Friday, December 19, 2008

Question...

I got into a car accident last Wednesday around 11pm, on my way home from my part-time job. I wasn't hurt at all, but my car was -- to the point that I had to escape from the passenger side. I can honestly now say that I love oversized American cars, because I truly believe that the girth of my beloved vessel is what protected me from serious injury. Since I'm sure you all REALLY want to know how it all went down, allow me to illustrate in most unnecessary fashion:

So, I'm sitting completely still at a red light -- grooving to the smooth tunes of John Legend and minding my business -- when suddenly...

BAM!!!

This Chevy SUT (Sports Utility Truck) slams into the front quarter panel on my driver's side. I saw it happening... I even thought to myself "Self: that chap is turning AWFULLY wide right now -- does he realize how close he is to... OH SHHHHHHH"

Or something to that effect. Honked my horn quite vigorously, but that just didn't seem to alert him to the impending collision. Naturally, my mortal limitations wouldn't have allowed me to do much more than I had (ed. note: Nothing like a shiny set of headlights coming directly at you to make you find religion... momentarily). I wish that I could illustrate the manner in which his mechanical behemoth of a truck bulldozed my little schooner of a car. To say that his right turn was lacking something would be a veritable understatement. It was more like veering onto a non-existent off-ramp than an actual right turn.
I guess some people just don't like John Legend.

I couldn't open my door at all, and had to climb out the passenger side. No injury, save for the brief discomfort in my ribcage that was likely caused by tensing my abdominal muscles while bracing for impact. My hood, fender, headlight, front quarter panel and door all need to be repaired and/or replaced -- at minimum... and who knows what internal damage was done? Then again, I suppose that the same could be said for me! Making things even more thrilling was the fact that I had to leave early the next day to get an iridotomy on my right eye. Oh, what fun!

So, I finally get the call from the body shop regarding the estimated repairs and... ouch -- $5,500. Not sexy at all. I'm almost surprised that they're even going to bother fixing it. Fortunately, this is why I pay $124 every month for car insurance. My "good neighbor" will be paying for my repairs, and subsequently pursuing the offender's insurance carrier for remuneration (aka subrogation).

So here's the question: to sue or not to sue?

Several parties have advised that I seek medical attention and proceed to sue the responsible party. Granted, his insurance could likely settle matters expeditiously and cut me a check -- but why? Should I sue if I (seemingly) wasn't hurt? His insurance will fix my car and likely reimburse me for what was spent out of pocket on the rental... so why sue? I'm not the most religious guy around, but I do put some credence in karma -- and I'm not talking about Ludacris' daughter.

We've become a "sue first, ask questions later" nation, and it's a little disheartening. If my judgment were to exceed the liability limits of his insurance policy, his personal property would then be at stake. His car, house and other personal effects could become involved. Perhaps even garnished wages? I'm no legal expert, but after several years in the auto insurance industry, I'm fully aware that a large settlement could literally destroy this guy's life.

So the real question is: why didn't I just go to whocanisue.com instead of asking you people?

Oh, yes -- because I have a heart. If you don't like it, then sue me.

4 comments:

aaronic said...

Man. First, glad your alright man.

Me and Julian got in a similar accident; we were hit by a drunk driver sitting at a light and my car got totaled. Miraculously, neither me or Julian was injured, but every one was yelling at us to sue. We decided it was bad karma and just let insurance handle the money and the law handle the driver.

I'm partial to voting "don't sue", but I wouldn't judge you if you went the "get paid route either! Lol.

Erika 2004 said...

First of all, I'm glad to hear that you are OK.

I'm on the side of don't sue, especially if you are fine and insurance is paying for all the repairs.

CC said...

Okay, brace yourself as I am a lawyer, but I say: don't sue. I knew people in car accidents who were hurt who did sue. Appropriate. But if you weren't hurt and you didn't miss a lot of work that affected your pay then what is the loss here? Your car is getting fixed and not on your dime so I say all is fine. They will reap the badness anyway if their car insurance goes up due to the accident. Happy New Year!

NikkiGrids said...

as your favorite southern lawyer, i would agree not to sue unless of course you find yourself paying a bunch of out of pocket expenses. i would, however, attempt to deal with his insurance company if you are incurring a whole bunch of out of pocket expenses. this saves the time and effort involved in suing him but still makes sure you are not out because of a dumb a$$ driver.