A vent on irresponsible drivers

I am not typically one to use such a public arena to vent, but I am unbelievably angry and I feel the need to share my experience. I wonder if others have gone through the same thing and can offer me some sort of solution.

Things started out simply enough. We decided to go for an excursion in the snow. In order to do this, we borrowed our friend's 4x4 Xterra. We picked up the car and parked my Honda Civic in front of his house. We brought our friend Kevin, his dog Piper, and Dottie. As a result of our trip, there was dog hair and mud everywhere. As common courtesy, we decided to keep the Xterra overnight in order to properly clean it before returning it to our friend. My car stayed parked in front of his house.

The next morning our friend gave us a call. When he went out to go for a run, he noticed that someone had hit my car. No note or anything. Just a significant dent on the side of my car. Our friend lives on a quiet street where "everybody minds their own business". Translation, nobody really knows anyone else or speaks to anyone else. Thus, we couldn't get any information from the neighbors.



We went over to see how bad was bad. It was not a little lovetap from someone's parallel parking. Someone T-boned my car. The car was damaged just enough that the driver's side door cannot be opened. While we were surveying the damage, his neighbors from across the street were a bit too interested in what was going on. They kept peeking in their windows. When someone finally left the house, they walked quickly and was worked very hard to not make eye contact. At the time, I just wrote it off as paranoid Angeleno behavior.

Without any real clue as to who might have hit my car, we were getting ready to write it off as just plain bad luck. As someone said, this is why we have car insurance, for moments like this. Even with insurance, we still have a deductible to pay before the car can be repaired. That's money out of my pocket for something that was not my fault. My car was parked on a public street!!!

We left the car and went home to weigh out our options. I know those of you who don't live in L.A. are probably thinking "why don't you just call your insurance?". Well, my friends, I am a little reluctant to call those folks because this is the 4th incident that I've had to report in the 6 years I've lived in L.A. {There was the fender bender that occurred while my friend was driving my car, my car that was stolen from in front of my house, and this car was sideswiped by an MTA bus 3 weeks after I bought it.} As you can imagine, our premiums are quite high and we're nervous about how another incident would affect our insurance. Before you think I'm a lousy driver, here's some perspective. In the 12 years I drove in Virginia, I had reported 2 incidents to my insurance.

After careful thought, we decided to politely ask our friend's neighbors if they had seen anything. We wanted to see if there were any witnesses before we called the police and our insurance.


While we walked over to the shifty neighbors who live across the street, we noticed this.


The neighbor's car had bumper damage! Upon closer inspection, we found black paint. His paint matched the paint that was transferred to my car. We rang their doorbell. Someone peeked at us through the glass, but didn't answer. I walked away. Then, I decided to go back and ring their doorbell again. Someone came to the door and peeked through the glass again. They quickly turned off the light and tried to pretend that no one was home. I was furious!

I called the police to report the hit-and-run. I was placed on hold and told that a traffic officer would call me back. An hour later an officer called me back. He took my information down for his report. When I told him that I had a fairly good idea who might have hit my car, he asked if anyone had seen anything. I said no, but the damage was fairly obvious. The car was right across the street from mine! He blew me off. I mentioned it again. In so many words, he told me that if there were no witnesses I had no proof. He said he'd write up my report. I asked if they were sending anyone out. He said no. A report over the phone is all that would be done. Case closed. Call my insurance.

As anyone can imagine, I am furious. I know the LAPD has other things to worry about besides my hit and run, but seriously... reports over the phone? That's it?! I know in theory this is a simple accident. I should be thankful that I wasn't in the car and no one that I loved was hurt. I still can't help but be mad. What happened to personal accountability? I wouldn't have been half as mad if that jerkoff hadn't just ignored me. As it turns out by ignoring me, he gets away with it. WTF?! Where does that make any sense? I did nothing wrong and I get screwed. I have to pay my deductible, put my car in the shop for a while, and watch my insurance premiums go up.

Sorry for the long-winded vent. I just have never felt quite so screwed over and helpless. If anyone has an advice or words of wisdom, I'd love to hear it.

10 more coherent thought(s):

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sucks Anne, I don't know if insurance have their own "csi" team to investigate and match the paint chip from the neighbor's vehicle. Maybe they would be more of a help than LAPD. If nothing happens and you end up having to pay more for it, I would just put bananas in their tailpipe old school style for being irresponsible human beings, and maybe egg their house.

MissJordyPants said...

What if you write a letter to the people that quite obviously hit your car. Or sit on their porch until they come out :-)

Speis Girl said...

sorry this happened anne :< take advantage of the "everyone keeps to themselves" mentality and take a bat to his headlights. that will make you feel better :>

Neleh said...

double you - tee -eff!??

Carmela said...

ditto on camping out at the neighbor's front porch. or just tell them that you had to report this to the police- leaving the deets about being rejected by the lapd. sorry anne :(

nita said...

the police does NOTHING! they said the same to me when this guy attacked my car and smashed it in. there's no proof...we can't pursue. i'm furious!

i'm sorry this happend to you!

LaaLoosh.com said...

OMG, that sucks!! I so feel your pain. I think you should go to see these dirty ass neighbors again and tell them that you are aware that they hit your car, you have photos of the damage and have had the report with their plate numbers written up by the LAPD. Allude to the fact that there are witnesses and offer them the opp to pay for the damage without reporting to insurance. And if that doesn't work, I say you follow the ever wise advice of the Speis Girl. :)

Pamela said...

Welcome to the world of car insurance and traffic laws, both created to pinch money out of the common man.

Sorry about your car =*(

I actually like angry Anne though =)

Anne K. in L.A. said...

Pamela - Angry Anne hasn't gone too far. I'm just not going to rant as loudly on my blog;)

Tahoebound2009 said...

If you really want to avoid dealing with insurance, I would bug the neighbors too.

But, if you have a solid insurance company, explain the whole situation to them and they will likely investigate. Ins. companies always want to re-coup their costs. I'll double check with my inside source who works in auto-claims ;) and let you know for sure though.

Cops don't give a S*** about traffic accidents. I spun out on the 5 once and no-one came for over an hour and they didn't take a report. At least with some sort of police report your ins. will be happier.

Post a Comment