Last Monday, Ms. Dana Carter [who told the investigating officer that she was distracted by 'an object falling off the front seat'] failed to notice either the red light or seven stopped vehicles ahead of her on the road. She knocked the car behind me into the bumper of my car. My car, being the oldest of the three involved, was the most damaged.
Oh well, life happens. The officer took all our information, gave me a piece of paper, said 'this is what you need to contact your insurance company', and sent us on our ways.
I admit it, I was remiss. I failed to exchange name/contact info/ insurance company info with the other drivers. In my defense: the officer took all that info from each of us, to prepare his report.
But all he gave me was the 'at fault' drivers name and the name of her insurance company. No policy number. No phone number for insuror. And the crash report number listed on the paper he gave me? According to the state highway patrol web site, crash reports are not available until 7 days after the incident. WTF?
I called the patrol office the next day. Asked if there was any way I could get Ms. Carter's policy #. The offered to have officer return my call when he reported for his next shift. Which he did. So on Wed I called 'The General'. Big surprise. Ms. Carter had not yet contacted her insurance company to report the crash.
But I had enough info to start the claim process [date, time, location, and I had written down the license plate numbers]. After about 20" I had a claim number, claim rep, and promise that the adjustor would call me to schedule vehicle inspection. Which was at 7am Friday morning. Good news was, he wasn't going to insist on 'totaling' the vehicle. I'd gotten an estimate Tues AM, and the adjustor said that sounded about right. Later that day, he sent an email, with repair estimate. I'm to expect correspondence and payment from claims adjustor.
And I've also received three mailings from attorneys, offering to help me get everything I deserve for my pain and suffering. And they'll only take 25 - 33% of whatever they get for me! How very generous of them.