To the young woman who rear-ended me:

Thank you. Thank you for not being an asshole and for taking responsibility of the accident. Yes, it was your fault, but you stepped out of the vehicle and said right away “I’m sorry.” You also said it was your responsibility verbally and in a text. I have to assume you also told your insurance provider the same thing. I was on the phone for five minutes with them before they told me they were accepting responsibility and would be paying for the damages as soon as my insurance provider gave them the demands.

So thank you for being you.

I hope you don’t experience another car accident any time soon, because they suck. If you do, I wanted to give you a piece of advice. Your driver’s license said you were born in 1992, making you 24 this year. I’m a bit older than that (41) and have learned a few things about accidents. For your own sake, please hear me out.

Never, ever, even when an accident is obviously your fault, never take blame. Exchange information with the other person involved, but say as little as possible.

You may wonder why, since you are a good person and think taking blame when it is your fault is the right thing to do. In an ideal world, it is. This is not an ideal world.

This is a world with people waiting to take advantage of good, kind people.

If you are in a car accident again and it’s your fault, don’t say you’re sorry. Fight the urge. Don’t lie about what happened, as that’s not right, but don’t say you’re sorry. Exchange information, if the police are involved, give them the information as well. Don’t speculate on who was to blame. Give details, tell your insurance agent the same thing, and then let them figure it out.

Why? Because next time, the other person might be an asshole.

The day you rear-ended me, I went to work for a little bit, but left early as I felt like hell. You hit me hard. It rattled me for a good portion of the day. I went home, relaxed as best I could, and talked to my insurance agent. The next day, I missed a bit of work to get my car assessed. I went about my life after that as per usual.

An asshole would have sued you for the time they took off of work. They would have gone to the doctor, ran up a bunch of bills and charged your insurance company for the bills. They would then have sued you for ‘damages’ and any other trivial thing they could think up, all because the first words out of your mouth were “I am so sorry.”

You were an amazingly nice person and obviously a good person. Please don’t let that be a detriment. Guard your good, especially when an unknown person is involved. You never know who is on the receiving end.

Getting rear-ended sucked, but I couldn’t have asked to be hit by a better person. Thank you for being good, but please be careful. I would hate for your life to be ruined by an asshole because you said you were sorry.

Take care,

Cat Stark

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