Sunday, April 20, 2008

What's that Gonna Cost?

May I begin by saying that the policeman told me in no uncertain terms "you are not at fault"?

I was on my way to dinner at the Miller Bakery Cafe, a restaurant I'd often heard great things about but never been to. It is in Gary, Indiana, a town with which I'm not familiar. When I arrived on the street, the area seemed kind of abandoned. I wondered if I was in the right place.

The road has two lanes, one northbound, one southbound, with angled parking places on the outer edges. The sidewalk juts between parking places every six or eight spaces, making clear that those "lanes" are just for parking, not for driving.

Well I slowed to almost a stop, trying to determine if the restaurant was open. I signaled "right turn" and began to move into a parking place when "BOOM!" out of nowhere a car came zipping across the parking spaces, apparently passing me on the right.

I was shocked. The other car stopped a few parking places on. When I realized no one was getting out of that car, I grabbed my identification and approached. A middle-aged churchy woman peered out of her window. "Where did I hit you?" I told her the passenger front corner. She got out and we exchanged information in a very calm manner. At some point the bartender from the restaurant peeked out and said she'd call the police; it didn't really register at the time. Once we had all the numbers written down, the churchy woman left.

I went into the restaurant and sat at the bar to wait for my friends. The bartender told me she'd had two accidents and that filing a police report at the start was the best way to go. After a while my friends arrived, and while we were looking at my headlight, the policeman showed up. When I told him the other party had left, he said he could not take a statement. Apparently (at least in Indiana) the police can only take a statement when both parties are present. So we called the woman and it turned out she lives very nearby and said she would come back.

The whole reporting part took about half an hour. I stood outside with the churchy woman the whole time. We were polite with each other. Eventually the report was completed. The officer motioned us over to his car. Before the churchy woman got there, he gave me the information I needed, then as I moved away from his car he lowered his voice so she wouldn't hear and said "you are not at fault."

The headlight works, but the plastic that covers it is broken, the part that holds the light in is cracked, and the bumper and fender are both dented and scratched.

So the question is, what's that gonna cost?


Anonymous said...

My guess is quite a lot, but not quite as much as your deductible.

The Little Dish said...

Oh No!

Yea, you're used to no-fault insurance in Michigan. In Indiana there certainly is a fault - I sure hope the woman has insurance.

That stinks :(