On 12/14/2009 AT 06:23 PM, I was leaving work when I saw a pickup truck comming through the parking lot at a rather unsafe rate of speed.
I was at the end of the lane, about to make a left turn. The other driver was coming from my left a a 90 degree angle to me. Rather than risk getting T-boned by this a**hole, I came to a stop and waited for him to go by before I made my turn. To my surprise, the driver began a sharp left turn toward me.
He was apparently in too much of a hurry to let me out of the VERY tight intersection I was in and continued to speed around the corner at me. In addition to being in too much of a hurry, this guy is not too familiar with the dimensions of his vehicle. I could see that he was about to connect with my vehicle, so I leaned on the horn and started yelling and waving my hands for him to stop. No good. His extended cab GMC Sierra pickup caught the front left fender of my car and continued to slide across it. [continued below]....
..... He then continued driving, even though the impact and resultant shaking of my vehicle was quite obvious!
I jumped out of my vehicle and yelled at him to stop, which he did. The driver (who turned out to be one Walter D. Cushman) got out of his truck and said, "I don't think I hit you". To which I said "I even stopped my car..." I was furious. It was still dark. I shined my flashlight on my vehicle and could see where we had traded paint. I wrote down his license plate number, and make and model of vehicle. Then this jacka** actually got back in his truck and drove further down the parking lot, parked and went in the building. Now I am no detective, but I am fairly certain that constitutes fleeing the scene of an accident...
I contacted the Dekalb County Police Dept. to come out so I could get an accident report. The officer they sent out acted like it was his first day on the job. I told him what had happened. I showed him the damage to my vehicle, as well as the spot on Mr. Cushman's truck the had my vehicle's paint on it. I fully expected the Police Officer to call in the license number, then go get the son of a b***h who had just hit a stationary vehicle, then denied doing it.
Didn't happen. First he had to call his sergeant to find out what to do. He entered the truck's license number into his computer, and said the vehicle had valid insurance, but he would not tell me what company or give me a policy number. Nor would he tell me the culprit's phone # or work address.
When I asked him why, he replied it would be on the accident report, which I could obtain at the department headquarters in two weeks time. When I finally received my copy of the accident report, it was devoid of Mr. Cushman's work address. For insurance information, I just read "Standard Fire, Valid Insurance".
Neither he nor my insurance company could find any business, anywhere, called Standard Fire Insurance. When I got the investigating officer back on the phone, he told me he could not find any information on Standard Fire, either. He advised me to pay my insurance deductible and move on. I could not get him on the phone again after that first call. Good Police work...
From my own research, I learned that the Standard Fire Insurance Company is wholly owned by Travelers Group Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Travelers Property Casualty Corp. It is now known as The St. Paul Travelers Comapnies, Inc.. Now I was getting somewhere. I contacted my insurance company with this new information. A short while later, the Traveler's claim adjuster came by and looked at my vehicle. He later sent me an estimate and instructed me to get an estimate from whatever body shop I was going to work with, which I did. He then told me I should be getting a check mailed to me for the amount of the repair.
Two weeks later, I received a phone call from my insurance company telling me that Traveler's had rejected my claim. I thought this was odd, as I had received no notice from Traveler's that I had been rejected. I called the claim adjuster, who didn't seem to want to talk to me. He advised me to contact the senior claims handler, a Ms. Felicia Culver. Getting in touch with Ms. Culver is no easy task. Several voice and E-mails later, she called me back, and was somewhat less than cordial. Ms. Culver informed me that Mr. Cushman's version of the incident differed from my own. He had stated that both of our vehicles were moving at the time of the impact, and due to the lack of any witnesses, she could not honor the claim. When I asked her at what point Mr Cushman
had changed his mind about these facts, as he had clearly stated to me several times that he "didn't think he hit me", but now it was we had hit, but we were both moving.
The call got less productive from then on. Ms. Culver would not provide me with any more information, and was being somewhat rude, so I ended the call.