Date: Thursday, June 23, 2011
Time: 5:oo PM
Road Surface Conditions: Dry
Light Conditions: Cloudy with excellent visibility
Whatever Shall I Blog About?
I was at my desk, thinking of what to blog about, (I mean, I’ve only got about five shopping bags full of notes and ideas), when I thought I heard a bomb go off outside my office.
I raced outside and saw what looked like a 1995 Panel Van with NYS plates kissing the rear bumper of a white 2007 Chrysler Station Wagon with Pennsylvania plates. The driver of the Panel Van had jumped out of his vehicle, cursing his fate, not thinking clearly enough to put his van in park. I suggested, in a loud voice, to get back in the van and put it park.
I briefly spoke to two former Brooklynites, just in from their new home in Las Vegas for a visit. They said both cars were stopped and then, in what I can only imagine was a severe case of distracted driving, Panel Van Man hit the gas and slammed into the rear of the PA Chrysler Wagon. So hard, in fact, both the drivers and passenger side front air bags , the van’s front bumper was ripped off, and the hood bent like a piece of paper you didn’t like before you threw it away. The result of a collision which again, sounded like a bomb going off.
The driver of the PA Chrysler emerged from his vehicle, holding the back of his head and flexing his spine. When I inquired as to how he felt, he told me he had just left work early to go to a doctor’s appointment.
Call 911, Kiddo
My daughter brought out some paper and pens so the two drivers could exchange information. Why? Well, Sections 601-605 of Title VI, Article 22 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law, (2007-2008 edition) covers the responsibilities of persons involved in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in the state of New York.Section 605 specifically states anyone involved in an accident where on or both parties suffer damage in excess of one thousand dollars shall report the accident in writing to the commissioner.
Your wilful failure to report an accident or give current information is a misdemeanor creating grounds for the suspension and/or revocation of your license, registration, or both. This applies even if the driver involved is licensed, registered and insured out of state. You wouldn’t be able to legally drive anywhere in New York State.
Send In The Clowns
Why the lesson in vehicle law? Only because this is when the circus began.
The Pennsylvania plates finally made my insurance agent brain go “Click.”
“How are you feeling?”
“Okay, I guess.”
“I called the police and they should arrive soon. Are you the owner of this vehicle?” I asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“And, just between us, do you really live in Pennsylvania?”
“Uh, yeah. I’m just, uh, staying with my daughter in Brooklyn this week.”
Now, did somebody leave a dead, rotting fish in the sink for a week, or does something else smell fishy to you? Didn’t he tell me he’d just left work early to go to the doctor? Somehow, I don’t think he works, or lives in Pennsylvania.
Here’s the reality. Panel Van Man probably lacked either a valid license or current auto insurance. Chrysler Man really lives somewhere in Brooklyn, and fraudulently registers and insures his vehicle in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Panel Van Man again came over to offer PA Chrysler Man money to fix his car.
“Come on pal, we can settle this right now. How much do you want to fix your car?”
To his credit, PA Chrysler Man initially said “No, I want to call the police and get an ambulance. I don’t know if something is wrong with me, and I don’t know how bad my car is damaged. Don’t you have insurance?
“Yeah, yeah, I got insurance, but it’s high insurance. I pay real high insurance now.”
Gee, no kidding.
“I don’t want my insurance to go up. I’ll tell you what, follow me to my collision shop and I’ll fix your car for you.”
Why is it everybody responsible for an accident does body work? I mean, are they driving around looking to hit other cars so they can take them to their shops for practice? Or is business that bad?
They got down on hands and knees to examine the undercarriage of the Chrysler, then lifted the hatch and checked the interior trunk area for damage. All the while, Panel Van Man kept imploring PA Chrysler Man to take some money.
“Look, I only got $60.00. You’ll have to trust me for the rest.”
Say what? You just ram the back of another car, don’t want to call the police, and expect the other driver to ‘trust you’?
That’s when PA Chrysler Man pulled out his cell phone, began to hold the back of his head. Me, I’d have been laying on the macadam, waiting for Godot, I mean, the ambulance and the police. I’d already have my lawyer, John Dewey, of the law firm Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, on line one, and my real estate agent on line two.
Then, as if by miracle, Panel Van Man sighed, and pulled out a wad of bills which would have choked Secretariat to death. If he thought he had only $60.00, then he didn’t know how to count. He counted out a bunch of $100’s for quite some time. The first time he stopped, PA Chrysler Man shook his head as if to say, “Keep it coming fool”, and he kept on counting.
When an agreeable amount of money had chaned hands, Panel Van Man got into his vehicle lacking a legal bumper, with two deployed air bags and drove off in a cloud of smoke to strike again.
I approached PA Chrysler Man and expressed my hope he wouldn’t wake up a month from now, paralyzed from the waist down from the displaced spinal fracture he may have suffered in the accident. The same fracture the x-ray machine at the hospital would have discovered had he gone.
“There’s not enough money in the wad of bills he gave you to pay the medical and skilled nursery costs you could be facing down the road.”
He shrugged, smiled, got into his rear bumper-damaged wagon, and drove away, happy with his unexpected payday.
Let’s just hope the rear of his car and his rear don’t fall off the same day.
Who Loses When This Happens?
Well, dear readers, it’s you and I. Us, the “I don’t need the hassle,” “Chicken livered,” and “I am too pretty for prison” honest folk who dutifully pay the proper and legal rates for auto insurance. Rates which are high because of the fraud so many other perpetrate daily.
We pay for everyone who says we’re crazy or stupid for paying so much when you can insure in Florida, Ohio, Maryland, and yes, even Pennsylvania and save yourself some money.
Just don’t get into an accident.
That’s okay though. Like I said, I’ll be glad to wait for the ambulance, talking to my lawyer on the phone.
The really good side of all of this? I finally had something fresh to post.
Eustace Greaves Jr, LUTCF is BrooklynCovered, a financial services representative located in Brooklyn, NY.
And all of the cool stuff happens right outside of his door.