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Old 29th May 2013, 16:36   #1
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Default An Accident in the Office Parking lot

Had my first major accident in my 4 year old i10 April 17, 2013 - with zero fault of mine. And the timing couldn't have been worse.

A little back ground here: I working in a software company in Pritech Park, Outer Ring Road, Bangalore. This is the one nestled inside RMZ Ecospace. My office car parking is 2 levels below the ground. And I should add, this software park is among the dirtiest and worst kept software parks I have been to. Drivers of all kinds (two wheelers, cars, cabs) make sure NOT to follow any sort of driving discipline in the parking lots. I always get a high BP when negotiating the narrow twists and turns in the car park.

So, I was informed that I need to leave for California on April 23, 2013 for a 3 week business trip to my company HQ. I did not want my family to stay alone in Bangalore - so decided to send them off to Coimbatore (my home town) for a month. We had planned drive down early morning April 18, 2013 and I would drop my family and my car in Coimbatore and take a bus back the next day. On April 17, I decided to leave office early and started off at 4PM. I ended up ruing this decision.

Got into my car at 4.05PM - took the ramp from 2nd basement to 1st basement. Took the 'U' turn and turned right. Drove for about 50 metres and BANGGG!!! Didn't understand what was happening for a moment. Then had to steer with all my force to ensure I dont hit other parked cars. Soon I realized a Santro had hit my sweet i10 on the passenger side door. All sorts of thoughts raced through my mind in that one second. How do I go home tomorrow? Will need to claim insurance? What if I cannot take my family to Coimbatore - will they manage here without me? Damn!!! "Enough already" first get down and have a look.

As I got down, a lady got down from her Santro and told me - "I applied brake but the car did not stop"!!! Right!!! Had a look at my car - The front passenger side door was completely rammed inside. But one good thing was the door was closing without a problem and I could not see any damage from the inside. But I could not roll the glass down.

Soon, the place was swarming with on-lookers (cab drivers). Good that a lot of people saw what happened and knew it was the lady's fault. She was driving down from the 1st level basement and was distracted by someting she was doing inside the car and completely missed me. And when she realised it - it was too late. I was furious and told her she will have to bear the cost of repair on her insurance. (Though it never happened finally).

The lady started making a few calls to her colleagues and ofcourse some of her white knights landed up in no time and started arguing with me as though it was no fault of hers. I was getting to my wits end.

But the problem was neither of us knew the proper insurance formalities. But it helped that Advaith Hyundai was right across the road. I called up the service advisor and told him the whole story. What he told me pretty much made me understand that I was going to loose money in this deal. So basically this is it -
Option 1: If I wanted claim my repair on the lady's insurace, we will both have to leave our cars in the police station and file a case. Then get a judgement for the same. And it would basically take a few years.
Option 2: The lady pays for the complete repairs on her own.
Option 3: I claim on my insurance - no police report, etc required. And the lady pays the rest of the money not paid my insurance. I wasnt very happy with this - as I would end up loosing my NCB which I had hoarded for last 4 years. Also, another problem was, my current insurance was expiring on May 20, 2013 and as I knew I wouldn't be in India at that time, I decided to get it renewed and made the payment a week ago. And this payment was based on my NCB.

I told her and her white knights this story and we decided to drive down to Advaith and get the car checked. In about 15 minutes, we were all at Advaith. The service advisor had a look and gave us an estimate. The work will take about 7 days, door will need to be changed, painting and denting work all put together will cost me INR 15000. He also added insurance would pay about INR 8000.

Everything he said was a problem for me - I needed the car today, as I have to drop my family to Coimbatore. And if I dont give the car for repair immediately, my current insurance would soon expire and I will not be able to make a claim when I get back from USA. And on top of that I had to come to an agreement on financial matters with the lady and her friends.

Called up my uncle in Coimbatore (who also has an i10) and asked him to contact the service advisor in Chandra Hyundai Coimbatore. He called back in a few minutes and told me pretty much the same estimate and timeline as Advaith. So I decided to drive down to Coimbatore the next day in my banged up car. Then give it for service in Coimbatore. I informed my decision to the lady. By this time I had almost given up and not in any mood to fight. She agreed to bear the difference, but I insisted that I get some advance amount for the repair. We agreed of Rs. 4000. In the meanwhile her friend was like - "Why dont you come back from US and then take the money from her later", to which I said "No ways". And after some minor fight the lady agreed to pay me 4000, which she drew from an ATM and handed over.

