Updated: May 23, 2019
Recently, I bought a new car. Like an actual new-new car!
I have NEVER had a new car, so I was being extra careful with everything about it. No eating in the car! Wipe your feet, please, kids (and adults) before you enter the car! Feet off the seats! You get the idea.
First weekend with the new car, I took us all for a drive. We were in Bondi. We turned the corner into a very congested road leading out of Bondi, cars were at a standstill, the car in front started to move so I put my foot ever so slightly onto the accelerator to edge us forward with the crawling traffic (which is nothing unusual for this street), and….
Next thing I know I have been in a crash! I have collided with a car that was merging in on my left. We hit on the back right of his car and front left of mine. As I am sure you can imagine, I was in shock. My 10-year-old in the front seat was hysterical. She had the seatbelt pull at her neck and the shock of it all had her in tears.
I quickly checked on her and the other two kids in the back to make sure everyone was ok. Aside from the shock of the whole thing, everyone was fine. I pull over to the side and stepped out of my car and into a barrage of abuse from a young man in a new Mercedes.
Turns out the car he was driving was a hire car. He and his passenger had been in Sydney for the weekend and were in a hurry to get to the airport to catch a flight home.
The abuse continued… You drove into me! This is your fault! You are going to pay for this! You need to tell the insurance company this was your fault!...
I signal the kids to stay in the car, as the man seemed erratic and unpredictable, I said to the man and his female passenger, “I didn’t see you, where did you come from?” His passenger was obviously upset with him and started yelling at him in another language. I was perplexed as to how this could have happened with all the blame being put on me,…
Dealing with the shock and upset of what had just happened to my brand-new car,…
The children’s upset,…
Explaining to them I hadn’t been in an accident in over 25 years,…
We exchange details and left the crash site.
Later that day, I refused a barrage calls from the male driver. I was shocked enough, I didn’t want to experience any more abuse or blame, especially seeing I didn’t feel that what had happened was my fault at all.
My brand-new car was smashed, and it hadn’t even done 300kms!
I was devastated. ☹
I was playing back what happened in my mind repeatedly. I realised what had happened wasn’t my fault!
He must have seen a gap in the traffic, put his foot on the accelerator, forgotten to indicate, and pushed his way into the traffic, only to stop suddenly when he realised the cars in front were not moving as fast as he had hoped.
I felt better knowing that I hadn’t been negligent or careless like I was being accused of. Sadly… I didn’t have any witnesses.
I had only just insured my car less than a week earlier when I bought it and I was worried I wouldn’t be covered. I called the insurance company and explained what had happened.
They said they would need to complete an investigation but as it appeared that I had hit him, I would be held responsible and up for the $800 excess.
For days I kept playing the scene over in my mind, I was sure it wasn’t my fault, but I was bracing myself for the worst. I took my car to be assessed, it was going to cost over $3.5k to fix what was my brand-new car. The man at the smash repair said without proof – like dash camera footage, he thought it very unlikely that the other driver would be held responsible, as it looked like I hit him.
Weeks later I was vindicated! Insurance company called and said the accident had been deemed the other party’s fault and I wasn’t responsible.
The relief I experienced was massive.
I am glad I took the time to allow myself to get over the shock and barrage of abuse before I called the insurance company. I was clear and not under pressure and could clearly explain exactly what had happened.
It wasn’t about the money, it was a matter of principal (although I’m very happy I didn’t have to pay the excess and my rating with the insurer wasn’t compromised)
I got my car back from the repairer yesterday, it is as good as new, and I am a happy lady.
Another example of how important it is to #standupforyourrights