Little did I know, sometimes you just can’t do anything.

BHPian toroid recently shared this with fellow BHPians.

I’m the guy who posted this.

I received some valuable advice from the Team BHP community. Even my fiancé was impressed with the general response and helpfulness of this community. So much so that she followed the forum and subscribed to the newsletter, despite being the least interested in cars. Practicing defensive driving is the top recommendation, so I decided to do it. Little did I know, sometimes you just can’t do anything.

This is what happened to my 2 month old car yesterday:

That’s how it happened

Part of me tells me that if I hadn’t practiced defensive driving, I would have passed the car in front of me and avoided this whole episode.

The incident:

Yesterday at 1 p.m. we decided to start our Ooty trip, which was planned for the next day. Less than 2 miles from my house, an indica came and hit my car from behind. At the time of the impact, I was driving at ~ 20 km / h and slowing down. Shortly after the impact, my speed increased to ~ 55 km / h. Fortunately, everyone was buckled up in my car and no one was injured.

The driver took full responsibility when he tried to use his phone while driving. However, he was not to blame. If it had been a two-wheeler instead of a car, it could have caused serious injury. I made sure that the passenger who was en route in the cabin received the necessary assistance.

I took photos of his license and the incident. When asked about his insurance copy, he didn’t have it. I contacted my insurance company and had the car towed to the service center. He reached my SA and sent him some pictures for a rough quote. He cited at least 85,000. Some of this could come out of my pocket. When the tow truck reached us, we contacted the owner of the taxi to arrange this outside the police station, for which he was a bit apathetic, arrogant and argued. 5 km is the maximum it can offer and not a single cent over that. He said if I go to the police they will end up paying a maximum fine of 2k. I asked him to only pay the amount of the repair that was not covered by my insurance, which he bluntly denied.

Up to this point I was calm, but that tone was very disheartening for an agreement:

  • I am paying the insurance out of pocket for someone to take advantage of me in this way?
  • Had I been on the other side and driven in Bangalore, the mob gatherings would have either cost a huge sum of money or beat me up. How fair is it to let someone go with 5k and 0 remorse?

I chased him to pay more and after 10-15 minutes I decided to go to the police. At that moment it was less about money. I didn’t care if I lost any money, I just wanted to try to get justice through our legal system (deep down, I knew I was expecting great disappointment).

We went to the police station and the police tried their best to avoid filing an FIR. I was told / discouraged

“If you file an FIR, the driver will get away with a maximum of 1k fine. Better if you sit outside.”

“If you file an FIR, your insurance company will only approve the claim if the case is settled in court. This can take more than two years.”

“You have to hire a lawyer and you end up losing a lot of money.”

I didn’t know what to believe, so I took a leap of faith and continued with the FIR. My car has not yet been locked and I had to leave it at the police station. If the above statements are true, I will be discouraged and find one of the reasons for the utter chaos that our streets are. As long as you don’t hurt anyone, you can get away with 5k outside of the settlement. If the victim decides to go to court, you will only have to pay 1-2,000 fines.

While I have taken action, I would definitely benefit from having experienced opinions on how to deal with such situations!

Thanks again to Toroid. For more insights and information, see the BHPian comments.