Friday, June 12, 2009

Today I Blew It :(

I decided to go to the gym later than usual today. Started out beautifully. As I approached the city of Monterrey there was road construction up ahead. Didn't know they were working. All of a sudden, coming around the curve at 85 kph, there it was. A 4 ft by 4ft electronic sign sitting right in the middle of the left lane. I braked and swerved to the right but it was too late. The new VW Pointer is now in the shop.
But wait, as I hit the sign, the metal base it was on flew across the median strip and hit a pick up head on. I got out, running towards the other car, and thank the Almighty, no one was hurt. The driver was taking his two kids to school when the base hit his front end. Had it been a smaller car I would hate to think what the outcome would have been. Only damage was his grill and a headlight.
The adjusters arrived and we started the paperwork. Thanks to Juan for saving the day. Being that the car was new, we had insurance but not the policy in hand. He was at the gym and I couldn't reach him. I called his youngest brother who drove over to the gym and got Juan on his way to the accident. He called our agent (new agent for me and new carrier) and they gave the adjuster all the information he needed.
Just as things were going good, here comes my best friends. TRANSITO! They came over to the grassy median and we exchanged greetings and hand shakes and then the b.s. started. First off, I had damaged a sign and they didn't know who the owner was; city, federal highways, SCT, etc. No one could be found. They said they would have to take the car to the pound as I was responsible for the damage. I knew where this was headed and so do you. I pulled the adjuster aside and said, "under no circumstances will I pay any money, only a ticket". He shook his head knowing this was going to be difficult.
Here comes the engineer from the construction site (a new bridge going up). "Hey, who did this to my sign?" I confessed and he asked if I had insurance and of course I said yes. I said to him, "where were the flagmen and the orange cones?" He looked up the highway and said, "right there. They have been there the whole time". Not true. Even the other car involved said no one was there and there were no cones. Had they been there they would be dead as I would have run over them and their little conitos.
So now restitution can be paid for the sign and transito is happy. Oh, but wait! Now there is damage to the pavement. "Siguen a poner trabas" (they keep putting up obstacles so they threaten to take my car). No way on this one. He showed me the damage to the road, a six ince scratch in the pavement and says they will take the car to the pound and we will have to have someone from public works give us an estimate on damages and repairs to the six inch scratch. I pulled the adjuster aside again and said there is no way I am paying a bribe.
Finally, transito gave in, accepted that they would release the car to the dealer for repair that minute. He signaled to the tow truck driver to wait for a release form from my adjuster.
Lesson: never give in. I refuse to pay, I never have and never will. Yes, I have some advantages that I speak Spanish and know the transit laws. Worst case, however, is that they could have taken the car to the pound. I would have paid the ticket, paid for the vehicle release and tow and off I would be all the wiser.
What is the downside of all this? My poor car! I will try to get pics tomorrow afternoon at the dealer. Fortunately, it is all parts replacement and no damage to the frame, wheels or engine. I need a new hood, headlight, front bumper, side mirrow and a new tail light.
I know it is just a minor accident but we have worked very hard for what we have. I feel bad that it is brand new and I wrecked it. Yes, I am very hard on myself, always have been.


  1. Glad you are OK. As you said the car can be fixed and in a month or two this will all just be a memory. BUT payment for a mark on the road, way to hold our ground. Sounds like you need to plan a RV trip and take off until you car is repaired. A little trip will take your mind off the accident.

  2. Ah Jeez.... Brand new car! At least the first dent is out of the way now! Nice car Chris and I am glad you got out of the "situation" safely. You should go into business dealing with Transitos and Adjusters.....