On my way home from work, I was driving in the left lane of a 2-lane highway moving on a curve to the right (I was the outside car). Another car came from behind me in the right lane and as he passed me, crossed over the lane line and swiped my car.
It was very surprising and felt a lot of contact on the passenger side of the car. I swerved to the left, got close to t he median, but avoided it. I honked and then followed him to the nearest turn-off.
We got out of our cars and checked out the damage to our cars. For how much contact we had, the damage was actually pretty minimal. It was mostly paint transfer (his paint on my car) and two light dents. I expected it to be much worse, and his car actually had a bigger dent than mine did.
Exchange Insurance Information And Take Pictures Of The Accident
We exchanged our insurance information, took pictures, and went on our way. Neither of us admitted fault, but since the damage wasn’t so bad, I assumed it would be easiest not to go through our car insurance companies. I have a $1,000 deductible, and I don’t care enough about the damage to pay the first $1,000 in fixes.
We emailed back and forth a few times, until he said that his damages would take $1,600 to fix and that, “Unfortunately, since you were at fault…” I stopped reading there and called my insurance. I was most definitely not at fault and told him that. I was not interested in playing games, and since the damage to my car wasn’t bad, I figured I was doing him a favor by not going to our insurance companies immediately.
I reported what happened to my insurance company and gave a recorded statement of what happened. They got in touch with his insurance, and at that point, it was out of our hands. Our insurance companies would decide who was at fault and whose insurance would pay for damages on the cars.
Who Pays For Repairs And What Happens To Insurance Rates
There were a few ways this could have turned out:
- Our insurance companies agree that he was fault and his insurance company would pay for our damages. I would not have to pay my deductible and my rates would not increase since I would be 100% not at fault.
- Our insurance companies agree that I was at fault and my insurance company would pay for his damages. To get my car fixed, I would have to pay deductible and my rates would increase since I would be 100% at fault.
- Our insurance companies could not agree based on the evidence that either one of us was at fault. We would each have to pay our deductibles to get our respective cars fixed. My insurance rates would not increase since I would not be found at fault.
Based on my statement to my insurance company, I figured there was no way that they would find me at fault. And since the damages weren’t so bad and I didn’t care to get them fixed, it wouldn’t cost me anything.
Realistically, my worst-case scenario was option number 3. And I didn’t expect options number 1 to happen because he was obviously going to give his insurance company a story about how I was at fault.
I have no doubt that the other driver was at fault. He crossed the line and since he was behind me, had I crossed into his lane, he would have hit the back of my car. I don’t see how a slower car on the outside can sideswipe a faster car on a bend to the right, I would expect the damage to be in a different place.
The Decision From Our Insurance Companies
Our insurance companies only took 2 days to make a decision. As expected, my insurance company found me 100% not at fault. As a result, my insurance rates wouldn’t rise. Also as expected, his insurance company found him 100% not at fault and would not be paying for my repairs.
I am responsible for the first $1,000 in repairs, after which point, my insurance would pay for the rest of the damages. As stated earlier, the damages are minimal and I have no interest in paying a few hundred dollars to get our some small dents in the passenger side of the car.
In all, this was all just a bit stressful and it stinks that someone can come into my lane and do damage to my car and leave me paying for damages to my car. But, all in all, this was not a big accident, damage was minimal, and nobody got hurt. I think that for an accident, this was a best case scenario and I’m glad I can put it behind me.
Readers, have you ever got into an accident? Is the stress of having to deal with insurance worse than the damage itself?