Wednesday, July 04, 2007

in the blink of an eye

No, for once this is not a post about how quickly kids grow up. Speaking of which, have I mentioned that my 2 month old weighs as much as an average 6 month old? No? Crazy.

Getting to the point, I am having a super crappy day. It is Jason’s birthday so I let him sleep in and got up early with the sick older kid and sleepless younger one. Now the kids are miraculously both sleeping at once and I should be too but I am too bummed out and generally angst and sad to do so. I took Henry to the grocery store this morning, which was insanely crowded and crazy. We made it out ok but as we were leaving I backed into a car in the parking lot. I was looking straight behind me and saw nothing. I am pretty convinced that he was trying to sneak by in the busy parking lot while my car was at least half way out of its space. There was a lot of scraped paint and my bumper has a very tiny little ripple in it but I know the cost is going to be huge. Everything was totally calm and civilized. Neither of us really admitted to being at fault, and while I don’t think I was, I just don’t know. Deep down I really don’t think I was but I suppose it is up to the insurance assessors to determine. I have been compulsively googling links about how insurance companies determine whether or not to raise rates after an accident. Everything with the other driver was totally civilized and calm and we exchanged information and each said we hoped the other one had a good day. It all happened so fast and the lot was so crowded I didn’t think to take a picture of his car with my phone or even get the model/make of the car (I only saw the side of it).

So then I started to feel paranoid about all of the ways things could go bad for me in this until I googled the driver. Apparently I ran into a trial attorney. Uh, great. He is actually a trial lawyer for childhood victims of sexual abuse (mostly by priests) and I think he has a column in the local paper on occasion. Fuck. Actually, it is probably a good thing. He was a nice guy and I seriously doubt there will be any issues of insurance fraud. I just am not up for fighting and bureaucracy and arguing tooth and nail that I am not at fault when I simply can’t be certain. I wish that the situation didn’t make me feel like I had to choose between being a decent human being and getting screwed by a shitty system. Most likely we will be out at least the $500 deductible anyway. This is such bad timing emotionally and financially I can hardly believe it. It’s just insane how a split-second can change your whole day and likely much more. I know that I can’t do anything more today and I need to buck up for Jason’s sake on his birthday (and a day off for all of us no less!) but for some reason this little thing really has me down and I don’t know how to get back up.



Anonymous Becky said...

I can empathize with you. I had a very similiar incident years ago in the Sheridan market parking lot.

Here is how the insurance worked out for me--I gave an honest statement to my insurance company, saying that I was backing in up the parking lot and that I normally look behind me. My lawyer-training prevented me from saying it was all my fault.

The result was that they split the damage (mostly to the other car) 50/50. The other driver was angry (not at the time, but afterward) and thought that I should have said it was all my fault. But I didn't because they were also in the middle of the parking lot, not just parked in a spot and I hadn't seen them so I didn't know whether they had just pulled out at the same time without seeing me.

My insurance adjuster said that parking lot things like that are usually just seen as both peoples's faults.

Good luck. That feeling of if you could just go back a moment in time and undo the mess is frustrating. I hope the rest of your holiday went OK.

7/06/2007 1:17 PM  
Blogger mama without instructions said...

thanks, b. i had a good conversation with the adjuster from my insurance company and she predicted likely a 50/50 split of liability but no guarantee. i definitely didn't say i believed it was all my fault (i don't) but that, obviously, i only had one perspective. we'll see. i'm feeling okay about it now but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

7/07/2007 2:00 PM  

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