Then I took my car back home - after a round of ruing by my wife, took it out again to check tyre pressure - as I had to start early next morning. BY the time I slept it was 11PM.

The next day we started off. I tried to avoid looking at my passenger side door as much as possible - was too much of a pain in the heart. Just couldn't bear the sight. But it helped that the car looked great from the inside. BY 1PM I was in Coimbatore. Then called up TATA AIG and this is when I realized my problems were far from over.

TATA AIG needed my original RC book, which I did not have. I only carried a copy of my RC book. Without original RC, they woul dnot authorize the repair. So, I had to go back to Bangalore and send the original RC by courier. Which I felt was too much of a risk and I frankly do not trust courier services in India. So, after a lot of thought, I decided it would be a lot easier to pay fo rthe repair myself. So the next day, drove down to Chandra Hyundai and asked them to get it fixed. Then informed my uncle to pick up the car once it was ready.

Then on April 21, 2013 left for Bangalore and on April 23, 2013 left for SFO. After 5 days, got a call from my wife that the car was ready. End of the day my wallet was lighter by INR10000.
Will add some pics of the accident soon.

Lessons learnt:
1. Insurance in India doesnt work when you end up in an accident.
2. Carry your original RC, if you are leaving your city.
3. Have the contact numbers of service advisors handy.
4. Do not leave office early.
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Old 29th May 2013, 16:53   #2
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Default re: An Accident in the Office Parking lot

Oh man! That's one sad tale.

We petrolheads really hate even tiny scratches on our rides. I can imagine your pain.

All I can say is try to forget about it, like it was a bad dream. Easier said than done though!

By the way, claiming the insurance from the other party (in this case, that moronic lady) would take a few years? That's ridiculous to say the least.

Last edited by Oxy : 29th May 2013 at 16:55.
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Old 29th May 2013, 17:09   #3
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Originally Posted by Naetik30 View Post
Lessons learnt:
1. Insurance in India doesnt work when you end up in an accident.
2. Carry your original RC, if you are leaving your city.
3. Have the contact numbers of service advisors handy.
4. Do not leave office early.
Sad to hear about the accident. Yes, the bad part is, claiming money from others insurance is simply not practical in India. You'd have many examples on this forum.

Regarding your lessons, it has always been advised to carry originals whenever you leave your home town. Not for extreme scenarios like accidents but even for document checks by police you wouldn't want to go back to your city to fetch it. I even carry my spare key whenever I leave town simply for the reason that if I lose my regular key, I'll have to get a flatbed only as these modern machines do not start by any keys made by roadside guys.
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Old 29th May 2013, 17:11   #4
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Default re: An Accident in the Office Parking lot

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Originally Posted by Naetik30 View Post
Then on April 21, 2013 left for Bangalore and on April 23, 2013 left for SFO. After 5 days, got a call from my wife that the car was ready. End of the day my wallet was lighter by INR10000.
Will add some pics of the accident soon.

Lessons learnt:
1. Insurance in India doesnt work when you end up in an accident.
2. Carry your original RC, if you are leaving your city.
3. Have the contact numbers of service advisors handy.
4. Do not leave office early.
On the outright, sorry you to had to face this, but that is life. Good thing is nothing happened to you in the accident.

Ok - now let me be very very frank to you. If my post seems rude, my apologies in advance.
  • Enough of the self-pity. It happened, and you need to get over it for the better.
  • This happened in your office, with a colleague as the wrong-doer. You had witness(es). There was no ambiguity on whose' fault it was at all.
  • Did you take pictures of the accident? Did you report this to your office HR/admin (as a backup)? Did you take up the names of the witness(es)?
  • Pray, why did you have to spend 10,000 from your pocket? I ask again - why did you have to pay from your own pocket when you know the culprit is going to come to your office daily?
  • Yes, you need to carry your RC card for an insurance claim. Infact you should have clarified it with the SA before you went for the claim.
  • Point 4 is needless. There is absolutely no basis for that statement. Feel free to leave as early as you need to (provided your boss allows it!)

The next step is is not going to be enjoyable - but, now you are back, you need to follow up with the lady for the remaining payment. If you have already decided to ignore that aspect, then get over the pain of losing that money - it's your decision, and you alone are responsible for it.


Look on the brighter side - you had a good trip abroad, your car is back to its old state.
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Old 29th May 2013, 17:23   #5
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Default re: An Accident in the Office Parking lot

Naetik, i had a similar accident on my vehicle when an idiot autowallah banged my vehicle right at the wheel arch. The damage is done and i daily look at the place where the vehicle took the hit. On one side, i am happy that your vehicle is atleast back to normal but on the other, i still don't get why you paid cash out of your own pocket? White knights or not, there were plenty of people who i think stood witness to what happened. That would have been enough to make the lady pay, no?
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Old 29th May 2013, 17:52   #6
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Default re: An Accident in the Office Parking lot

Naetik, I hope you had your headlights on while driving in the basement parking area. From my experience, I can tell you that switching on parking lights is not enough, even in well lit basements. A low beam helps other drivers even if they are not able to spot your car, which could be hidden behind enormous pillars.

In your case though, it looks like you could have avoided the accident, had the lady switched on her car's headlights. You'd have noticed the car much earlier.
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:13   #7
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Default re: An Accident in the Office Parking lot

Hey Naetik30, sad to know this. I know what it feels like. I too had a similar incidence at my own parking lot. The dent which my car got was not that big, but then too it hurts specially if its your first accident. Hope your car gets well soon!
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:16   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naetik30 View Post


Lessons learnt:
1. Insurance in India doesnt work when you end up in an accident.
2. Carry your original RC, if you are leaving your city.
3. Have the contact numbers of service advisors handy.
4. Do not leave office early.
I like the 4'th lesson.

I have been through 3 claims:
1. A Mahindra Jeep hit me from the left destroying my left fender, headlight and bumper.
2. A camera crane banged on top of my roof-rails during a bollywood shooting outside the office (it was my first day in office so I did not have my ID card yet, else my car would have been safe inside the building parking)
3. A concrete lump fail on my windscreen from an under-construction buliding when I was passing by.

All 3 were "not my fault" cases, yet I could not get the money from the other party involved by way of 3rd party coverage. In all the cases, I claimed, lost my NCB. In case #2, we made the crane guy pay for the difference. In case #3, we made the building contractor pay for my NCB + difference.

I can feel your pain and hope you can feel mine.

Last edited by anandpadhye : 29th May 2013 at 18:41.
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:24   #9
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Since the RC is a card, dont you carry it all the time, like in your wallet (atleast going out of station)?

Guess many things like you going to Coimbatore, insurance expiry, going to US etc conspired against you.
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:25   #10
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Originally Posted by Oxy View Post
Oh man! That's one sad tale.
By the way, claiming the insurance from the other party (in this case, that moronic lady) would take a few years? That's ridiculous to say the least.
True. The law is like that, also for a very good reason. If third party claim, didnt involve taking both vehicles to the police station and getting them examined by vehicle expert/insurance team and the police, then everyday we would see people trying to scam insurance companies by making false third party claims.
That apart since we have a corrupt lethargic police force, it will take a few years for the claim to get processed at the police station, there after a few more years with insurance companies fighting it out in insurance tribunals etc.

This is why zero depriciation insurance is the best for peace of mind. If the author of this thread had zero dep insurance, he would have to pay zilch from his pocket.
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:30   #11
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Naetik30, can feel the pain.

One general piece of advice: In these kind of "not my fault" cases, most of the times, the party at mistake is obvious.
When there agreement on fault, on the spot, take a copy of the DL & RC book of the offender (and possibly a written summary of the accident signed by both) first. First, this would help you negotiate better and in case you agree to settle it later would be a very handy evidence.

PS: The sort of "white knights" would very quickly stay clear when they know you have these and possibility of these turning handy if you go to police.
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Old 29th May 2013, 21:45   #12
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Mod team note: Please use EDIT the original post instead of creating back to back posts. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxy View Post
Oh man! That's one sad tale.

We petrolheads really hate even tiny scratches on our rides. I can imagine your pain.

All I can say is try to forget about it, like it was a bad dream. Easier said than done though!

By the way, claiming the insurance from the other party (in this case, that moronic lady) would take a few years? That's ridiculous to say the least.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyAsta View Post
Hey Naetik30, sad to know this. I know what it feels like. I too had a similar incidence at my own parking lot. The dent which my car got was not that big, but then too it hurts specially if its your first accident. Hope your car gets well soon!
Thanks @Oxy, @GreyAsta. I felt bad for a couple of days and cursed myself for the bad timing. And as it was my first experience, I am wiser now. But hopefully will not have to go through another one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shipnil View Post
Sad to hear about the accident. Yes, the bad part is, claiming money from others insurance is simply not practical in India. You'd have many examples on this forum.

