BOSTON (CBS) — After some Saturday afternoon shopping, John Goodwin was cruising down the Lynnway with his wife at the wheel and his three grandkids in the back seat.

Out of nowhere, an SUV slammed into the rear of the family’s car.

John Goodwin points to his damaged vehicle while talking with Ryan Kath. (WBZ-TV)

“I couldn’t believe the impact,” Goodwin told WBZ. “At that moment, I thought we were going to tip.”

The driver allegedly speeding and swerving through traffic to escape police on February 18 was Stephen M. Staffiery. Officers eventually arrested Staffiery in Saugus after a foot chase through the snow.

Goodwin was relieved his grandkids emerged from the encounter without any injuries.

“You start thinking about how bad things could’ve been,” he said.

The rear of Goodwin’s car was dented and scratched from the collision. The Revere resident said the vehicle also showed signs of internal damage, like making a grinding noise when in reverse.

Some of the damage to John Goodwin’s vehicle is pictured. (WBZ-TV)

However, Goodwin said when he tried to get the damage repaired, he hit an obstacle: His insurance company wanted him to pay the $1,000 deductible, even though he wasn’t at fault.

Goodwin reached out to WBZ’s “Call for Action” to help get the situation resolved. On Monday morning, WBZ contacted Liberty Mutual about the situation. That afternoon, Goodwin received a call from the insurance company.

John Goodwin speaks with Ryan Kath. (WBZ-TV)

“They said, ‘Mr. Goodwin, we’re going to waive that deductible of yours. Call your mechanic and set up an appointment to get that vehicle in.’ I really thank you guys for everything you did,” Goodwin expressed.

A spokesman for Liberty Mutual said the company does not publicly discuss the details of customers’ claims.

“We are pleased we were able to promptly resolve this issue once we received the necessary information required to consider a deductible waiver,” Glenn Greenberg told WBZ.

According to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, state law requires a waiver of deductible be available to customers. The option kicks in whenever a driver is found to be less than 50% responsible for an accident.

However, it is an option that must be selected by customers when they purchase their policies.

Ryan Kath can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

Comments (3)
  1. hey, they’re supposed to be the “accident forgiveness” guys…

  2. Liberty Mutual is the absolute worst. The customer service stinks and they always try to not cover accidents. I switched years ago and have had zero issues since, everything gets paid for without a hassle.

  3. I know people that had their parked car hit and another that got rear ended stopping for a bus and Liberty Mutual tried to say it was somehow their fault! Con men at LM!

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