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Blog entry by therookie posted 07-23-2012 09:05 PM 2530 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well about two days ago, my whole world was turned upside down. I got into my first car accident. I was going down my freshly graded dirt road and got to close to the shoulder and started to slide, I over corrected from the slide and slid off the road hitting a tree and bouncing into a pond. Well after a night that I dont remember in the hospital, I came home and found out that the car was totaled, the police did not listen to my dad, and my car got towed away by a tow truck company after my dad told them to drop the car in our drive way that was 500 yards down the road. Then I got the bill from the HAZMAT crew because the fire crew thought that they saw oil and gas in the water. So I went down and looked at the car to see where the oil and gas came from, and there were no leaks, the two tanks were still full and the engine ran still. So now I and looking at the $1400 bill from hazmat saying why did they come out again? Finally this afternoon, I got a call from a police officer who was the first to respond to the scene and he asked if I was home. I told him yes and he said he would be there in 10 minutes to write me my tickets. Well ten minutes and 7 tickets later I am down in a hole that I dug for my self and no end in sight. My estimated total from the accident is around $4500 and I am just flustered to a point where I needed to get some of this anger out. I was the only one in the accident thank god, and I to a point am happy to be alive, but on the other hand where the heck do they expect a 17 year old kid working 2 jobs making $250 a month to come up with $4500 in 60 days. Any one have suggestions? I have already started by putting up some of my woodworking stuff hoping it sells so I can get down some of these bills. But advice would be nice from people who have gone through this before. Thanks Adam.


21 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4283 days

#1 posted 07-23-2012 09:11 PM

I don’t get it Why (7) Tickets. If noone was involved & you didn’t tear up anything that belonged to the County, why any tickets at all ???

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4213 days

#2 posted 07-23-2012 09:27 PM

If that’s the way the state of MI treats its residents then I can understand why so many folks from up there have moved to the south.
HAZMAT “THOUGHT” they saw oil and gas in the water.
- You could throw a Zippo in a pond and see oil and gas in the water. BS.
- They would have to test samples of the water to prove that any harm was done before I’d pay a cent.

Was the “freshly graded road” your drive way. If it was then the police have no jurisdiction and no legal way to fine you.

If not, if it was a county or state road, did they have any warning signs up that the road was freshly graded and un-stable? If there were no warnings, then I think you need to sue there asses for creating a driving hazard and not posting any warnings.

I think you need to get a lawyer.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4283 days

#3 posted 07-23-2012 09:32 PM

Second the Lawyer !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 4069 days

#4 posted 07-23-2012 09:32 PM

Well the road had no warning signs of freshly graded gravel, and all of the tickets were like violation of the basic speed law and moving violations and stuff like that. The road was in fact a county road and I guess they assume that you know what fresh gravel looks like. Which I do. And it didnt tear up any county property it took out an eight foot section of my neighbors fence and took some bark off of that neighbors tree. The drivers door is in the center of the car. but nothing the county owned was harmed.


View StumpyNubs's profile


7853 posts in 4043 days

#5 posted 07-23-2012 09:33 PM

I live in Michigan. I hit a tree in a snow storm many years ago. I was driving 30 MPH in a 50 MPH zone. The cop gave me a speeding ticket. The judge said that, since I hit a tree, it must have been too fast for the conditions. The blizzard wasn’t at fault, it was my reckless driving at 30 MPH, even though everyone else was passing me. So, nobody was hurt, no property was damaged. I was out a ton of money from the damage to the car, but I was still “punished” with a fine I couldn’t afford to pay.

Gotta love justice.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3803 days

#6 posted 07-23-2012 09:35 PM

So sorry to hear of your accident, but am glad you made it OK.

I have no advise that has not already been said which will cost you more money also, but a lawyer might get it off of your record and no charges but his.
Talk to Dad and see what he says too.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Luke's profile


546 posts in 4536 days

#7 posted 07-23-2012 10:11 PM

Bills that you don’t pay will go on your credit report, if you can live with that. I could not, but just an FYI. They will hassle you to pay them by calling all the time but they have zero enforcement. It is not wise to not pay the tickets. But, if you can build a strong case and take them to the judge then you may get some leeway like that.

