1. To the girl who hit my car and then drove off: If you think that I did not get your license plate number and drive immediately to the police station and file a report against you, you are mistaken.* Had you stopped, we could have exchanged insurance information and called it a minor inconvenience--stuff happens, you know? Since you didn't, you've won the Grand Prize: A first degree misdemeanor charge, with a potential penalty of up to 6 months in prison and $1000.00 fine.** Nice job, honey. I'm sure your mother (whose car it was) will be pleased.
2. This is not a picture of my car, just a car that looks just like it.
3. When I went to make the police report the officer looked at me with these tired and cynical eyes. "A hit and run?" he said. "Did you get the license plate number?"
"Hell yeah, I got the number," I said, and he brightened right up.
4. I really wonder how many car accidents have resulted from people texting while they drive (which is what I'm guessing the girl who hit me was doing. That is pure speculation on my part, but her driving--even after she hit me and drove off--was very erratic in the way that I often see when I notice people texting and driving)? I just don't see how it's possible to do both without the driving suffering, especially when you're on the highway.*** Seriously, I'm no saint who pulls over every time I talk on the phone (although I do usually use the hands-free), but texting and driving is a whole new ballgame, man.
5. I know--it's pretty, right? It's a Mazda RX8, the only rotary engine currently in mass market production. Not super fast off the line--although it's no slouch--but it handles like a dream.
6. My insurance company offered me the "choice" of going after the girl's insurance company (assuming she has one) myself. "If you go through us, you will have to pay your deductible and we pursue her and her insurance company to get it back. If you do it, then you can arrange with them to pay the whole thing upfront and you won't have to pay anything!"
What I thought, but did not say, was "why in the hell am I paying you a small fortune every year if, when I get into an accident, I have to deal with the other insurance company?" Because you know what I want to do with my free time? Argue with someone else's insurance company. I'm sure they're very easy to deal with and will cough up a check right away. Maybe they'll even pay me extra for DOING YOUR JOB.
I chose to have them do it.
I know this means that it will probably take longer than it would if I did it myself,**** but I object to this self-service culture, particularly when I don't get anything for doing it myself. Like, if I go to the grocery store and check out my own merchandise, shouldn't I get a discount? Aren't I doing something for free that you would have to pay someone for? So if I pursue the other insurance company and settle my claim, shouldn't I get a discount on my insurance for the next year, since that's what I'm paying them for? I'm just saying.
*I'm fine. The car is mostly fine, or will be after it gets out of the body shop. But the lesson here is this: (1) do not mess with me and (2) do not mess with my car.
**No, I don't actually think that she will go to jail, but a girl can dream, can't she?
***Oh, yeah, she clipped me on the highway. Fortunately it was just a little bump (that caused $1700.00 worth of damage), but I didn't spin out or anything and there wasn't much traffic. It could have been much worse.
****Some people might think that there would be a risk if I did it myself that I wouldn't get anything from the other insurance company, because the company would give me the runaround. Those people don't know me. I am the queen# of complaint resolution. Seriously. A friend of mine who had switched health insurance providers couldn't get her old insurance to stop billing her, and then, once they had finally stopped billing her, couldn't get the old company to refund her money before 6-8 weeks, even though they had electronic access to her account. So they could charge her immediately (and mistakenly), but they couldn't refund her for two months? I don't think so. She asked me to get on the phone with her and a couple of phone calls later, the money was back in her account.
#I am second only to my friend V, the empress of complaint resolution, who not only got the phone company to come to her house on a Sunday between the hours of 1 and 4, but also got Best Buy to honor an extended warranty! I know! I'm really good, but V is great. We're going to start a business complaining for other people.