7 On Your Side

Wrecked and left without a rental

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

When a school bus with kids on board smashed into a parked car in Farmingdale, the driver was arrested, but it's the young car owner who says she feels locked up because she couldn't get the bus company to help her rent a car to get to work.

No kids were injured, but a week after the accident, the victim was left stranded. She had no collision coverage and she could not afford to shell out a thousand plus up front to rent a car until hers is fixed.

Jennifer Lang's life just got a whole lot tougher. The 24 year old is raising a son by herself on a waitress's wages, and then this accident out of nowhere.

"The whole front end is smashed in," she said.

The out of control bus crash made her Chrysler un-drivable, but it's what happened afterward that drove Jen's family crazy.

"He says to me 'I don't know how long you're going to need the car, why should I pay for it?' I'm like why should you pay for it?" Joan Lang, her mom, said.

Jen's mom says the claims manager for the ACME bus company kept insisting it arranged for her to rent a car without being charged a daily rate. And ACME would pay the balance at the end, but Jen kept being told by the rental companies that she would be charged up front.

"It doesn't make sense. He keeps on changing the story," Joan said.

"I have an 8 month old. I don't have a car. I don't have money like that to put down on a credit card," Jen said.

Next, the Langs say the Acme claims manager turned nasty.

"He was screaming at the top of his lungs and I said I don't have to listen to this," Joan said.

So we went to ACME to hear for ourselves and witnessed what the Langs had faced.

"They're just being totally out of control," Sal Rashid, ACME Bus Company Risk Manager, said.

After we pointed out that the bus company's driver had wrecked Lang's car and she could not get to work, we asked Rashid to put his money where his mouth is and verify that Jen could rent a car without her card being billed daily. He got on the phone and promised it was all arranged, but the next day that plan fell through.

ACME then agreed to come up with the cash, so next we asked Hertz for help.

Within hours a thousand dollar check was hand delivered and accepted to pay for Jen's rental up front.

Jen's car is fixed. She picked it up on Tuesday. As for the driver who hit her and was arrested on DWI charges, he was hospitalized for several weeks. ACME says he had a medical emergency - a burst intestine - and was not driving drunk. If blood test results prove it, the charges against the driver will be dropped.

CONNECT WITH NINA PINEDA AND 7 ON YOUR SIDE


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