So I'm the victim of a hit and run... now what?
July 13, 2006 7:52 AM Subscribe
Advice on filing an accident report where I'm not at fault, but was in a situation that commonly defines me as being at fault? (Chicago, IL if that matters, oh and the vehicle who hit me left the scene)
posted by twiggy to Law & Government (12 answers total)
I already spoke to a police officer. I was not written a ticket, but he said even though he believes it was not my fault, the insurance company will, because I had recently pulled out of a parking space. The officer wrote some things down and then handed me a report to file out that has a diagram, etc. I do not know if this is the only documentation that exists, or if he has filled out and kept any sort of report on his own from my verbal description. That's one important question I'd like answered. I have no reason to lie here at all, but if he has kept his own description, how do I know if he took it down accurately or if it will not match what I report in some minor detail? I was certainly under duress as I was verbalizing what happened.
Here's what happened:
Fullerton Avenue is a 2-way street with 2 lanes on each side, and 1 "lane" of parking. I had pulled into the "parking" lane, and thought it conspicuous that nobody was parked where I was, so I thought maybe I shouldn't park there. I turned on my left turn signal to move back into traffic, but remained stopped because there was traffic. I saw a sizeable safe window in the right lane, and pulled back into the right lane of traffic. I proceeded for probably 100 feet or so before a minivan who was in the left lane of traffic executed a lane change into the right lane, and struck the front of my car. The minivan left the scene of the accident. I tried to get his/her plate, but am not 100% sure I got it right, as 1's and 7's are hard to tell apart on our Illinois license plates.
The officer says that he believes I was likely not at fault here (signal on, in right lane for at least some distance already rather than hit while changing lanes, minivan was in left lane at first, and left the scene, too). However, he believes my insurance company will say I am.
Interestingly, I spoke to my insurance company, and so far they have said I am "0% at fault" and have opened a claim. They want me to get an estimate. They have not asked for a police report or anything yet. I was under duress when describing the incident, and I'm pretty sure I did say that I was parked the first time, but they did not request to record my call until I called a second time, at which point I said "I was in the right lane on fullerton, and he made a lane change from left to right and hit the front of my car, then left the scene" -- this is a 100% true statement. I was already entirely in the lane for a short time.
If the officer wrote down that I was parked beforehand, which is true but honestly not very relevant since I had already been in the right lane for a bit and this guy was changing from left lane to right lane, can my insurance company change their assessment? They've already said they're recording it as a "0% liability".
My insurance company (Progressive) wants me to have an estimate done by one of their partner body shops, which seems to me to be in my best interest because they will want to pick a body shop who doesn't rip them off. Is this a dumb thought? I have only consented to an estimate at this point, and not repairs (which they wanted me to consent to but I said I'd like to wait).
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks...