Changing Gears

Today I received a call from Dian Benent of Liberty Mutual regarding claim #9158210-02. It would probably be best if I started from the beginning. On January 20th (approximately, I’m not too sure of the exact date) my brother was making a left-hand turn light when he was hit by another vehicle headed in the opposite direction.


Above you see a picture of the intersection. My brother would have been in the lane with the arrow making the left. There is no specific arrow, so a person must yield to on-coming traffic before continuing on. Right away you can see the intersection is not even, or rather a perfectly crossed intersection like you see with most. In the police report it says that the truck had an obstruction in the left lane (a bus) which hindered his view. In the New Jersey drivers manual it states: “Proceed with caution” when an obstruction hinders the view of a driver. That’s quite obvious. Especially when my brother was the 4th car proceeding with a left hand turn and two others right behind him waiting.

Here is a view (below) the driver of the truck would have had with a said “bus” in the left most lane. You can still see the lane making the left. However, if you were in the left lane behind the bus, you probably would have not been able to see the lane making the left.

This pretty much brings us to the aftermath of the event. The police report stated no damage on the Ford F350, and the police officer failed to take the statement of the passenger who stated he saw the driver of the truck on his cell phone. Here is a picture of the Camaro after it was hit on the passenger side:


The car itself drives perfectly fine, but there is no passenger window, nor can you open the poor. It sounds perfectly fine, and leaks no fluids, which I think is spectacular. How hard do you think the car was hit? I estimate it was hit going approximately 45 MPH, when the speed zone is limited to 25 MPH.

Anyway, fast forward to today… She asked for my mother, so being a good boy I took down the number, and called my mother. A few hours go by when I finally get a call from my mother explaining to me what it was about. Apparently it was Liberty Mutual explaining to my mom that the guy did not cut out from behind and passing a bus at an intersection, but rather he was “changing lanes” and passing a bus going 50 MPH, in which she expressly says “you’re allowed to do.” Now here is me, reading, the NJ DMV manual for 2008, and it says you must be to the left to pass traffic, and then return to the right lane when you are clear of all obstacles. Refusing to listen to what I or my mother had to say, said she was going to continue with payment in the amount of $3,200.00. She also explained that the “left” bumper and fender of the was damaged and needed to be replaced do to the collision. Now, I ask: Why is the left fender and bumper of a truck pushed in when my brother was making a left at the light unless he himself was making a right at the light or cutting out from behind the bus as my brother was turning. Those are the only two accounts I can think of as of right now. What do you all have to say about this? Any input would be greatly appreciated. I’ve tried drawing some diagrams and the only thing that I come up with all the math is that the right fender of the truck should be bent in. That assumes he was going stright because my brother was already on an angle making the left.

Heh. As of today after hearing that news, I promptly changed my insurance over from Liberty Mutual to Progressive Direct. Under Liberty Mutual I was paying about $3,200.00 a year under a co-sign with my mother. With Progressive I am paying $1,394.00 a year. Talk about a savings and a half.

Feel free to view all the photos taken on January 20, 2008 with Facebook photo album.

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