Lessons in car insurance and accidents: who is at fault anyway?

ElementdamageOn our way to a wedding in Redding, it was not a dark and stormy night, but nevertheless events unfolderd to create a wrinkle in the road.  While attempting to exit our car at a gas station, another vehicle collided. First, we are thankful to God that no one was hurt, especially my dear wife.  Second, it is just a car.  Third, California law favors the moving vehicle in this case.  So, the reality of our insurance rates going up, the payment of the deductible to repair a brand new car and, the loss of faith in some sense of justice from our insurance company in the great state of California simply empties our pockets.

The driver who hit us, he is damaged, too.  What about him?  He may have been going too fast.  Really, fairness is only decided compared to the law, unless we take this to court and argue with diagrams and photos and a logical narrative dehumanizing the poor family man driving the mini-van who hit us.  So, that is not fair, either.  Is it?  Who is at fault, then, really?

Under law, a judgment has to be made.  Opinion may say something other than that.  California law makes it such that there can be exceptions if things can be proven so that is our litigious temptation.  No law was broken, by the way.  Technically, that is.

The small lesson here is that this is simply part of life and why we pay for car insurance.  When I worked in a prosecutors office as a file clerk many years ago I remember reading the depositions and court documents of freeway altercations.  To my horror I read a story of an angry motorist in an accident pulling a baseball bat out of his car. Let’s just say it got ugly.

The gentle Asian man in a mini-van was as worried as I that either of us had a baseball bat in the back of respective autos.  Instead, the human imperfection of accidents  wrought only the pain of loss for all involved rather than unnecessary escalation.  Of course, we are asking for our insurance to reconsider its determination.  Who is at fault, anyway?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

20 comments

  1. When I took my motorcycle safety course they emphasized to us that there is no such thing as an “accident.” They call it a crash. Reason being that crashes only happen when one or more people screw up. Someone wasn’t paying attention, either to traffic or the road conditions or the pressure in their tires. I suppose there are certain instances when someone is not to blame; if the driver has a heart attack or if the tire hits a nail and blows out (though blowouts are usually the result of old worn tires.)
    My point is that in your case someone screwed up. I’m not sure who it was but I tend to see the other driver as a culprit. That is, of course, unless someone can prove to me how your car moved sideways and collided with the front of his vehicle 😉

  2. When I took my motorcycle safety course they emphasized to us that there is no such thing as an “accident.” They call it a crash. Reason being that crashes only happen when one or more people screw up. Someone wasn’t paying attention, either to traffic or the road conditions or the pressure in their tires. I suppose there are certain instances when someone is not to blame; if the driver has a heart attack or if the tire hits a nail and blows out (though blowouts are usually the result of old worn tires.)
    My point is that in your case someone screwed up. I’m not sure who it was but I tend to see the other driver as a culprit. That is, of course, unless someone can prove to me how your car moved sideways and collided with the front of his vehicle 😉

  3. When I took my motorcycle safety course they emphasized to us that there is no such thing as an “accident.” They call it a crash. Reason being that crashes only happen when one or more people screw up. Someone wasn’t paying attention, either to traffic or the road conditions or the pressure in their tires. I suppose there are certain instances when someone is not to blame; if the driver has a heart attack or if the tire hits a nail and blows out (though blowouts are usually the result of old worn tires.)
    My point is that in your case someone screwed up. I’m not sure who it was but I tend to see the other driver as a culprit. That is, of course, unless someone can prove to me how your car moved sideways and collided with the front of his vehicle 😉

  4. When I took my motorcycle safety course they emphasized to us that there is no such thing as an “accident.” They call it a crash. Reason being that crashes only happen when one or more people screw up. Someone wasn’t paying attention, either to traffic or the road conditions or the pressure in their tires. I suppose there are certain instances when someone is not to blame; if the driver has a heart attack or if the tire hits a nail and blows out (though blowouts are usually the result of old worn tires.)
    My point is that in your case someone screwed up. I’m not sure who it was but I tend to see the other driver as a culprit. That is, of course, unless someone can prove to me how your car moved sideways and collided with the front of his vehicle 😉

  5. Rich,Sorry about the accident. It’s good to hear that no one was hurt. I really feel ya on the Insurance stuff though. That’s a big headache.

  6. Rich,Sorry about the accident. It’s good to hear that no one was hurt. I really feel ya on the Insurance stuff though. That’s a big headache.

  7. Rich,Sorry about the accident. It’s good to hear that no one was hurt. I really feel ya on the Insurance stuff though. That’s a big headache.

  8. Rich,Sorry about the accident. It’s good to hear that no one was hurt. I really feel ya on the Insurance stuff though. That’s a big headache.

  9. I haven’t had any bad experiences with insurance companies… yet. In my opinion, most insurance is a form of legalized extortion. You sign up for a service to have a company cover something and then, when it comes time for them to render their services they promised, they find some excuse not to cough up.

  10. I haven’t had any bad experiences with insurance companies… yet. In my opinion, most insurance is a form of legalized extortion. You sign up for a service to have a company cover something and then, when it comes time for them to render their services they promised, they find some excuse not to cough up.

  11. I haven’t had any bad experiences with insurance companies… yet. In my opinion, most insurance is a form of legalized extortion. You sign up for a service to have a company cover something and then, when it comes time for them to render their services they promised, they find some excuse not to cough up.

  12. I haven’t had any bad experiences with insurance companies… yet. In my opinion, most insurance is a form of legalized extortion. You sign up for a service to have a company cover something and then, when it comes time for them to render their services they promised, they find some excuse not to cough up.

  13. Dang…what an unfortunate thing to have happen. Insurance companies play by their own rules too often, and we the premium payers don’t get caught in the middle. Sorry for your financial loss, but praise God that everybody’s physical safety is intact.

  14. Dang…what an unfortunate thing to have happen. Insurance companies play by their own rules too often, and we the premium payers don’t get caught in the middle. Sorry for your financial loss, but praise God that everybody’s physical safety is intact.

  15. Dang…what an unfortunate thing to have happen. Insurance companies play by their own rules too often, and we the premium payers don’t get caught in the middle. Sorry for your financial loss, but praise God that everybody’s physical safety is intact.

  16. Dang…what an unfortunate thing to have happen. Insurance companies play by their own rules too often, and we the premium payers don’t get caught in the middle. Sorry for your financial loss, but praise God that everybody’s physical safety is intact.

  17. I’m sorry to hear about the accident. I heard someone once say that we need to take responsibility sometimes when we don’t need to. It reflects on our integrity and the love of God. Just a thought.

  18. I’m sorry to hear about the accident. I heard someone once say that we need to take responsibility sometimes when we don’t need to. It reflects on our integrity and the love of God. Just a thought.

  19. I’m sorry to hear about the accident. I heard someone once say that we need to take responsibility sometimes when we don’t need to. It reflects on our integrity and the love of God. Just a thought.

  20. I’m sorry to hear about the accident. I heard someone once say that we need to take responsibility sometimes when we don’t need to. It reflects on our integrity and the love of God. Just a thought.

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