Friday, September 23, 2016

the end of the equinox

So I mentioned in my recap of our anniversary weekend that I had been in a car accident. The whole process has been so incredibly draining and it has felt like a bad dream.

On the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend I was coming home from work, it was a little after 4pm, and I was rear ended about 6 minutes from work. The whole thing is a blur and happened so fast. I remember coming up on a red light and slowing down and then I vaguely remember the light turning green and then almost immediately after that the car behind me rear-ending me.  I remember the cars around us slowly creeping by afterwards.  The driver hit my car with such force that I hit the car in front of me and she, in turn, hit the car in front of her. The driver who caused the accident was unlicensed and driving a vehicle that did not belong to her.  My poor car was pretty banged up after the fact and had to be towed from the scene. I was devastated. I spent much of the next three days in tears.

As if things could not get worse, I found out later that evening that the driver had been drunk. After I was cleared to leave the scene, the responding officer had a personal space encounter with the girl who rear-ended me which prompted the officer to run a field sobriety test, which the driver failed.  Later on the police did a breathalyzer test on the driver. She blew a .12.  The legal limit in the state of Maryland is a .08. 

The following day, I filed the claim with my insurance. I have had nothing but incredibly positive experiences with All State and cannot say enough good things about them. A little later in the day I got a phone call from the insurance company of the car that hit mine. The agent asked me to describe the accident. I did. She told me that her insured had provided a much different story. Her insured said that I was swerving all over the road, that I cut her off and that caused her to rear-end me. She left out the other two vehicles in the accident. I paused and asked the agent to clarify who her insured said was driving. The agent said that her insured said that she was driving the vehicle. I was quick to correct the agent and provide her with the contact information of the driver who was not the insured. I felt like the nightmare was never ending. 

By Friday, my back was even more sore. Sitting at work was causing stiffness. Picking up Natalie was painful. Something needed to give. We popped into urgent care for a quick visit and I had to have about a dozen x-rays taken. My knee had a vicious contusion from where it hit the steering column. My back was inflamed and sprained. I was given prescription Aleve and a muscle relaxer and instructed not to pick up anything over 15lbs for the next 2 weeks.

Urgent Care Selfies :)
Finally, a little more than a week and a half later, my car was looked at by the insurance adjuster. Why did it take so long? Oh you know, they lost my car. The insurance company couldn't locate my vehicle. They were adamant that they did not lose my car, per se, but let's be serious, if y'all couldn't find it, it was lost. It had been towed to one lot, moved to another and then finally moved to the police impound lot.  Lovely. 

The adjuster left a voicemail on Friday afternoon saying my car had been looked at but I was too scared to listen to it since we were at the beach.  I didn't want our weekend ruined by the news that my car was totaled. When I got the call on Monday afternoon I had a figure in my head of what my car was worth. Steven from All State (who was the nicest man alive) slowly went over the damage with me. He said that there was about $7500 worth of visual damage. My immediate reaction: Shit.  "Is everything okay, Mrs. Wilkinson?" "It's totaled isn't it?" Poor Steven was trying to give me time to mentally prepare and understand everything and I needed him to just rip the band-aid off. "I was trying to ease into that news, but yes, it is." The news was followed by quite a few more tears. Poor Steven.

Monday after I got home, I pulled open the file cabinet and found my title and the paperwork saying that I had paid off my car in March of 2014. I cried some more. The idea of taking on another car payment makes me sick to my stomach. Tuesday morning I made copies. I needed a memento of my first car and the proof that one time I bought a vehicle all by myself. I dropped the originals of the paperwork in the mail on my way to the police impound lot to clean out my car for the very last time. When I got to the impound lot, I was informed that just an hour earlier my car had been moved to another lot... over an hour away. Cue the waterworks. After many phone calls with the insurance company and lots of crying later, I made my way to Finksburg to clean out my car. I cried most of the way there. I cried in the office. I cried cleaning out my car and then I cried most of the way home. I am really not sure how I had any tears left in me to cry. 

Wednesday afternoon I spent my lunch hour at the MVA returning my tags. Somehow, I found a way to cry some more. However, on the upside, I got a call from Allstate on my way back to work that the girl's insurance found her at fault and accepted the claim. I will be getting my deductible and the check for my car in the mail next week and we can go car shopping. I am beyond ready to put this whole thing behind me. I have desperately been trying to find the good and rise above, but I'll tell y'all, it is not easy. I keep telling myself that by the girl hitting my car, I may have saved someone else's life. I was hit by a drunk driver and I walked away with a sprained back. I am incredibly lucky because there are plenty of drunk driving accidents that don't end that way.  And while I was so not ready to break up with my car, I am fairly certain my husband would much rather a car payment than a funeral to plan. So we'll continue to try to find the good and rise above. I am sure with time it will get easier :)