July 29, 2005

I was in a car accident

At around 8:15 am Central Time, I was driving south down Industrial Rd in Dallas, Texas.

Industrial And Cole.
As I crossed the intersection of Cole, a big black truck heading north turned onto Cole, colliding with the front left end of the car.

Luckily, there was pretty much no one else on Industrial heading south, or there might have been quite a pile up.

My car, about where I left it. These guys are moving it so traffic can get through again.

Severely rattled and in a daze, I attempted to move the car to the curb. Getting out of my car, I saw the driver of the truck hobble away from the scene, clutching himself.

The truck, sans driver. You can see his airbag went off.

A woman who had seen the incident called 911. Another man who saw it stuck around as a witness. I have no idea what happened to the woman who called 911.

In short order, both firemen and police appeared at the scene. The firemen asked me how I was, how I felt, if I had any impact, etc. I hadn't -- apart from a bit of whiplash, and a very very light skinning on my left knee, I'm fine. There were no blackouts, no missing moments. The firemen said that I didn't need to go the hospital right away, but if the pain persisted and/or got worse, I should in a day or two.

The policemen got a statement from the witness, who described the driver who left the scene. He believed that the driver headed for a nearby furniture warehouse, but when the cops looked there, they found no one.

The police got my statement, and then we got the car on a tow truck to return to the Budget Rental Car at DFW.

The tow truck driver

Getting in and around DFW is remarkably difficult. The airport is massive. I've learned to loathe it.

We finally navigated our way to the Budget Rental Car service area, and I was taken to the Budget Rental counter. A very nice woman named Sherry (no picture, damn!) took care of my situation. I filled out an incident report, which ended like this:

As Judith pointed out in a comment on Flickr, I wrote "...a black turned turned..." Clearly, still rattled.

I submitted a claim to American Express (I have no auto insurance, as I own no car, and so the corporate American Express gold card is covering the damage).

When I told the American Express woman that I have no identifying information about the driver of the big black truck, because he fled the scene, she said, "Oh. It was probably stolen." Another hypothesis offered was that the driver was in the country illegally.

It turns out that gold cards, while they cover damage, do not cover "loss of revenue." This is loss of revenue to the rental car company. I had never heard of such a thing, but here's a page about it. Sherry also said that most auto insurance does NOT cover this, either. The only way to get covered for loss of revenue is to take the rental car company's lost damage waiver. Budget's LDW costs $21.99 a day.

Which, of course, is (metaphorically) highway robbery. You can't be covered *simply* for loss of revenue, it has to be tacked onto the collision damage waiver. Or you might be responsible for every day that your car is in their shop.

Does anyone know if any rental car companies have reasonable insurance coverage? I don't think I ever want to rent from Budget again. But I suspect they all gouge in this fashion.

Anyway, back to the main story:

I am okay (as of now). Stiff and sore in the neck and upper back. Adrenaline in my muscles leaves them still a wee bit frazzled. Looking forward to heading home.

Posted by peterme at 01:19 PM | Comments (12)


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