Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crunch . . . and I Don't Mean My Abs

To Sarahlynn's beautiful Passatt, May 2002 - May 2008: RIP.

And to teenaged girls with cell phone addictions: yes, red lights apply to you, too.

It could have been much, much worse. Paul and I go out alone together very rarely, but this was one of those occasions. We'd just left the girls at home with a sitter Friday night and were on our way out to dinner for Paul's birthday, when, BAM!

So: no kids in the accident. We were in the car, not the new van. And a fraction of a second would have made a dramatic difference: primary impact was at the front of the car, rather than directly against Paul's door. I don't know how fast she was going, but the speed limit on this road is 45 mph and traffic usually moves significantly faster than that. There's no sign that she braked at all before hitting us. (Paul, on the other hand, did slow down, which might have saved him serious injury.)

But we're both fine, though we spent the weekend hobbling around a bit, stiff and sore. Especially me, perhaps because I didn't have a steering wheel to hang on to. My back and neck have been stiff, and my chest - this is a lactating breast! - got bruised from my seat belt. Thank God for seat belts. We're fine.


Today the accident took a turn for the worse. As if not having our car, being sore, and seeing the pieces of the VW on the street every time we go anywhere weren't bad enough, today we heard from Geico, Cell Phone Girl's insurance company. It seems that she's decided that she didn't run a red light, after all. Apparently, she just went through on yellow. And we, who were sitting at a red light on a cross street, decided to up and move into the intersection early, presumably to pop the tire on her cute Jeep by using ourselves as a tall speed bump. Have I mentioned that her father is a big attorney at a Very Important local company? [Specifics redacted at my husband's request.]

So. We have to wait 2 weeks to see what the police report says, and then, perhaps, we will be retaining counsel. I guess they figured that they didn't hurt us enough in the collision.



Rob Monroe said...

Ugh. I'm so sorry, Sarahlynn. I hate when lawyers get involved, especially when they are related to the situation. Hopefully you will be vindicated.

If you need a character witness, call me! I can use it as an excuse for a few days off here, and get to take a trip to see you.

(trying to put a positive spin on things)

Orange said...

Glad you weren't injured worse and that the children weren't in the car with you.

My condolences on the Passat—my 2000 Passat also sends its support.

Sarahlynn said...

Thanks, Rob. It was really obvious that she ran the light. In fact, she jumped out of her Jeep saying, "Oh my God, that was totally my fault; I ran that red light!"

And her friend was driving the car behind her. She said, "What happened, did you just not see the light?"

Yeah, it was obvious. And even if she said that it was yellow, well, yellow doesn't mean "speed up."

PLUS, there's no dispute that we were sitting at a red light on a cross street, not racing through. Who stops for a red light, then just randomly decides to go before it turns green? Not as common as kids running through red lights, I'll bet. Hopefully the officer noted such in his report.

But still, a lawyer and a lie. Sigh.

Orange, I can now vouch for the solidity of the Passatt's steel frame. It's a life-saver!

Anonymous said...

Oh that SUCKS. I'm sure that the police report will confirm that you were not an idiot. *fingers crossed*

Psycho Kitty said...

This makes me (somewhat alarmingly) angry on your behalf. If that was my kid, dear god, I would be so far up her orifices that she would be afraid to ever get behind the wheel again. I hate the idea that Daddy thinks it's a better idea to $ or his reputation than to teach his daughter a life-or-death lesson. Assuming, of course, that her parents are the ones who "encouraged" her to forget the entire red light thing.


And I'm glad you're both ok. Oh, shred that little Betty's heinie!

selzach said...

I'm glad you and Paul are OK.

Were there other witnesses to the collision? Do you know if the police officer took statements from them? Did the cop know she admitted it was her fault?

My MIL had something similar happen several years ago, but luckily there were witnesses to back her up. It took a while and I think she had to go to court to fight it, but she prevailed in the end. I'm hoping the police report backs you up and that lawyer daddy isn't too much of a sleaze.

liss n kids said...

I'm so glad you weren't badly hurt, and that your kids weren't in the car! Ouch for your lactating breast, though...the thought makes me shudder.

Sorry ditzy phone girl is being a liar on top of being an idiot. Nice that her family is teaching her integrity. Hope it all straightens itself out BEFORE you have to hire a lawyer and deal with all that. I hope the police interviewed some witnesses?

Sarahlynn said...

Archphoenix, oh, I'm definitely an idiot, but still not at fault here. ;-)

PK, yes! There's a big difference between legal advice (you're not guilty if they can't prove it) and good parenting advice (you need to learn to take responsibility for your actions). But maybe she was getting good parenting advice after all, and just freaked out when her insurance company asked her for details. Accidents are scary.

Selzach, I think we're going to come out OK, now, but for a while I was feeling like I got played. The girl immediately took responsibility, and her parents showed up quickly and did the same. But . . . they were all so busy chatting and being nice to me that I didn't hear the girl's (or her friend's) statement to the police. There were several other cars around, and one stopped, but only to make sure that no one was hurt and we'd called 911. So no official unbiased witnesses. Next time, next time, pleaselettherenotbeanexttime, I will be more jaded and less trusting that people will do the right thing.

Thanks, Liss! I'm ending tonight feeling . . . hopeful and relieved.

Sarahlynn said...

One week update: Car officially totalled. Still awaiting offer total from Geico. Sigh. Off to car shop.

Redhead Editor said...

ARrrggGH! Teens and cell phones! And lawyers. I am dying to know the name! Just whisper it in my ear. I'll not tell a soul.

Glad no one was hurt.