Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm Feeling Lucky

Okay, so I got in a car accident. Don't worry, it was strike two. Dave left town on Friday (strike one) and this happened on Sunday. I wonder what happens on strike three. I still have two days until he gets home, lets hope we don't find out before then. So, here are some pictures and some answers to questions I seem to be getting repeatedly. If you've already heard the story, you can just skip down to the pictures.

1. Yes, we are all okay. The kids are great. Yes, they were with me, and buckled correctly into their car seats. Aside from bruises on their chins, and a little (sometimes a lot) of hestitation about riding in cars, they seem to be fine. Their Graco Ultra Cargo car seats did their jobs fantastically (and now have to be replaced). Owen usually just cries the first few minutes in his seat, and Evelynn says she is scared when we go over bumps, and asks me not to slam the door and if we are going to get in another car accident. Amber, my friend that was with me (thankfully, for me, I was not alone) took the worst of it (as seen in the pictures). She hurt a ligament in her foot. She is probably more sore than I am, because she probably knew that we were going to hit the car, which I didn't think we were (see below). We are both suffering from chest pain (from either the airbags, or the seat belts, I'm not sure which), and I had sore knees for a couple of days, which have since joined the army of scattered bruises I have.
2. It was the other guys fault, although it really was an accident, not just an act of negligence. I was driving in the second from the right lane, and there was a big truck in the left turn lane to my left waiting to turn. As I approached the green light at the intersection, I saw a car pull hesitantly out of the left turn lane in the opposite direction to, I assume try to see around the truck to see if he could proceed with his left turn - if there were cars coming. Well, I was coming. I stopped accelerating to see what he would do, and he stopped, so I did not break. I put my foot over the break, and let the car ride to see if I would need to swerve around him a little as he was a little into my lane. At this point, I am not sure if he saw me and thought he had room, or didn't see me, but he then continued with his left turn, pulling into my lane. Now, again, I am not sure what happened here - whether there was a car in the right lane, so he could not continue, or he just saw me and panicked, but he stopped directly in front of me, with his car at a slant, about a third of the way into his turn. I was still far enough away that I felt, if I slammed my breaks (which I did) I would have a chance at not hitting him, or at the most just having a little fender bender. I did not think I was going to hit him (I'm sure Amber did, so this is why I think she is probably more sore than I am). I felt like things were under control, until the moment I realized that, because it had been raining, we were sliding. It was seemingly that same moment that I realized that we were going to hit them, and that I heard a terrible sound, and that the airbags deployed, and the car spun.
3. I hit head on. I have always thought that medically it was more advantageous to hit head on so that your head/neck/back didn't get tweeked. It may not be fact, but I'm sure this subconcious thought came to mind in my driving. Plus, I feel like head on is safer for the passengers, because you have the whole car in front of you to protect you, rather than just the door, or whatever. In this case, I also know that there is no way I could have swerved and missed AND I just didn't think I was going to hit him. So, I'm not sure if any of these thoughts came into play, but that is what happened and I feel like it was the safest thing for us. Because the other guy was diagonal, the damage on my car is diagonal, and Amber unfortunately took the worst hit. (I have issues with that - I just don't want anyone to think that I turned and let her hit first to protect myself:)
4. The car is probably totalled. They said based on the fact that their was fluid leaking, the airbags deployed, and the windshield burst (no it was not Amber's head... I don't think. She had her seatbelt on.) We don't know what we are going to do next. We have a rental being covered by the other guys insurance, and we are car shopping, but we won't know for sure until the end of this week, or the start of next. Dave gets home on Friday.
5. The other guy was a high school kid who felt really bad about the whole thing. He was cryingat the scene, and reportedly crying half that night. He had some friends in the car and his parents came to the scene. They were all very nice, and admitted total fault, which has made things much easier to deal with.
6. We were on our way to have dinner at our friends' (the Pierce's), and they are the ones who took us home. When we go in the accident, we called them to tell them we wouldn't be coming, and they came right out. Amber had been watching the kids inside the Burger King, but was about to be taken in the ambulance when they got there, so they were able to get the kids, and take care of them while I talked to the police, the other poeple, and cleaned out my car (for some reason I was very concerned with doing this). They also got the car seats and stroller out and put everything in their car. They advised me on what I needed to get/give to the other people and whether or not I should go in the ambulance, and offered to take the kids if I did. The ambulance left without me (I was very disappointed in the EMTs, but that's another story), so after the police report was done, and my car was cleaned and towed away, they gave me a ride home. I called some friends/neighbors to come watch the kids, they gave me a blessing, and then the Pierce's took me out to the Emergency Room, waited with me, and took me home. They are wonderful.

Those are probably the most common questions. I have much more to say, like our Corolla was great. The Burger King employees were stellar. The EMTs were... disappointing.The Carroll County PD was very friendly and very helpful. If you have never been in an accident, here is a list of things the insurance companies asked me that would have been nice to find out at the scene. Some of them I did, but most I had no idea. I was surprised to realize that I didn't even know if the car I hit had two doors or four, or for sure how many people were in it. So, here is a list. I am now going to print two of them - one for my information for the other poeple, and one for the other poeple's information. I guess it would be good to have several in case there are more people involved.
Date/time of accident.
The other driver's name.
The other driver's phone number(s).
The owner of the other car, and their contact information.
Their current insurance company and phone number.
Their insurance policy number.
If the police are called, the complaint number (they should give it to you).
The attending officers name, badge number, and contact info.
The make/model of the other car.
How many people in the other car.
Their names and contact information.
The location of where your car is towed (I got a card from the tow guy, but you can also find out from the police afterwards, if for example you are taken in the ambulance before your car is towed).
Road/traffic conditions.
Your speed.
Pretty much all I got was the other driver's name, phone number and insurance, and the owner of the car. The police gave me the complaint number, and the tow guy gave me his card. As of right now, I don't need any of the other information, because the other driver accepted complete fault, and his insurance has accepted liability, and they seem to be cooperating really well, but if there were any question, it would be good to find the other things out at the scene. I was just totally out of it. The things I was concerned with the most were making sure my kids were okay and cleaning out my car, because I had no idea where it was going, or what would happen to it. but we survived, and hopefully everything will work out.

I am thankful for so many things. Obviously that we are all safe and that it wasn't any worse. I am thankful that no one hit us after we spun, that the car behind me was able to stop, that Amber was with me, so I didn't have to be alone (she's probably not too thrilled about it, but I am so thankful), that we have such supportive friends that were able to help us out at the scene, and ever since, that the people I hit were very nice and cooperative, that the accident was in a populated area, so the kids could stay warm, that the wind and the rain stopped just after the accident occured, and didn't start again until we left. I'm thankful for insurance. I'm just so thankful.

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1 comment:

Heather said...

Maybe I'm just having an emotional day, but I cried when I read this. I'm so glad you are ok!

Take care of yourselves! I love you!

~Heather