year of me dealing with a neck ach.

15. Aug 26, 2009

### Janus

Staff Emeritus
Thanks for the kind thoughts everybody. To put your minds at ease, we took my wife to see a doctor the next day. (I took time off from work so we could do that and take care of other business.)

Though yesterday didn't go too much smoother. We were told that we'd get a phone call asking fro our permission for the tow company to release our car to the auto body shop, so waited around a bit for the call in the morning. My wife had to fill out a accident report with the DMV, so after a bit a went down to the DMV office while my wife waited for the call and picked up the form.

I got back with it and while she was filling it out we got the call from the auto body shop that they were going to pick up the car, and we should call ahead to the tow company to let them know, which we did.

So far so good.

When I had talked to our insurance company the night before, they had made a reservation for a car rental for us. We decided to take the light rail which dropped us off just a few block from the rental agency. We got there only to find out that they didn't have a car for us, and wouldn't have one until 4 pm. We headed back home.

We had decided to get my wife in to see a doctor so we looked up our HMO directory(we have Kaiser Permanente) to check where the nearest urgent care center was. We stopped off for a bite to eat, And then drove over (in our second car, the 1991 Honda Civic with 265,000 miles on it, which I tend to only use if I have to.) only to find that it was closed.

We drove back home, my wife got on the phone to see if she could get an appointment at out regular clinic for that day and was told that there was nothing available. We did get an appointment at another clinic however.

Back in the car (My little civic was getting more mileage put on it in one day then it usually gets in a month. We made the appointment. The doctor basically told her to take advil, apply cold to where she is sore and come back in a few days if she doesn't get better.(she was a little stiff and sore in spots.)

Got back home, and pretty soon it was time to go get the rental. We got there, and had to wait a bit while they dealt with some other customers, and finally got our car. At leat is was a nice one; a Nissan Rogue, fairly similar to the Toyota Matrix we normally drive.

Got back home, And I reminded my wife that the insurance company wanted her to call so that they could get a statement from her (so far they had only talked to me). She was on the phone quite a while and was upset when she got off. I seems that the agent she talked to was was asking questions of her about how we were going to handle the claim that I thought that I had already settled with them the night before, and she didn't know how to answer him. We got him back on the phone to clear things up.

She had to use the rental the next day but was nervous about driving a different car, as it was an automatic and she is used to a stick. So I took her out to a local high school which I knew had a big parking lot that would be empty, gave her a lesson in operating an automatic, and let her get a feel for how the car handled. She drove it home was was feeling fairly comfortable with it by the time we got back around 7 pm.

I would have had a shorter day if I had gone to work.

16. Aug 26, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

Janus, where do you live that a car rental place won't pick you up? You should not have to drive to a car rental agency. I know, I've had to use them enough. They always pick you up and drop you off.

Also, was your wife's car deemed undrivable? It should not have been towed if it was driveable. If the car had to be towed, then either the towing company or the car rental place should have driven your wife to her preferred destination. I also know this from the Evo Child getting hit while driving my car and my car was totaled (someone ran a red light and broadsided her). The towing company drove her to my house, then the rental car company came (when I called my insurance) and got me to get a new car until I decided what to do. They do not just leave people stranded on the side of the road after an accident. If they did, you need to raise hell.

17. Aug 26, 2009

### Phrak

"While I was on the phone a tow truck showed up. I had to walk down the street a little to get the name of the cross street where the accident occurred, and when I returned our car had been taken away."

Grand theft, auto? Who authorized the removal of your property?

18. Aug 26, 2009

### GeorginaS

That was my question. And, apparently

If you're standing right at the accident scene, here, and the police call a tow for you (although I can only see the police doing that if you didn't have your own cell phone to make the call with or if the car you were driving was stolen or unregistered or there was some violation and the police were taking it to their impound) there's no way anyone would make off with your car without your say so. They'd have to ask you where to take it to.

A whole lot of all of this sounds weird to me -- and I work in insurance claims adjusting -- but I'm in Canada. So.