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  1. #1
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    I got rear ended today when I was at a stop light. The guy really smacked into my car, but there was only minimal damage to the car. Surprisingly so because the impact caused my ashtray and glove compartment to pop open. I have whiplash and I'm a bit sore now so I know I will be singing the blues tomorrow.

    My question: if you hit someone do you speak up and apologize or do you keep your mouth shut and say nothing?

    I know legally you shouldn't apologize but it really sort of ticked me off that the guy didn't. He just kept silent the whole time after he asked if I was okay. Granted, we are in LA the sue capital of the world but since I don't think his insurance is valid he shouldn't have been too concerned about it.

    Every time I've been at fault in a fender bender I've always apologized (I know you shouldn't but I can't help myself. I blurt it out anyway. If I'm at fault, I'm at fault.)

    What do you do if you hit someone - do you apologize or just keep quiet? If you've been hit, did you like/dislike the apology or non-response of the person who hit you?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Sadly, an apology can have legal consequences.

    He asked if you were OK - that's the important thing.

    Sorry about your shake-up - hope the whiplash doesn't bother you too much.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. The strange thing is that legally you shouldn't ask someone if they are okay either. That can be enough to prove guilt too.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Hmmm.

    It's a crazy, litigious society we live in.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    Kip,

    I hope your rearending didn't take place in West Hollywood.

    The Pooper

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Doesn't society today just suck? You can't inquire if someone is OK or not, nor can you apologize for making a mistake out of fear of being sued.

    Sick, sick, sick.

    Kip, be sure to go see a doctor about your whiplash, you might not feel horrible right now, but you might suffer problems months down the road if it isn't taken care of right now.

    Andy

  7. #7
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    Thanks. I'm going to see how I feel tomorrow. I have lousy insurance with a high deductible and would have to pay for this out of pocket so I don't want to go to the doctor unless I'm really bad off.

    Pooper - actually it was very near West Hollywood. It was at the La Cienega/Wilshire light.

  8. #8
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kip:
    I have lousy insurance with a high deductible and would have to pay for this out of pocket so I don't want to go to the doctor unless I'm really bad off. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually, I believe it's the medical part of your *car* insurance that should pay the bill. Therefore, no deductible.

    And if it was the other guy at fault, his insurance should pay. If his won't, your's will.

    Michael

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> since I don't think his insurance is valid he shouldn't have been too concerned about it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually he has a lot MORE reason to be concerned if he has no insurance. If you sue and win, he could lose his assets (house, etc.) or be forced into bankruptcy, if he can't come up with the judgement. If he had insurance, on the other hand, he'd just present them with the bill.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  10. #10
    Full Member AAnnAArchy's Avatar
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    I worked as a paralegal for a couple of personal injury firms many moons ago and most lawyers write off cases where the other driver doesn't have insurance. They don't generally go after anyone's assets. It's more likely that they go after your uninsured motorist coverage.

    Back to the apology thing - I was in an accident once and was broadsided (the other woman had a stop sign and I didn't). The accident was obviously her fault, but in her statement to the insurance company, she said, "I couldn't be sure who was at fault." I would've been mad, except there was no physical way I could've been at fault.

  11. #11
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    Reminds me of the time I rear ended this poor old lady on a dark cold and gloomy October night...

    I felt so bad... It was obviously my fault and no talking, or silence for that matter, was going to get me out of it...

    She was on her way to pick up her grandchildren and I basically ruined her car and it wouldn't even start anymore. My truck barely had a dent in it.

    So I offered to drive her to where she needed to go to pick up her grandchildren and she accepted the offer. So here I am driving down the road with this old lady and her two grandchildren listening to her explain why this stranger was driving them around.

    We then got to her house and we went inside to call the police and make a police report. While we were waiting one of the kids was bugging me to play a PlayStation game with him and the grandmother kept offering me food and something to drink.

    Then the police, after what felt like an eternity, finally showed up. They even brought an ambulance with them, lights flashing and all. Of course this old lady lived in a trailer park so a huge crowd was gathered outside in front of her trailer.

    When I went outside the whole neighborhood was just staring at me and whispering to each other. What made it worse is that the ambulance truck was parked behind me and wouldn't move so I couldn't get out of her driveway. So I was stuck waiting in my truck, with all these people staring me down, until the ambulance people decided they could leave.

    That was one of the strangest experiences of my life...

    The old lady was fine by the way. Not a dent or scratch on her... thankfully.

  12. #12
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    In this state, perhaps in many if not most, there is what is known as no-fault insurance, designed to reduce finger-pointing and lawsuits. On the other hand, In this state and perhaps most, if you hit someone from behind, you are at fault. (Don't ask me how this contradiction is resolved.)

