Hit & Run

Hit & Run

Apparently it’s difficult for people to accept responsibility for their mistakes. I, for one, don’t particularly like admitting that I’m wrong but when it does happen and it happens a lot, I own up to it. Even if it’s going to cost me in some way. I guess I am in the minority. What’s the point of all this? Well someone hit my new car when it was parking in a parking lot in Palo Alto and didn’t leave a note to take responsibility.

I’ve had my car for about 6 months now and I while I miss my old car, my new car is pretty damn cool. It took some getting used to the size difference. I had grown accustomed to driving a much smaller car but the extra space is nice. As with my previous car, I always made sure to park far away from any potential “threats”. I’d avoid parking next to cars that I thought might have children. It’s not that I dislike children but kids tend to swing the car door out without any regard for anyone’s personal property. I don’t need any door dings. Also, I’d make sure to find the largest parking spots possible again to avoid any potential door dings. I’d park in the back of most parking lots because I know that there is less traffic in those areas thereby limiting my car’s exposure to these potential “threats”.

In this particular case, my wife and I were going to meet some friends at the Town and Country Village in Palo Alto for lunch on a Sunday afternoon. We arrived at little after 1PM and the parking lot was a mess. I didn’t like the way things looked from the start. I navigated through the mess and found plenty of parking in the back of the lot by the Trader Joe’s. I parked in a spot that ran along a bike trail. Parking Lot

I figured it was a pretty safe, out of the way spot to leave my car and off I went to enjoy what was an unusually warm February day. We had lunch and since it was the last day before Lent, I wanted to get something carnivorous. I ended up ordering a burger that was supposed to be a bacon cheeseburger but ended up being a mushroom swiss. I didn’t care to complain. It just didn’t seem to be worth the time. We then walked around the Town and Country Village for a bit. We indulged in some ice cream which I really shouldn’t have had but it was good. I had a Mexican Hot Chocolate and it was really spicy ice cream. It was kind of a weird experience. A little while after we got ice cream, we observed this elderly woman and a man getting into an argument. She seems to think that the man dinged her car with his door. I didn’t see what she claimed to have happened and I didn’t notice a mark on her car. She drove a crappy old Toyota Camry that was covered in dirt and the paint was flaking off the hood. I sort of asked myself, “Why does she care? She doesn’t even care enough to wash her car or keep it looking nice. A ding in the door is the least of her worries.” Little did I know what was waiting for me when I returned to my car.

We continued to explore the shopping center and went to a toy store and then a book store. By around 4:45 everyone wanted to call it a day. We said our good byes and my wife and I made our way toward my car. That is when I saw this: IMG_0039

IMG_0038

Son of a…! Needless to say, I was ticked off. I tried to call my insurance company but of course, they were closed on a Sunday. I took some pictures and a video and drove home. I tried calling the Palo Alto police but they told me that I had to come to the police station to file a report Monday-Friday from 8AM-4PM. I have a job and live 40 miles from Palo Alto. They also told me that it was pretty much pointless since there was nothing they could really do anyway. I tired calling the Trader Joe’s to see if they had any security cameras that might have caught the incident. They referred me to the Town and Country Village security who basically blew me off. The security person I spoke to seemed very defensive when I asked if they had security video. He just kept saying that he couldn’t help me and that it was too late. I asked again if they had a video system only to get the same reply. I’m a bit suspicious but there really is nothing I can do.

On to my insurance company, I went. I got through to them the next day and filed a claim. They grilled me pretty good. It was almost as if they didn’t believe my story. I didn’t like the feeling of being investigated. I pay them quite a bit of money and haven’t filed a claim with them in the over 10 years I have been a customer. You’d think they would give me the benefit of the doubt. Eventually, they agreed that this was a 0% fault claim but since there was no evidence to help locate the person who hit my car, I could not claim it under uninsured motorist and required to use my collision coverage. This would force me to pay a $500 deductible. If it had been something that would fall under uninsured motorist, there would be no deductible at all. I’ve tried my best to avoid the $500 out of pocket fee but it appears to be beyond hope.

Today, I took my car to the body shop to get an estimate. The gentleman I spoke to said that the bumper would need to be replaced as well as the rear valance and the parking sensor which seems to be damaged. I’m happy that they are going to replace the bumper instead of trying to repair it. I don’t think it would be the same if it was just repaired.

To add more pain to the situation, my insurance only allows me a rental car coverage of $20/day. I doubt that would even get me an economy rental. Add that too all of the time and effort that I have put in to get this done and $500 being taken out of my wallet and I would like to have a nice long conversation with the person that hit my car.

To whomever hit my car, I’d like to say YOU OWE ME $500 and that you will get what you deserve. It probably won’t be retribution directly from me but things have a way of evening themselves out. I don’t believe in Karma but I do believe in the concept that good things happen to people who are generally good to others and bad things happen to those who do bad things to others.

Romans 12:19 “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

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© 2016 - Mike Elmasry

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