Sorry man

-- LAS,

View Tag84's profile


573 posts in 3899 days

#8 posted 07-23-2012 10:21 PM

Hi Adam, crazy all the fines over there for a 1 person crash!
my only advise is, things will get better.. :)

-- -Thomas -

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3917 days

#9 posted 07-23-2012 10:34 PM

Glad you are OK.
Most courts will set up payment plans.
You may be entitled to a public defender (free/low cost) lawyer. Fight it & then set up a payment plan.
Just my $0.02, and worth about half that!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View StumpyNubs's profile


7853 posts in 4043 days

#10 posted 07-23-2012 11:10 PM

Listen to DIY… he’s a genious!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 4228 days

#11 posted 07-23-2012 11:38 PM

I’ve gotten a couple of tickets in various Michigan counties and they WILL set up a payment plan, especially if you can prove your (lack of) income. They would rather see you work with them than have to spend the time and money to track you down for non-payment. Be prepared to explain how much you can pay now (even if it’s something like $100.) and have a range in mind for a payment plan – the amount you would be comfortable with, and the absolute maximum you can afford. throw out the low number first and only bring up the higher one if you get into discussion about it.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 3844 days

#12 posted 07-24-2012 01:30 AM

Go to court on it first plead not guilty, assuming it’s basic traffic court the DA will come over and have a discussion about why you’re pleading not guilty, blah blah. Basically what they want to know is what you will plead guilty to. My usual answer is $500 and all non moving violations; I have a cdl so it matters.
In the alternative I would hire a lawyer to make it go away, should be less than half of original fines including the lawyer fees. Just my experience, just dont ask which states I havent paid or how many tickets I have on my record, not sure I can remember either one.

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 4073 days

#13 posted 07-24-2012 02:17 AM

The 7 tickets seems extreme. I would go along with the suggestions of talking to a lawyer.
Also check with your auto insurance to see if it covers the Hazmat ripoff.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Luke's profile


546 posts in 4536 days

#14 posted 07-24-2012 03:04 AM

The more I read this story and keep coming back to it I wonder. Why would a cop give you 7 tickets, let alone any tickets for you being unlucky? He wasn’t there, he didn’t see it and supposedly neither did anyone else, so how can they write you any tickets that hold up in court? Remember that when you get a traffic ticket it is not simply a bill, there is a hearing in a real court where you can plead not guilty and get your ticket undone. When you get a speeding ticket from a cop he has to have used some device or method to write out that ticket proving that you were going too fast… So explain to me how this could have happened that you received any tickets for anything when you were the only one around? Smells of foul play to me. Also you say the hazmat crew sent you a bill cause they saw flammables in the lake?? And there was a fire? When did that start? How was it put out? Why would a towing company pull a car out of a flaming lake? And the real kicker… who in the world makes $250 a month working two jobs? Do you realize that you are working close to 33 hours a month at two different jobs? This is factoring minimum wage only. that’s the equivalent of about 8 hours a week. Split into two jobs that means your making 4 hours a week or something per job. and during those 4 hours per week you are getting paid something like $30 total. Where do you work? Lot’s of questions for you to answer if you want me to feel sorry for you any more. :)

-- LAS,

View Hoyt's profile


6 posts in 3666 days

#15 posted 07-24-2012 06:23 AM

1.) Take a hearing
2.) Get a lawyer
3.) See if lawyer can get the officer to ammend the citations down to lower charges.
4.) Then speak to the judge and let him/her know this is your first accident and see if he/she can help you out.
5.) Set up payment plan to pay any fines.
6.) Make sure to pay your fines or they will issue a warrant and you will be picked up most likely at the worst possible time.
7.) Be careful next time you get behind the wheel and stay safe.
Good luck

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