Apr 12, 2012, 6:04 AM
Post #3 of 4
Hello Salto jorge,
Re: [salto_jorge] Vehicle accident in GDl , local had no insurance
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Wow! An expensive lesson for sure. I consider you a friend SJ but what I am going to say may not seem so to you right now. I hope you can get past it and know what I am trying to explain to you is being honest and what I would want a friend to be. I have also had the same trick tried on me about a family member or friend who "is in the business"! All I can say is it is just too risky.
The law in Mexico and the Mexican Insurance companies are pretty clear. DO NOT MOVE A VEHICLE FROM THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT UNTIL YOUR INSURANCE ADJUSTER OR A POLICE AUTHORITY HAS DIRECTED YOU TO DO SO. PERIOD.
It's really not any different here in many respects than NOB. Use your head, always keep a small pad of paper within arms reach as well as a pen, and get all the information that you can. I just cannot imagine in today's society that your daughter doesn't have a Cel phone. Did she get photos? Get as many photos as you can of any accident yourself on your Cel phone. The photos should show the cars together if possible, including the license numbers (both driver’s and car license numbers as well as any and all of the window stickers of your state registration numbers) of the other party, photos should have a few shots including stores with large signs that will easily identify the location and direction of traffic. Photos of an intersection if possible, as well as the interior of the other car (if possible) or on the sly if not possible. This can show any beer or wine bottles in many photos. . . . . . . . Photos. photos, photos! Get the other person’s full face photo (again, on the sly if necessary) maybe as he is speaking to an officer or looking at his or your cars damage. But get photos.
If for some reason your car is going to get impounded get as many photos of the contents inside of your car as soon as possible, before they tow it! For example, radio (brand) CD player, any video players (show playing a movie if possible or playing music) any personal items in the car such as clothing, items just purchased, sports equipment. At least you will have a record for your insurance company of anything that might (and probably will be) removed unlawfully by some “unknown” for personal use).
Make a diagram of the accident, do not, and I reiterate . . . . . . . . DO NOT RELY ON THE ADJUSTERS PHOTOS AND DIAGRAMS, they can and usually do miss some things. For example I had an adjuster not show the center (plastic) hub for a wheel cover on my 2008 GMC 2500 Crew Cab pickup. It was broken and the adjuster tried to tell me it was only a 10 dollar item. BS! I didn't think so, . . . . as it turned out it was a $68.00 USD item!
Adjusters’ here in Mexico can work for several insurance companies, or work as an independent adjuster, or be an adjuster for a specific company paid by that specific company . . . ask him or her when they arrive. Do you really know what or who you are getting at the scene of an accident when you BP is up and your mind is racing? Of course not.
If you, or someone in your family have been injured due to the accident . . . . . . . . . . Do not let anyone take you to a hospital that you do not know. . . . . . . . . . Just ask "BAJA Gringo" how expensive that can get . . . . . . never mind the confusion. (although his was a severe personal assault and not an automobile accident. My family have now visited some different hospitals around and have made decisions based on our visits of which hospitals we would prefer to be taken to in case of an accident. Put that information in your little “Accident Book”.
Make a small spiral four inch by 6 inch top narrow section “spiraled” pad an “Accident Information Pad” and keep it in arms reach alongside your car’s permit papers. This pad should not be used for anything else! Do not use any blank sheets for other phone numbers addresses, etc.! If you have the need to grab a paper and pen in case a driver is leaving the scene, it doesn’t take long for that driver to drive off while you are thumbing through your pad of other unimportant numbers trying to find a clear sheet to write the cars description and license number down.
In the front of the book write questions to yourself such as: Make_________ Model_______ and Year________ of cars, do in duplicate in case of several car accident. Drivers name___________ his drivers license number, his CURRENT address (never mind what his license may say . . . ask him/her is this your current address) any other car’s passengers name________, their phone and current address . Date of accident ________ time of Accident__________ road conditions (dry, or raining or construction) ____________ Get photos of and very faded lines on from driving lanes in your photos.
In the rear of the little “Accident Book” make a few notes as to who your doctors are, or persons to call in case of an accident, any medical problems you may have that a doctor or ambulance attendant should have knowledge of, any important medications such as prescriptions you are currently using.
Sure it is a lot to do at the scene of an accident and if you are the driver it is even more difficult to keep your head and that is exactly why a little “Accident Book” is or can be worth (literally) thousands and thousands of dollars not to mention a night or five in a Mexican Jail.
Take the time to educate your children and spouses about such things. My goodness wouldn't you do that NOB? I sure would . . . . . . then why in the world not here in Mexico, where the ramifications can be, and usually are so much more severe, wouldn't you do it here? A Mexican jail is not place for a son or daughter to get a Mexican Education on a lousy justice system. It can be a bad enough experience NOB if such a “jail trip” happens but here?!?!?!?! I would not like to see my children have to experience. I was told by a friend, whom I have known for several years (who is a commandant of a major city Transito) YES your car can be impounded, and once impounded you do not have any access to remove anything from your car.
Practice this just like you would a fire drill back home in your house. Do not let your family (or others in your car) get separated and questioned by any adjuster or officer. Make sure that all persons from your car who are answering any questions by any adjuster or police person thoroughly understand Spanish or ask your adjuster for an interpreter on the scene (most Mexican insurance companies pay for this).
I have without notice pulled over to the side of the road )in a safe place, highway outside the city or in the city) and told my family we have just been in an automobile accident, there are (or are not) injuries, what do we do, and we practice it. After we get a cup of coffee or sodas and speak what we might have done differently. I think it really is time and effort well spent.
If you have out of town guests who are not fluent in Spanish . . . . . you might even have to be a bit abrupt and tell them, . . . . . . . . please this is not like NOB, please do not say anything to anyone, it can mean the difference in a Mexican jail or not. Explain to them after you are out of ear shot if you must, or if you feel you have to tell them why.
I hate to say it Salto Jorge, but unless I didn’t have the money to pay for the damage, or unless the car is not drivable, I would write it off as an expensive (probably MA or PhD scale of an education) in Mexican accident protection . . . . . just don’t be too hard on your daughter. Man up. After all you’re the adult here and it is as much your responsibility for not education your family enough on such possible ramifications, as much as it is her fault for getting sucked in on such a problem. I don’t mean to be hard on you, but let’s face it . . . . we are the adults here. Our children probably didn’t have much of a vote as to where they were going to live.
Just my two and a half pesos worth. Maybe this can help others as well. I wish you well SJ.