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I had a bad day yesterday  9

I crashed my car. Well, technically I didn’t crash my car, but the girl who drove into the side of me did.

I’d just dropped N off in Worcester to do some clothes shopping and was on my way to collect my parents and take them to PC World so mum could replace her laptop (which died a week or so ago) - I was minding my own business along Hylton Road when I spotted a metallic yellowish Vauxhall Corsa edging its way out from a car dealership on the left. I was doing 30 or thereabouts (having just passed a speed camera) so I eased off the throttle a bit and drifted more over to the right to give her a bit of room - I was already over the white lines as I was passing a parked car and there was no oncoming traffic. Just as I reached said Corsa, the driver decided it was clear (I assumed wrongly that she’d seen my metallic green Honda) and started to pull out - it was too late for me to brake so I swerved to avoid it, but it kept coming … and then WHAM!

I braked as hard as I could, but I got pushed up the right-hand kerb - fortunately there were no pedestrians on it at the time! I sat there for a few seconds, cursing, before pulling forward off the road and pavement and parking on the grass.

I sat there, angry and in the right mood to have a go at the other driver. When she came to car I quickly changed my mind - she was so shook up (her hands were very visibly shaking), she was so apologetic and she was just sooo damned attractive! Seriously, though, she was in a bad way nerves wise - I’d seen it coming and so had time to mentally prepare, but she’d a bit of a shock.

After she’d calmed down a bit (and had apologised approximately 47 times) we exchanged details and she asked a guy from the garage to have a look at my car to see if it was drivable (incase you don’t know: I’m a crip and so couldn’t get out to see for myself) - he seemed to think it was okay, just some damage to the front-left wing and a nice big scratch all down the left-hand side. So, after she cracked the worst joke ever (“It was nice bumping into you!”) she informed me that she was off on holiday that afternoon (the accident happened at midday) and had to go.

I started my car and manoeuvred so I could get back on the road. When I gingerly went down the kerb, my steering wheel span to full right lock - I couldn’t stop it. I was only crawling anyway, so I braked to a halt, straightened the steering and pulled off. Unfortunately, the car basically wobbled as it went along - the steering was knackered. So, I pulled over to the left-hand side of the road, parked up and rang the AA.

Whilst waiting for the AA to arrive I thought I’d better inform my insurance company. I rang the claims “hotline” and, after having to listen to a minute long recorded announcement about terms, conditions and recording of calls, I got through to their call centre which, by the lady’s accent, was somewhere in Asia. I went through the rigmarole of answering all the questions (“Were you speeding?”, “Have you been drinking?”, “Were you snorting cocaine at the time?”) and then she mentioned about recovering the car. I told her that the AA were on the way and that they’d take it to the Honda dealership I bought it from - she informed me that that was fine, they’d pay for repair, but that I wouldn’t get a courtesy car unless I used one of their “approved repair centres”. Bugger. She told me the name of my local repair centre - Gemini Kidderminster (Tip Top) - and said that they would collect it from Honda, take it back to their own garage in Kidderminster and provide me with a courtesy car. “Fine”, I thought. But, it wasn’t …

The AA man arrived and was very friendly - he took my bruised car off into the distance and my dad slung me into his and mum’s car and took me to their house for some food. Whilst there I called my insurance again to check when I would be receiving my courtesy car only to be informed that they couldn’t get hold of the garage because of telephone problems. I rang the garage myself and got straight through, only to be told that they couldn’t do anything until they got authorisation from my insurance company. I called my insurance again and they again told me that they still couldn’t get through and I had to wait. Arse. I called them again at 4.30pm and they still hadn’t gotten through - they advised me to ring in the morning and it should be resolved by then (I wasn’t going to be holding my breath). I called them at 9am this morning and they said that the garage received the fax at 5.30pm yesterday, would action it today and would be calling me very soon.

By 11am I’d heard nothing so I called the garage to ask what was going on - they still hadn’t collected my car or arranged a courtesy car. I expressed my displeasure as politely as I could manage and the girl assured me she’d move heaven and earth to sort it out. Still nothing By 1pm so I rang my insurance company and asked them to lean on the garage on my behalf - they did so but then called me back to say that they don’t have any cars with an automatic gearbox and power steering available until at least tomorrow. Bollocks,

So, I’m car-less at the moment and have a million and one places I want to go. The only upside is that my no claims discount is protected, but my record of 11 years without an accident has gone. And the worse thing about all this? My iPod was on the passenger seat and seems to have died after hitting the glove box at mach 1.5.


That all completely sucks. Especially the iPod dying. I think your insurance should pay for that, ‘cos it wasn’t your fault. Did the attractive woman give you her number and ask you out on a date in return for causing you so much hassle? - SoulSniper

Sorry to hear about this Timmargh, and good on you for being such a gent about it. :-) Your iPod, if it’s thoroughly knackered will be covered on household contents insurance, although depending on your… on the thing… on the amount of money you have to contribute to the bill, it may not be worth while. Doesn’t matter if it was out of the house, or whose fault it was. I know this from my extensive investigations in to the status of wheelchairs - which are similarly covered. - The Goldfish

The iPod has sprung back to life, but I’m still considering claiming for it as it may be still damaged. @ SoulSniper : She did give me her number, but I don’t think my missus would be too keen on me going out for a date! @ The Goldfish : I think the iPod is covered by my car insurance anyway. And I’m always a gent. ;^) - Timmargh

Hi, Timmargh, Sorry to hear about your car and your iPod. It must have been bad for you to lose your favourite gadget and have to sort out your car. Things happen like that in life and they always seem to happen when you don’t expect them too, don’t they. Bye for now sweetie, hope you sort it out and be happy! - Katie Fraser

Oh Timmargh that sounds terrible. Hope things are going better today and will go smoothly with the insurance claim. - Gimpy Mumpy

Argh!!! Timmargh! what a day you had!!!! thank god the ipod’s holding on for dear life now. Although, yeah it might a case of claiming for it as, well, it could work only tempararily. Huh, insurance companies are a pain in the arse when it comes to getting anything done. My sister and her boyfriend nearly had to face paying 900 worth repair to the car they bought from a garage. the last owner hadn’t kept up with his insurance payments or something like that. However, the owner insisted otherwise and, contacting the insurance people again and again to get this confusion sorted, the garage that was fixing the car for my sis were waiting for their money and wouldn’t release the car etc… you get the picture, lol. Honestly, why can’t these companies get their act together? What does it take to get a courtesy car organised . I hope they’ve woken up now Timmargh. Seems you’ve managed to keep your cool. I can imagine the irratation. I found my sister’s experience irritated me! lol. - Justin R

Bit of an update: I still hadn’t received a courtesy car by this morning so I rang the insurance company (yet again) and politely implied that I thought they should be doing more to help me seeing as the "guaranteed courtesy car" was one of the main reasons I took out their policy - two hours later I had a shiny not-so-new Vauxhall Corsa parked on the drive, courtesy of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Reminds me of a poster my parents had in their kitchen: it was a photo of a bulldog with the quote "Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snarl, and you get better service." - Timmargh

Oh that is a shame, I hope your car gets well soon. - bert

Oooh, no, bad luck mate. I had a prang that I thought I was unscathed from… until the whiplash set in. Got some compensation. Make sure you get the ipod covered - almost as essential as the car. Practise snarling. Hope you’re doing ok. - Agent Fang