A few weeks ago, as Lynette and I were driving home from a Burning Wheel session, a fellow in front of us at a stoplight backed into my car. My hood crunched and popped up and there was damage to my left headlight. The latch assembly of the hood was destroyed so that even if the hood wasn't bent, it wouldn't close.
All in all, minor damage. No one was hurt. No big deal in the grand scheme of things.
Of course, the guy took off. He fled the scene. But I got his license plate number. We called the police, they took a report, and long story short, they caught the guy. He admitted everything. He said he got scared and ran off because he didn't have insurance. My liability policy isn't going to cover the damage. So, in a word, I'm screwed.
I decided to call the guy and offer him the chance to fix my car. If my car was fixed prior to the court date, I told him, I'd have no reason to push for court-ordered restitution. He apologized profusely (of course, he was caught - it's not like he would have tracked me down and apologized otherwise) but seemed to indicate there was little he was going to be able to do about it. A friend of my mom's helped me take the old hood off (the car is still drivable, and my headlight even works, though it's cracked, so the car is even legal), and he'll help me put all the parts back on if I can get the parts (a hood, a latch assembly). But I don't really have the wherewithal or know-how to get out to Pick-n-Pull and take those things off some old Chevy by myself. I also don't have a way to move a whole hood.
We had a court date today, but the guy didn't show up - the case was continued. In the meantime, I'm going to have to pay someone to go out and get me those parts and bring them back to me. But my regular mechanic (not the guy who helped me take the hood off) isn't answering the phone. He quoted me $450 for the whole job. I called Pick-n-Pull and the parts cost a grand total of $58. I told him I knew what the parts cost, and I wanted to clarify that he wanted to charge about $390 in labor. Never heard from him again....
So, until I figure out what to do, if you see a guy driving around the KC Metro area in a silver Chevy Lumina with no hood, it's me. Give me a wave!