My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: North Carolina.
Got into my first car accident on May 18, 2011. I was traveling northbound on a four lane highway with a center turn lane. I had just pulled out of a gas station approximately 1/4 mile from the light. The light was green for me with no other vehicles traveling in my direction. In the Southbound left turn lane there was a dump truck with a trailer hauling heavy equipment. As I approached the intersection, traveling at a little less than 45 mph (speed limit is 45mph) the dump truck turned left in front of me. I realized very quickly that he was traveling very slowly and would not clear the intersection before I got there, so I began to slow down. I have traveled this intersection every day for the last 6 years and know it very well as I'm usually in that turn lane. I know that in that Southbound left turn lane, they sometimes get a green arrow and sometimes just get a green light, meaning they must yield to oncoming traffic. Since my light was green, I knew that he had only a green light and must yield. He thought he could make it and did, just barely. But the car behind him, a small four door mazda, mistakenly assumed the truck had the right of way and was following very closely behind the truck about to turn left in front of me also. Once the other driver noticed that I was coming at her, she slammed on her brakes and stopped facing me halfway in my lane. I slammed on the brakes and wanted to go to the right but the truck was still clearing the intersection and it wasn't safe for me to go right, so I hit her head-on with my brakes screaming to a stop. My airbags did not deploy even though I had to have been going a minimum of 30 before I slammed into her. Now, the issues: About 30 people witnessed the accident, not a single person stopped. I took pictures of our vehicles immediately following the accident before they were moved. Called 911. The police station and fire station are both 1/4 mile from the accident site, so they both got there really quickly. The fire department responded first, making sure we were all right, etc. I did not move my car until the fire department told me I could. It was still running but barely. Radiator was cracked and leaking fluid and my SRS light (shoulder restraint system/airbags) was on. Two police cars responded and were there before I moved my vehicle. Once we had moved our vehicles out of the intersection, I told the police officer what happened. He claimed the other driver said she had the green arrow, meaning I had been running a red light. Which is ridiculous because I wouldn't have been accelerating out of a gas station towards a red light. I also know from experience that if you are in a lower profile vehicle, you cannot see the light in the Southbound Left turn lane if you have a large truck in front of you. It's virtually impossible because of how the lights are positioned in Asheville, North Carolina. Anyway, was able to drive my vehicle home because it was less than a 1/2 mile away. But my front end was completely trashed. Putting it into gear was a joke as it made a horrible clunking noise, and my brakes were shot. My foot and back took the brunt of the impact, foot is still clicking when I walk. Very nice. I called my insurance company and because we have points on our record (husbands) they advised me to file on her insurance company first to try and avoid having it go on my record/insurance rates. Needless to say that was a complete waste of time and they denied it immediately because a: no witnesses and b: she claimed she had a green arrow. Now, the police report is completely wrong, the police officer even got my city and zip code wrong and he was copying it from my driver's license! He also reported that the vehicles had been moved before he arrived, which is a complete lie because they held traffic so that we could move our vehicles!! I called him up and told him he reported nothing I had said to him right and he said he would revise it, I have not retrieved a copy yet but I'm sure it's not right. If he couldn't even get my address right while copying it, I don't have a lot of faith he listened to me a second time. I called my insurance company and filed a claim because at that point my car is trashed and I have no transportation. They recorded my statement and I reported it the same way I reported it here. I even drew it out on paper immediately following the accident so I wouldn't forget. The insurance sent out an estimator/adjustor to see if the car was worth repairing. I made sure to tell the adjustor that there was something wrong with the engine as it was making some ominous transmission noises. It's a 2002 Honda Civic LX with 77,000 miles on it. They determined that the value of it was approx $6,700. Low blue book was $7,200 so I didn't feel they were too far off. The repair amount they were willing to spend was approx $5,000. He prepared an estimate for $4049 minus my $250 deductible, bringing the total repair cost to $3799. Fine, took my car into a repair shop recommended to me by the adjustor. Got the car back yesterday. Worse repair job ever. Paint is already bubbling around the rim of the hood, one headlight was replaced and is totally brand new while the other is old, the black windshield tray between the hood and windshield doesn't match on both sides (one has ridges the other doesn't), the hood protrudes on one side, the door on the right isn't matched up like the left, and my blinkers blink differently!! One has a fast blink while the old one is slow. The repair shop also claimed they did an alignment but judging by the way the car veers immediately to the right when I let go of the wheel, I don't believe them. Also, brakes are making horrible groaning noise and the accelerator stuck when downshifting into third. Literally kept going even after taking foot off the gas. I already paid the repair shop Friday with the insurance check and my deductible but after driving the vehicle home I know there is no way I can drive it safely. I called and left messages for my insurance adjustor but don't expect to hear from her until Monday at the earliest. Should I put a stop payment on my check to the repair shop? I'm already planning on calling them first thing Monday morning and making my complaints known to them and demand they fix it. I'm also going to have my car mechanically inspected. There's only approx $1,000 left to repair my vehicle. What are my options at this point? I know I wasn't at fault for the accident but without witnesses I feel like my insurance company doesn't care and won't even bother trying to prove the other driver was at fault. And I'm stuck with an unsafe vehicle.
Also forgot to mention that the new headlight they put in moves back and forth and the fender in front also moves, while the undamaged side does not.