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Marc Jacobs

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Accident Reports
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This story has numerous facets, so this post is going to be a long one.  I appreciate you reading this and offering any insight, advice, or recommendations.  Thanks.

My sister was in a car accident earlier this week.  She's okay, and it wasn't her fault.  A motorcyclist who was riding in front of her was going too fast, clipped the median while going around a curve in the road, and flew off his bike.  He landed in the grassy median--thank goodness--and my sister's car ate his crotch rocket.  The bike slid right in front of her car before she could get out of the way.  It messed up her front passenger side pretty badly.  Anyway, she called her auto insurance provider, and they said they would have a rep get a hold of her the next day (the accident happened at about 7pm).  

The next morning, my sister gets a phone call from a collision shop.  They gave her the impression that they were THE collision shop (as if her insurance company arranged it), had a tow truck come and get her car and bring it to their shop.  My sister has never been in an accident like this before, so she didn't know what to expect.  After she got her car towed, she started getting numerous calls (about 17 calls in one day) from different body shops and repair places offering to fix her car.  It was then when she realized that the collision place that had called her wasn't affiliated with her insurance. They were just the first ones to call.  As soon as she realized she was misled, she called the collision place and told them to not touch her car and that a tow truck would be coming to pick up the car.  The receptionist said that they would refuse to release the car until $430 in administration fees (or something like that) was paid.

Apparently, the collision place turned around and called the motorcyclist's insurance company and got the go-ahead from them (i.e., the $$$) and started working on her car.  By the time the tow truck arrived, they had already started working on it.  The tow truck operator called my sister and told her.  She learned this at 4:-something this afternoon (my sis works in an extremely high pressure, busy job and was on conference calls all day).  She bowed out of the conference call and went immediately over to the body shop.  She got there, and the guy in the office was like, "we don't have a Lexus [my sister's vehicle]."  She explained, and the guy said, oh that collision place rents office space from us.  Their garage is located over on XYZ street.  My sister thinks they rent the garage space too.

Now it's the end of the workday.  Good Friday is tomorrow, and we're in the southeastern portion of the United States, so you know no one is going to be within a 100-mile-radius of their respective workplaces.  On top of all this, she has had to be the one to call back her insurance rep because they haven't been calling her back.

Have any of you heard of this?  How do these people get a hold of the accident reports so quickly?  It will be interesting to see what happens with this.  In the meantime, it's extremely stressful.  Way more stressful than it should be for someone who has been in a car accident.



-- Edited by pollyjean23 on Thursday 21st of April 2011 05:26:26 PM

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Hermes

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Wow - I've never heard of such a thing. I have never had that happen to me. I wonder if there's some loophole in the law in your state that allows them to access that information?

I can see how she would fall victim to their tactics, and I'm sure that's what they rely on to take advantage of people.

My only suggestion is to google your state and insurance repair scams and see if there are any cases or any legal support you can find -- I'm sure she's not the only one who found themselves in this situation and fought it.

What an awful spot to be in - I hope she can work something out.

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Marc Jacobs

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UPDATE - Accident Reports
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My sister's insurance agent thinks this company is the one that goes around doing this to people, changing its name, and doing it again to others.  A con.  She's filing a police report. Ugh.



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Chanel

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RE: Accident Reports
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What a headache. I've never heard of this either but wow, what a scam. I hope she is compensated for any extra expense.

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Marc Jacobs

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Here's the latest.  A lawyer told my sister to just go pay the collision shop so she could at least secure her car.  She requested a police escort while she brought the cash over, and three of them ended up accompanying her to the collision shop!  

They said that her having to pay is total bs.  The shop owner (or whatever he calls himself) was still refusing to release the car (it is not his to keep, legally), even with the police there.  This is the last I heard this afternoon.  This whole thing just keeps getting worse and more dramatic.  



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Hermes

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You have got to be kidding me! That's insane!!! I have no advice to give unfortunately, but thanks for posting this--at least we're all aware that there are scams out there like this.

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Gucci

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Wow. That's just wrong. I hope things get sorted out for your sister soon.

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