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multi-car accident

So like Hawaii, Brasil is a no-fault state.. i.e. you have to have insurance and you have to pay for everything 100%.  My husband (thinking how bad could it be) signed up for a 2k deductible.  SOOO re-thinking that decision now.  See a car rear ended another car a few weeks ago, followed by the next car in line,  and then my husband slammed on the breaks and slid through the Brasilian rain into the car in front of him.  It was a small fender bender, or in our case the hood is now bent down– possibly permanently locking our hood shut.

So of course with an accident the Brasilian jeito has really come out.  Because my husband was last in line, everyone wanted him to take the fall.  The guy my husband hit doesn’t have insurance to cover himself, just those he hits, so he doesn’t want to cover things.  The first guy obviously doesn’t want to pay for anything, and the girl who hit him, well she didn’t hit my husband, so doesn’t have to pay for our damages.  It’s no-fault remember.  Of course, my husband wasn’t going to go down for a 4 car accident, and reported what happened to the police exactly as it happened.

Jeito is stronger than reality however, and so the insurance agent of the woman called my husband..

“um can you take full responsibility for everything and have your insurance pay it?”

Of course, even though I’m married to an American, the jeito is even stronger with my husband (the stories I have of him and his jeito… well they can’t be published for obvious reasons).  My husband told the agent he would be happy to take full responsibility and make his insurance pay, if the other cars cover our deductible.  The agent told him he’d think about it, and then the answer turned out to be no.  No biggie for us in the end, just would have been nice.

Then a few days later the call came from the agent again.

“Hey can we take you up on that offer, where we pay your deductible?”

At this point my husband had already filed with the insurance company, as he was anticipating an after the fact move where the female driver’s agent tried to pin it on my husband anyway.  So we said no, too late already file.

And that’s when the threats began.

“We’ll lie.  We will make the other drivers say you did it, as then they’re off the hook for paying for damages too, and it’s in their incentive to help us.”

You can see how we could have been on the line for everything right? Oh yeah, did I mention the girl’s dad is a lawyer?  Hubby called the driver he hit (the one without insurance) and explained that with my husband’s insurance report, his statement and my husband’s statements to the police it was likely that our insurance would call foul, not believe the lies, and then the tricky girl would then blame the whole accident on this guy, since he was next in line and he didn’t have cool, awesome expat car insurance.

It worked, no more threatening calls, and it seems that our car that was already in an accident from the previous owner, will finally get the fixing up it needs.  We won’t look so sad an pathetic driving the streets of Sao Paulo.  Although I often tell myself, by having a crappy car we are less of a target for break ins and robberies (not that I’m really worried about that).



About scrubgrub

I'm just another soul on the internet, posting random thoughts into the ether, because well I love stumbling on other peoples random thoughts, so I figured why not add mine to the mix too. I'm also the mom to two very funny little boys, and how can you not share that with everyone?

9 responses »

  1. This sucks! I would definitely be annoyed at the fact that everyone would want me to take blame cause I was the last in line! If anything, it should be the person who hit the first car!

    And your husband is American??!!! I was always under the impression that we was Brazilian!!!


    • Yeah but that’s the problem with no fault insurance. I hated that about Hawaii, the other driver can hunt you down on the road, and ram you with their car and you still have to pay. And insurance is crazy expensive because everyone has to have it.
      Funny, I’m sure he loves that you thought that, but he’s too uptight to be Brazilian, although he’s got quite a few of the other Brazilian characteristics. He just lived here before we were married.

  2. Wow, that is scary! I am constantly worried about getting into an accident here and the fallout that ensues. We have insurance but Im not exactly sure what that means. hmm we will have to look into the deductible now.. good thing you guys are off the hook!

  3. This is my worst nightmare. We are currently looking for a car, but most here are stick-shift… which I don’t drive. I have a feeling SP is NOT the place to learn!

    • oh dang, I saw a car the other day in front of our house it said automatic and was for sale… too bad I didn’t write down the phone number.

  4. There might have been a misunderstanding somewhere along the line, because in Brazil, the Federal Law applied to every state says that whoever hits behind is at fault, always, with only one exception.
    So your insurance should only pay for the car your husband hit in the back, the insurance of the car in front of your husband should only pay for the car that person hit and so forth and so on.
    The only possibility that someone hitting another car’s in the rear was not at fault is if that person hit in the back was pulling out of a driveway or street right in front of the car that crashed in the back.
    Any other case, it’s universal, you hit someone in the back you pay, or your insurance pays.


    • Yeah the theory was he hit ALL the cars… i.e. by hitting the last car it pushed that car into the next car, effectively still being my husbands car. It was a weak argument, but it was the one the agent was trying to pull off.

      • Oh, I see, that could get a little too technical. I understand what you are saying. They were accusing him of hitting a car that pushed some other cars into each other, but in reality they were already hitting each other in the back before he actually crashed his car.
        Geez. I see. Well, my point was that as a general rule, whoever hits in the back is at fault. Which is the same here in the US, at least in most of the US, here, every state is different. In Brazil, the traffic laws are federal and dictated by Brasilia and are good for the whole country.

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