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MG Hit By Volkswagon On Steroids

To: Felix Wong <felixksw@elaine42.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: MG Hit By Volkswagon On Steroids
From: (James Fischer)
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 11:11:13 -0500
    Felix Wong said:

>...No bodily injuries, but this lady has an attitude and I am thoroughly 
>pissed.  We exchange information and she has no insurance (thank goodness 
>I bought insurance just 2 weeks ago, including uninsured motorist 

    File a police report and a claim with your insurance company.
    Now.  Today.  Don't wait, as you have only so much time before
    the insurance company will refuse to accept the claim.

    People who drive without insurance are often rather expert
    at "con games", where you end up never seeing the money.
    Trying to delay the report is the basic goal here.  Once
    that is done, you will never see her again.

>She immediately says she will pay for the damage, although 
>"if it is over $500 you are going to have to sue me... and I 
>WILL NOT BE BLACKMAILED!"  (like I said she had an attitude).  

    This is part of the con.  They scare people into thinking that
    following the standard approach will somehow cost them more.
    The $500 is HER estimate of how much she can pay to make you
    go away - it has no connection to the actual damages, since
    she has no idea how much damage her Volkswagen On Steroids
    did to your car.
    The damage is to the REAR of your car.  It does not take a
    genius to figure out who hit who.  Your insurance rates will 
    not rise if the accident was not your fault.

>She seems confident that the damage could not possibly exceed $500, 
>but I am dubious.  We will be having coffee on Wednesday to talk, 

    Bring a friend to the coffee shop.  A plain-clothes policeman.

>and by then I hope to have a few estimates.  

>I've already ordered all the (OEM) parts needed, with her 

    How NICE of her.  Why should you lift a finger, unless you
    are the best auto restorer in the entire state?

>and they amounted to $60 dollars although that figure will go up 
>if it is deemed that the old bumper can't be repaired for a reasonable amount
>and hence a new one is needed.  The damage doesn't look too bad now, although 
>I was distressed at the time... just a broken tail lamp lens and bezel, a 
>slightly dented right rear fender, the now-crushed metal below the tail lamp 
>assembly, and a bent rear bumper bar.  Which is why I am wondering if anyone 
>has an OEM rear bumper in good condition they want to dispose of, or else I 
>will have the lady buy Goldie a new one from TRF for $130.

    Take the car to the best restorer in town.  As a collector's
    item, your car is not subject to the whim of the insurance
    adjuster.  Most body shops have no idea where to get parts
    or how to work on these beasties.  Reject any suggestion
    that your car be taken to anyone else with the simple
    statement "they have no track record with these cars,
    and these cars are very special".  Demand that the entire
    car be repainted to insure that the resulting paint matches.
    While you are at it, pay your own money the guy to do other 
    work not connected with the accident, on a seperate invoice
    and estimate.

>On the topic of the accident, I have already verified her personal info, 
>talked to an officer (who assures me I can always file a police report at 
>any time if she does not pay up), 

    File the report now!!!! Delay works in her favor, and allows her
    to deny that the accident ever happened.

>and took pictures at the time of the accident with a camera I have in 
>my car at all times for this purpose.  

    Wow!!!  What paranoia!  Give the photos to the cops with your
    report.  You bother to carry a camera, but don't follow the
    process that your insurance company tells you to follow?

>I think I am prepared for the worst, although I'm optimistic that everything 
>will go  smoothly from here.  

    Why waste your time worrying?  Take the car to the best man around,
    tell him that you want the car fixed, and fixed well, and let the
    insurance company chase her.  That's what you paid them to do.
    As an aside, if she pays $500 per accident, and you pay for insurance,
    who pays less money?  If she is typical of the type, her address
    on her license will turn out to be a box at a "Mailboxes Etc".

    While my suggestions may be harsh on the woman who hit you, she
    was rather high-handed and presumptious with you.  Let her take
    the bus for a while, it might teach her some manners!

    Why am I such a hard-ass on this?  I got conned by a sweet little
    girl back when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Found out that she
    had done this several times before when I talked to the cops.
    Caught up with her though... she had a boat, and registered her
    boat to her real address.  Big mistake.  I ended up having to
    have my lawyer sue her, and we got a court order to seize her boat 
    to pay for damages and lawyer's fees.  Needless to say, the process 
    was a pain.

No one can afford a truly open mind, since it would allow the first 
foolish idea that came along to walk in and take over the joint.
 james fischer             

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