First Accident

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Swampy, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Had my first minor fender bender this last snow storm. I was plowing out a lot and was backing up. Well this car came up from behind me in my blind spot. I looked in both of my mirrors and didn't see him. Well he tried to beat me and race into a parking stall and I crushed his driver side rear door and rear corner panel. I had all the lights and whistles going. And the truck is fine execpt one of the box lights is out now.
    Probably some dumb questions.
    Am I at fault? I'm pretty sure I lost my clean driving record but how will it be affected? Are they going to pull our insurance cause we just switched over?
  2. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I plow snow too, and I hate when people try to dart behind me. It's a hell of a lot easier for them to avoid us, then vise-versa. I've had many close calls, and many times it's the same people over and over, when I'm plowing a subdivision. As far as who's at fault, who knows? It should be the other drivers fault by the way you explained it. That doesn't mean the insurance won't see it a different way. Were there any witnesses? There's a good chance they will call it a "no fault", which basically means you each go your own way. That wouldn't be bad for you if the only real damage you need to fix on your truck is a box light. Some states have policies that might find each party responsible for X%. I can't remember the name for it, but it basically means if there is say $1,000 worth of damage done and it's 75% your fault, then you would have to pay $750. The worst part is dealing with the other guys insurance adjuster. Talk about a PIA!:angry: I would do your best to at least get a no fault. Otherwise, I'm sure it will make your insurance rates go up at least a little. You may want to post this question on I'm sure this has happened to other guys on there, maybe they can give you more advice. Good Luck!
  3. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    I agree its a pain in the butt and just yesterday I had two people walk behind me as I was backing up in the dump, and one of those people did it twice. Thats with a amber light, reverse lights, and a reverse beeper. So, yes people are stupid but, basically, 99 times out of 100, if your backing up, your at fault. You are supposed to know whats behind you 100% of the time and I do agree with that but, it would make things a lot easier if people had a little more patience and common sense. Good luck but my guess is you'll be footig the bill on that one.
  4. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Did you call the police? they would have found someone at fault. By the way you make it sound by them racing to beet you then they should be at fault. But you know how it is, because you have sign and commercial plate they might find you at fault. Argue your point with your agent and hope it becomes a no fault accident then there is no surcharge and no deductable. At least thats how it worked for my personal truck when someone rolled back into me at a stop sign.
  5. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Swampy, I feel for you.
    That is too similar to what happened to me on Feb. 2nd. Same thing, plowing a parking lot, kid tried to back out and beat me in 3 inches of slush, I crushed his rear, right quarter panel. I got a ticket for unsafe backing, even though I had my DOT revolving light going (My light actually came off of a DOT state highway truck), I have 50 watt, clear reverse lights, and a back up beeper.
    So far I have been to court twice for this ticket. I have written a letter to the DA, and they offered me a reduction to a parking violation. I refused the reduction b/c I do not feel I am guilty of anything wrong. NOTHING.
    I have a trial later this month for guilty or not guilty.
    I admit I was backing, so was the kid, he was just smarter and quicker than me to tell the cop he was already in Drive. Yeah, by a milisecond.
    I have been told by both my insurance co. (Allstate), and also, managers at both apartment complexes I maintain, that tickets are not issued in parking lots. ????? Both apartment mgrs. have told me they cant get cars towed from the lots b/c the cops tell them it is a 'private lot'.
    I have looked up the definition of street, roadway, highway, parking lot, private drive, and private road under the NYS senate website, and come to the conclusion that this parking lot, by NY state law, is by definition, a private road. (Not open to the public in that every door is locked at all times, including main office, and it is not publicly maintained). Hence, the local authorites have no authority to ticket traffic accidents as far as I can see. It falls under no fault.
    Additionally, I have to be found guilty of UNSAFE backing. How can it be unsafe, when I have my DOT light, 50 watt reverse lights, backup alarm, 3 mirrors (which I check constantly, after stopping, before backing up), and I had previously backed past this kid 3 times before he backed out in front of me?!?!?
    Sorry for the babbling, I've been losing sleep over this, maybe if there are any NYS police on here, you can tell me what you think.
    We will find out at my court date, and I'll update everyone.
  6. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    This is why so far someone has to become my friend before I'll do work for them and why I dont do commercial. This may keep me poor for now but Id rather be poor than in court.
  7. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Bobcatkid, that doesnt make sense to me. If you truly are running a business, you dont just work for friends. Yeah, sometimes commercial is a pain in the a$$, but in the scheme of things, its not that big of a deal. What I make in a year from that apartment complex more than offsets the little court time, and repair bills I incurred. Not to mention less windshield time, more work, and they Always pay on time.
    On another note, I have spoken to several police officers since the ticket, and been told that they do indeed write tickets in private parking lots. Not b/c they want to, but b/c they 'Have' to find someone at fault. Sounds like a line of Bull$h!t to me! Its just a way for the municipality to pull in some more money they can spend unwisely. Get the cop out of it, and let the insurance companies duke it out. More than likely the violator will settle for a plea bargain, pay a reduced fine, done, carry on with life. I dont agree with it, I think everyone should be held accountable for the one infraction they were or werent guilty of, no plea bargains, no reduced fines.... GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY.
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Business is about risks, gotta take the bad with the good.
  9. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I was just kinda kidding, sorta. I have only had my loader for about a year and a half. I havent really gotten setup as a real 'business' yet. So far all the work Ive done has been the parents of friend of mine, my dads furinture repair customers and thier relatives, or my dads shop partners / drinking buddies. All of whom Ive known for years. Lately I have given out my business card to a couple of guys who are primarily grass cutters and are looking to expand into installs and rather than rent they said they might hire me. Depending on how much income I get from that along with whatever else I get I may go legit before the end of this year. Say what you will Ive heard it all before. Its just that right now I dont have the revenue to justify becoming a 'real business.'

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