Thursday, May 26, 2011

Traffic Court

You may remember, at the beginning of last month, my daughter was in a car accident.  She rear-ended a pickup truck.  Her Honda Accord was toast...but it could be repaired (they are still working on it).  The gentleman she hit only sustained some minor damage to his bumper (older truck - bumper was the old fashioned steel kind!).  His truck was fixed by her insurance company - but when she changed to her fiance's insurance when they moved in together, they did not put collision coverage on her car.  Lesson learned - no collision coverage, no insurance payment to fix your car's damage....

So, this morning was her traffic court date.  We arrived at the courthouse just before 8:30 AM, got through the metal detector and x-ray scanner and upstairs to the courtroom right at 8:30 AM.  Lesson two - arrive A LOT earlier as the system (or, ahem, lack thereof) for security makes for a L-O-N-G line of people trying to get into the building.

Now, we thought they would call the cases, one at a time.  Possibly going in alphabetical order....nope.  It goes by row order - and it gets better.  There were 3 sections of rows - seats on the left, in the middle and on the right, with aisles in between.  They started with the middle section (huh?!) - then went to the left section (that makes SO much sense) - and guess where we sat when we came in?  You would be absolutely correct!  We sat in the RIGHT TWO HOURS later, it was her turn.

She went up to the bench, gave her name to the judge's "helper" (I think he was a judge-in-training).  He pulled out her paperwork and handed it to the judge.  The judge asked my daughter if she had a letter from her insurance company saying that they took care of the damage on the vehicle she hit.  My daughter said, yes, and showed the paper to the judge.  The judge scanned it and promptly announced, DISMISSED.  Woo hoo!!  My daughter was stunned, to say the least.  She thanked the judge and out we went.  And it was over - just like that.  No other papers to file or fees to be driver course to sign up points on her part, there should be no increase in her insurance premiums.

I was very proud of her for owning up to what she did.  She could have hired a lawyer and tried to plead it down.  But since it was her first offense, I was hopeful it would turn out like this.  She took responsibility for her actions, had the gentleman's truck fixed properly, obtained the paperwork she needed for her appearance, and in the end, it paid off.

The best part - since she didn't have to pay for the ticket or the fines, she was able to pay back most of the towing charges that I paid for the day of the crash.  I don't know too many young couples just starting out who walk around with hundreds of dollars in cash on them.  She was just lucky I was one of those people that morning!

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