THIS WAS WRITTEN BY ME IN JANUARY 2014
Having a wife and daughter who travel 165km per day to work, there is always one call I dread receiving. On Monday in the middle of a meeting that’s exactly what I received.
Cathy was on the phone sounding upset, I could immediately tell something wasn’t right (it’s not that I am that intuitive but you could really tell). Yup, she’d had an accident. Of course, first question was, “are you all OK?” This was followed by “Where are you?” and “Is there much damage?” This was immediately followed by I am on my way and pray the guy that hit your car is long gone. I darted out of the meeting without giving an explanation, jumped in the car only to realise I had left my jacket behind so I ran back and grabbed it, all without providing much explanation. En-route I rang Cathy to make sure she took photos of the scene of the accident as well as position of the vehicles, damage, road condition blah blah blah. Thank goodness for camera phones. The other driver called the police as required by law where there is damage to property. Here’s where it gets interesting. Police arrived (2 local police on their scooters) shook hands with the other driver and spent a considerable time with him as apparently they knew him. Obviously a lady on her own with a 3 year old and a damaged car isn’t quite as important as greeting a friend, oh yes, perhaps it may have something to do with the fact she was English! Fortunately, both, Cathy and Katja were unharmed, Cathy’s car has considerable damage but still driveable, the other guy’s car had suffered considerable more damage and was certainly not driveable, it had to be taken on the back of a recovery truck!
Basically, the other driver had failed to give way to a car already on a roundabout and proceeded to join the roundabout as Cathy was turning, this resulted in him hitting the side of Cathy’s car with his front end. He damaged every panel on the passenger’s side (this is the side Katja sits in!). Needless to say, he’s not admitted liability and is arguing it’s Cathy’s fault (how, I have no idea but hey ho!) As he’s friends with or seemed to be very friendly with the police officers who wrote the report, we feel it will probably go against Cathy.
As we are insured fully comp, we have to pay the excess and that’s it. If Cathy wins, we get that back, if she doesn’t then we are 300€ out of pocket. I don’t wish to say anything which may be deemed libellous but, corruption, anti-foreigners and many other similar phrases spring to mind! Anyway, I was ¾ of the way there when Cathy rang to say she was on her way back and it was all over. On Tuesday we popped over to sort out the insurance etc etc and have arranged for her car to go for repair and to have a courtesy car in the meantime. The really ironic thing is that having driven in Bulgaria for more than 5 years where driving is at best can be described as atrocious, in winter weather and road conditions more than challenging, if I were a gambling person, I would have put money that either of us would have had an accident there, instead it had to be in Spain! Oh well….
We are both feeling pretty deflated and fed up with Spain, not wanting to wish our lives away but we really want to roll the clock forward by six months, at the same time we are conscious that we have plenty to do before we can leave. Even though it doesn’t get all that cold in winter, houses are not prepared for cooler temperatures thus making winters not all that pleasant. We are hoping that it will warm up by mid-March which is only 6 weeks away….
I am writing this sitting in a bright and lovely apartment in Qatar, it is August 20th and can tell you the outcome of the accident! Hey, guess what? Yup, the claim went against her, nobody seems to understand why but it was deemed to be her fault….. only in Spain can someone be on a roundabout, be hit by a car who fails to give way and the person on the roundabout be found at fault! To add insult to injury (metaphorically speaking as neither Cathy nor Katja were injured) Cathy received a letter from the insurance company to tell her that they will not renew her insurance come August. This was a pain because it was just before I drove the car back to England. Anyway, it was all sorted and it’s all water under the bridge!