On Saturday night, Carrie and I were on our way home from a long day of Christmas shopping. Her brother was all ready at our place and had decided to cook a big breakfast for us for dinner, but we needed to pick up a few things, so we pulled into the parking lot of the nearest grocery store.
As we were driving to find a spot, a man in an F150 pulled forward (he had backed into the parking spot) right into our car, destroying the front left side as well as ripping the bumper off the car. This just a month after Carrie’s car had been hit in Brentwood, and just a week and a half after we’d gotten it fixed. Needless to say, we were mad.
I jumped out of the car, burning with anger at this man who had no reason to not see us. We were moving slowly and he was facing us when he hit us. He got out of his truck. I asked him if he had insurance.
What I said immediately following that isn’t PG 13 material, so its gonna stay off this blog, but lets just say that the gist of what I said was “I can’t believe you don’t have insurance, you know that that is illegal right?”
We pulled the car into a parking space… while he held up the critically injured bumper in order to keep it from being run over by the car.
We took his information… what little of it he had. No registration for the vehicle either. I called the police, and they said they were sending someone out. We got tag numbers, drivers license number, address, name, phone, etc. Then we received a call back from the police who said they would not be coming since it occurred on private property. I was really hoping that this guy would be arrested… but that obviously wasn’t going to happen. At least he didn’t just leave without giving us his information.
While I was on the phone with insurance, Carrie was outside of the car talking to this gentleman. Apparently, he used to drive 18 wheelers, but lost his CDL after he had a stroke. He mentioned something about how maybe he shouldn’t be driving anymore.
Insurance got back to me yesterday and let me know that, while I had uninsured motorist bodily injury, I did not have uninsured motorist property. I wondered why I would have rejected that, but after thinking about it, I realized that when I rejected it, I thought it meant property damage (such as homes, stores, mailboxes, etc) but that is apparently not what it meant. I also don’t carry rental car insurance.
In any case, that means our collision will cover the damages, but the kicker is that my deductible is 1000 dollars. I did that on purpose. It lowers our payments considerably, and we’ve got the money in savings in case anything happens. And collision covers accidents that are your fault. I have no problem paying money when I screw up.
But I didn’t screw up. I was doing everything right. This guy screwed up, didn’t have insurance, and shouldn’t have been driving to begin with… as he admitted himself.
Here comes the problem. My insurance company is going to sue him to recover costs. Its going to happen. This guy supposedly doesn’t have any assets (he rents, and apparently is still making payments on his truck). He did tell us he has a pension and disability (and I would imagine social security) so he has money coming in every month. I called him to see if we could come up with a solution on our own, but he said he had no money, but might could pay us in installments monthly. I tried selling someone a vehicle that way once. I never got paid and after two weeks, almost had to get the police involved to get my car back.
I don’t want this man to be harmed. But I want some sort of renumeration from this because it wasn’t my fault that he ran into me, or that he didn’t have insurance.
How as a Christian, should I deal with this restoratively rather than retributively?