March 28, 2008 by 8junebugs
Were you aware that the state of Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations for requesting arbitration in the matter of a vehicle collision?
Neither was I.
Over a year ago, I was driving merrily along my morning commute and was in sight of my building. It was a nasty, rainy January day, one of those that was only a few degrees away from closing local schools. I made a right from Chain Bridge Road onto International Drive, driving more slowly than usual because of the weather.
Once on International, a far right lane opens up just after the turn for Galleria. I signaled, looked for anyone coming my way from Galleria, and began to move into the far right lane. Just before the entrance for Saks, a black Honda came from the left across my lane with the intention of going into the Saks parking lot, for which he slowed down. He left no space between us at all–I had three options:
Madly turn left into oncoming traffic and hit someone else
Slam on my brakes and not only hit him but also likely get hit by the car behind me
Work the breaks to minimize the impact on his car and mine while alerting the driver behind me so he could avoid the accident
I chose #3.
Of course, the other driver was furious. Both cars were merely scraped in the bumper area–just enough for my estimate to come in at $5 below my deductible, but because I rearended him, he was threatening to call the cops on me if I didn’t give him my information. I had not refused to do so, but I had said it was his fault for cutting me off and hitting his brakes. I gave him my card and said I had GEICO, and I said he could call the police if he wanted to and I would be happy to explain everything. He never gave me his information, although I wrote down the plate number, and he took off as I was calling Mike and the insurance company.
At that point, I called the police because he left the scene of an accident. But without any real damage or injury, all the cop could do was give him a warning. The guy did try to get money out of me, but GEICO handled the whole thing, including recording our accounts of the accident. He clearly stated for the record that he had tried to make a right turn from the middle lane.
Case closed, right? So I thought.
Last night, my rep or whatever she is left a message that the other driver’s insurance company was seeking arbitration against the claim and contesting the location of the accident by about 50 feet. Given the statements already on file, I’m not overly concerned–and she told me not to be.
But I am aggravated. I didn’t even bother to get my bumper fixed. It’s cosmetic and that’s what bumpers are for–getting bumped. I wasn’t even going 20 miles an hour, it’s over a year later, and he wants what?