Pre-Accident: It was approximately 8AM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2006.  I was turning right out of the shopping center at Lincolnia & Columbia Pike.  Columbia Pike is a busy road, but I make this turn almost every day I commute and am very used to it.  I saw a gap in the traffic long enough to accomodate at least one car, and prepared to turn into the road.  I made sure there was enough room and that nobody had their signals on.  When the traffic gap got up to the turnoff, I turned into the gap and began accellerating.

Accident: I thought I was fine, then this pickup truck rapidly changed lanes into my lane without signaling.  I saw that he was doing this, and hit my breaks and swerved to the right.  However, it all happened so fast, and there was no shoulder for me to swerve into, so despite my efforts he still clipped the front-left corner of my car with the back-right corner of his truck.

The fact that he clipped only the corner of my car, and that I wasn’t rear-ended or side-swiped, proves that I was already on the road when he switched lanes and clipped me.

20060307 - car accident leftovers - 109-0909

His vehicle: His vehicle was a grey/silver Chevrolet S10 pickup truck from Koons, with a Radford University sticker.  License plate YCJ-7493.

The Police: Officer: Sgt. A. G. Williams (703-256-8035 x5133) arrived at the scene.  The case number is #06066-000798.

He said there was not enough information to give a ticket.

When he asked Mr. Jacobs if Mr. Jacobs saw me at the turnoff, Mr. Jacobs said that he did see me there. Open your fucking eyes, jackass.

However, when he asked Mr. Jacobs if Mr. Jacobs saw me change into the lane. Mr. Jacobs said that he did not see me change into the lane.      (I think this proves he was paying more attention to changing lanes to try to get ahead of everyone than anything else.)

His motive: He was changing lanes unnecessarily, simply to try to get ahead of the pack of traffic.  There was no immediate need for him to move to the right lane, as he was not turning right.  There was not even a place to turn off for a half-mile.  I followed him, and he proceeded straight on Columbia Pike for several more miles.  When I turned left onto Carlin Springs Rd (to get to Rt. 50 and my job), he continued going straight on Columbia Pike.  Obviously there was no need to him to switch lanes, he was just one of those “zoomy” drivers.

Hey James Jacobs, thanks for unnecessarily changing lanes and wasting hours of both of our lives. Maybe if you didn’t “rush” around in your piece of shit truck, we both would have gotten to where we were going faster. And I wouldn’t have lost my fucking wallet with $500 cash it I just withdrawed. Your douchebaggery cost me a fucking grand. Go to hell you redneck piece of shit.

20060307 - car accident leftovers - 109-0903

Post-Accident: Before I turned left from Columbia Pike to Carlin Springs Rd, I noticed something in my car was hitting the pavement every second or two.  I stopped at the hospital on Carlin Springs Rd and pulled over.  Finally the duct tape I keep in my trunk is paying off.  I spent 10 minutes or so duct-taping my left-front fender onto my car better.  I’ll probably have to reapply duct tape every few months for the rest of my car’s life.  I’d just rip the thing off, but I hear they are required for inspection.  Feh.

His information as filed on the police report:

Vehicle: Chefy Pickup 2002 YCJ-7493 VA

Name: James C. Jacobs (is a piece of shit)

Address: 9657 Boyett Ct., Fairfax, VA 22032

Phone: 703-323-7833

Driver’s License Number: T66-02-4048,  VA

Part damaged: Right rear bumper

Accident date: 3/7/2006 Tue 8:15AM (note: that is the time the report was filed, the accident was more around 8AM)

Is owner of vehicle: yes

Insurance information: USAA #000771365471044

Update: 20060330: On 20060329, I filed a claim.  I believe the number is 100-808-7537; I have a confirmation email.  I have a $500 deductible, $20/day rental re-embursement, and can get it fixed anywhere I wish.

The adjuster, Kevin Hurst, 703-731-0157, is coming by today around 1:30PM to look at the damage.  They said if the frame had been damaged, my car would have been totalled! What a crock, it’s got 20-50K more miles left on it!  I’d replace an engine before I’d get a new car.

He will give me a check for a rental car, which apparently I could spend on beer if I like — he told me they don’t actually care what you do with the money.  If you own your car, they give you a check.  If you are still making payments, the check is only half in your name, because if DO you buy beer with it, don’t repair your car, and the bank repossesses your car, they are entitled to the repairs, and the insurance company would have to pay twice. Nice benefit of ownership: It’s YOUR check. Reminds me of mechanics liens on your house. So I understand completely.

Now I keep hearing “$20/day” but Mr. Hurst told me I’d get $27.99 + 10% tax per day.  There are 2 categories: “K-4 rental”, which allows a check to be issued, and “Rental Reimbursement”, where you get paid after the fact.  I think I would actually rather get paid in full after the fact, than only paid in partial up front.

Today, Stephen Glopher (x22739) called me to take a recorded statement about the accident.  He is a licensed adjuster.  Told me I have $100,000 liability, $500 collision deductible, and $20/day rental.  He took a recorded statement.

At first he said, the judge would make us pay for his damages.  But then he put me on hold.  I think he was checking Virginia Law, but I don’t truly know.  He came back and said they can kind of split it in half.  They will say it is 50%/50% my fault/his fault.  It is considered “contributory negligence” on my part, which is “more than 1% at fault”.  But, in Virginia, that means that my insurance company pays for my damages, and his pays for his.  Haha, both our insurance is going to go up instead of just his!  That’s a win in my book, inasmuch as one can be had. [UPDATE: And mine didn’t seem to really go up noticeably anyway.]

He will get a copy of the police report next, and go from there.

Final update: Everything fixed, but brakes mysteriously went bad the instant I was hit.  Insurance would not pay for this.  Ultimately I had to shell out $500 for my deductible for insurance repairs, $400 for break repair, $500 in lost cash when I lost my wallet, and a good $75-$100 in administrative fees relating to re-establishing my identity after losing all my credentials.

Some assholes should learn to signal. Other assholes should learn how to return wallets.