    The only time I hit someone from behind was driving a Postal jeep around 34 years ago. Foot slipped off the brake pedal at a stop lite and the fast idle caused the Jeep to jump forward and bumped the car ahead. The old geezer was pretty indignant as he got out of the car but there was no damage and he calmed down when I immediately apologized. That was a while back but I'd still do the same today.

    Wayne

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>In this state, perhaps in many if not most, there is what is known as no-fault insurance, designed to reduce finger-pointing and lawsuits. On the other hand, In this state and perhaps most, if you hit someone from behind, you are at fault. (Don't ask me how this contradiction is resolved.) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    We've got the same thing here.

    Funny thing is, the insurance company makes a point of saying to NOT admit fault for ANY accidents! Weird since it's supposed to be no-fault, huh...

    As for apologizing, I think that with a reasonable person an apology would go far to defuse the wrath.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Since he hit your from behind, when you're at a stop light, he's 100% guilty. So an apology is not need for admission of guilt, it would just common caourtesy, and very nice thing to do.

    On the other hand, he might thousands of things going on in his mind at that time, so he may have not thought of that.

  15. #15
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I would have thought to appologize and I would not care if it could be used against me. In fact since I am at fault I feel I should admit my guilt regardless of what lawyers and insurance people want you to say. BTW they are the scum ruining th e good nature of people. Accidents have happend since day one of the automobile. Lawyers and insurance just wanted a piece of the action.

  16. #16
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    Just wanted to give an update on this:

    I submitted a claim to the guy's insurance company so I could go to the doctor and have him pay for it. I spent about 45 minutes on the phone providing all the information. The next day an adjustor from the company calls and tells me his policy is no longer valid, but that he told them he had a new policy and would give me the information on it.

    I called him several times but he wouldn't take my calls. I left him several messages. In my last, I told him I was going to file a complaint with the police and his license would be suspended if he can't show proof of insurance.

    Sounds good, right? Well, I talked to my insurance agent and he said that if I file the complaint to get the DMV to investigate then it would show up as an accident for me and my insurance rates would go up. If I make a claim for uninsured motorist my rates would probably go up for that too.

    So ... the guy hits me, my back hurts and the guy gets off scot free. What a crock.

  17. #17
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    The bottom line is he rear-ended *you*, and although I'm not an expert on US insurance, I guess it's pretty much like ours - if you run into the back of someone then it's your own fault because you were *too close*.

    If he doesn't have insurance.. well, throw the book at him. Anybody who takes a vehicle out onto the road has to act responsibly - we all shell out wads of cash for insurance, taxes vehicle inspections and maintenance. So should everyone else. If he's not insured, then he's a criminal.

    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> So ... the guy hits me, my back hurts and the guy gets off scot free. What a crock. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Here in Oklahoma, we'd gather up a couple of "good ole boys" and go have a Butt Kickin' party with this guy.

    No one has the right to drive without insurance. Driving is not a right, it's a privilege.

    Do you know where the guy works? Sometimes if you leave embarrassing messages, you know the kind - too many details, they'll call you back to avoid the looks at the office.

    Andy

  19. #19
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    I agree. Unfortunately all I have is his number and he isn't answering my calls.

  20. #20
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    You should file an accident report with the DMV regardless as to who is at fault. You insurance rate should not go up unless you submit a claim or are determined to be at fault. You have ten days, if the other person files a report and you don't you are automatically at fault. Also you should look into getting another insurance company. You pay them good money to represent you and your interests and they are basically giving you the cold shoulder because they don't want you to file a claim. I recommend AAA, a bit more expensive but well worth it for the service you receive.

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kip:
    I agree. Unfortunately all I have is his number and he isn't answering my calls. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Try typing his number into Google. If it's not an unlisted number at the phone co., you may be able to find out some things...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Kip,

    I wouldn't give up so easily. As Leader suggested, Google the guy. You might be able to come up with something, a relative, a girlfriend, etc.

    And I'd keep calling the guy everyday, and stay in touch with his former insurance agent. Perhaps you can persuade the agent to reveal the guy's address.

    Jerks like this need to be held responsible for their actions, they go through their whole lives screwing others, and never have to pay the price. It's time for him to pay up!

    Good luck, and keep us up to date!

    Andy

  23. #23
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    Thanks, great suggestions.

    Check this out - I googled the guy's phone number and nothing came up. I googled the guy's name and los angeles and the guy was involved in a lawsuit a few years ago.

    The guy must have a real issue about paying insurance premiums because the suit revolved around him not paying them. He rented space for a produce store and let the policy that he was required to have on it lapse. Someone slipped, broke their hip and sued. He had no insurance and apparently no money so the guy that owned the building was on the hook for the whole amount.

    Sounds like a real upstanding citizen doesn't he? What a loser.

  24. #24
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    The person could have at least asked if you were ok, but I think many people won't admit fault on the scene of an accident.

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