Regarding your lessons, it has always been advised to carry originals whenever you leave your home town. Not for extreme scenarios like accidents but even for document checks by police you wouldn't want to go back to your city to fetch it. I even carry my spare key whenever I leave town simply for the reason that if I lose my regular key, I'll have to get a flatbed only as these modern machines do not start by any keys made by roadside guys.
Thanks @Shipnil. Something really needs to be done to fix insurance. This is not what we pay for and I had no idea insurance was this bad.
And regarding originals - I have learnt my lesson. I did take my original insurance but had no idea they will need original RC. Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Since the RC is a card, dont you carry it all the time, like in your wallet (atleast going out of station)?

Guess many things like you going to Coimbatore, insurance expiry, going to US etc conspired against you.
@Srishiva it was basically bad timing. If I had even a week's time in India the outcome of the discussion with the lady would have been very different. And no - my RC is a booklet and not very convenient to carry around and I was always scared of losing it. But I guess I have no other option going forward.

@rohanjf - Yes I did have my headlights on and even honked before every turn. But sometimes whatever you do isnt enough. Now a days I honk a lot more - I hate it but cant help. Thanks.

@apachelongbow - Insurance should not punish everyone for mistakes by a few. I dont understand how a company would lose in any case. Either they pay for first party or third party - both being the same amount. It seems more like a scam to me.

Last edited by Naetik30 : 29th May 2013 at 22:14. Reason: added another reply .
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Old 29th May 2013, 22:08   #13
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Originally Posted by Arch-Angel View Post
Naetik, i had a similar accident on my vehicle when an idiot autowallah banged my vehicle right at the wheel arch. The damage is done and i daily look at the place where the vehicle took the hit. On one side, i am happy that your vehicle is atleast back to normal but on the other, i still don't get why you paid cash out of your own pocket? White knights or not, there were plenty of people who i think stood witness to what happened. That would have been enough to make the lady pay, no?
Thanks @Arch-Angel. I just remembered a tyre commercial tag line - "There are idiots on the road" - very true one. I can understand your pain. Not easy to look at a dent - especially when you know it was not your fault. Hey may be on a special day you could treat yourself by getting it fixed. . Well, the problem was I had very little time on my hand and my poor understanding of insurance worked against me. I did call her up after I reached back to India, but she did not even bother to look into the cost of my repairs. So - to hell with her. But I swear this will not happen again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by babu.sundaram View Post
Naetik30, can feel the pain.

One general piece of advice: In these kind of "not my fault" cases, most of the times, the party at mistake is obvious.
When there agreement on fault, on the spot, take a copy of the DL & RC book of the offender (and possibly a written summary of the accident signed by both) first. First, this would help you negotiate better and in case you agree to settle it later would be a very handy evidence.

PS: The sort of "white knights" would very quickly stay clear when they know you have these and possibility of these turning handy if you go to police.
Thanks @bab.sundaram. The lady had her company's facilities manager at her side - who was acting as a real smart a**. He was basically trying to turn the tables around and I lost my cool. I am really myself for having accepted to easier terms for them. But yes, your idea of getting it written down will help. Will remember this. But was a good experience and I now know WHAT NOT TO DO in an accident.
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Old 30th May 2013, 10:37   #14
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Insurance in India is for the traffic police check or if you car is totalled. For everything else, there's Mastercard. Yours of course.

I suggest you forget this experience. Driving in India comes with its set of troubles and when we purchase a car, we must all be ready to bear these extra expenses when time comes. Just think about this: In 5 years time is this experience going to matter to you as much as it does today? If not, then chill and enjoy your US trip. Cheers!
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Old 30th May 2013, 11:09   #15
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Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
Insurance in India is for the traffic police check or if you car is totalled. For everything else, there's Mastercard. Yours of course.

I suggest you forget this experience. Driving in India comes with its set of troubles and when we purchase a car, we must all be ready to bear these extra expenses when time comes. Just think about this: In 5 years time is this experience going to matter to you as much as it does today? If not, then chill and enjoy your US trip. Cheers!
Good one @Hellmet. It is just outright annoying that some people who should not be anywhere near a car get to drive one - just because they can afford it. They are a real hazzard and I am just waiting for the day when our RTOs get really serious with driving tests and screw these people.
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