Car Accident

Thursday, March 7, 2019

I got rear-ended. On my birthday. Most would consider this a crummy event to occur on such a special day. Truthfully, it didn't bother me all that much. Since my mom passed I haven't really enjoyed celebrating my birthday and I was mainly just thankful that if I had to get in an accident, that it was an accident like this. My vehicle only enduring damage in the back end (while still driveable) and my children walking away completely uninjured and mostly unphased. The gentleman that rear-ended us was driving an F150. An older model with lots of construction like things in the bed of his trunk. Apparently, he underestimated the stop and due to the heaviness of his cargo, he wasn't able to stop in time... this hitting the mom wagon. Immediately my mind started working out the checklist our insurance company has pretty much embedded in every automated email they've ever sent me. Make sure everyone is okay, check. Make sure the other driver is okay, check. Assess the damage, check. In the middle of my mental checklist, the other driver gets out and starts doing the same thing.

He asks if we can pull to the side, out of the lane, and so we do. We pulled into a gas station and while we were doing that I dialed 9-1-1. 9-1-1 asked the normal question surrounding this type of situation and eliminated our need for first responders. I took a photo of the driver's license, insurance card, license plate, damage, damage to my car, and I got his phone number. Can I get an A+ for thoroughness? I joke. After the information was exchanged, we saw one of the customer service agents run to our vehicles and ask if we were okay. We both nodded and then he proceeded to tell the other driver that he should have slowed down and that he was going too fast. The other driver, annoyed, told the guy that we were fine and that he could go. The driver was preparing to leave when he saw the police car pull in.

I don't know why he thought a squad car wouldn't be coming out after I'd called the police... but I could totally tell he was annoyed. Truthfully I called because I wanted the incident report for our insurance companies. I've also clearly watched far too many court t.v. shows about failing to accept liability and someone suing another for damages... you never can be too sure. There were three police officers and two square cars and they took our information, asked the necessary questions, and had us hang tight. One officer, in particular, made extra sure that my kids were okay and doing alright. I appreciated that SO much. After what felt like 20 minutes or so the officers returned our information and also cited the driver with a ticket - failure to stop. When he started to protest it, they said he was lucky it wasn't a more aggressive charge because it could've been a misdemeanor. Oh, I failed to mention that the previously mentioned customer service agent from the gas station went over to talk to the cops after they'd already taken our information. I imagine his witness story had something to do with the ticket the other driver received.

The officers told me they'd stay in the gas station parking lot until I left, but before that the driver walked over once more and he apologized to me. He said he was sorry, told me he wasn't on his phone, and that the van was just really heavy. I could see the sympathy in his eyes and I imagine it was because he saw how small my little ones were. I accepted his apology and the kids and I headed off. As I drove away I reminded myself of all the things I felt extremely blessed for in those moments.

#1 DURABLE car seats (thanks a million, Chicco)
#2 PROPER insurance - just in case the other driver wasn't insured
# 3 DILIGENT POLICE OFFICERS - they were so professional and handled the situation flawlessly

In every good/bad situation, there are always things to be thankful for. 28 may have been a little bumpy, but so far, it's starting off to be my best year yet!


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