Thursday, I feed him and run off to work--to a class that wasn't meeting this week (oops!), then to another class that was meeting. I run down to the covenstead for a student's Training Ritual and we get rained out. We throw robes and clothes in the dryer and hang out for a bit. A and I hang up our cingulums (cords that are tied around our waists) and lay our athames (ritual knife...not for cuttin') nearby.
Everyone gets ready to leave and I'm eager to get home to see the cat. It's 10:30pm.
30 miles later, I realize I've left my robe, a t-shirt, cingulum, and athame at the property. For those of you (the few readers I have) who are unfamiliar (which might be none of you?), an athame to some Witches is like an instrument to a musician, a lucky jock strap to a football player, a 20-sided die to a RPG-er, or a beer to a frat boy...you just don't ever leave it behind. It's a part of you in many ways.
So, 11pm, I turn back around. 11:30pm, near I-85 and Pleasantdale, southbound, I come up to a recent accident. The two right lanes are blocked and I can't go any further. The guy behind me stops, too. I wait for an opening in the third lane, but everyone is zooming by.
I see a car whip around the guy behind me and nearly sideswipe a car in the third lane.
"That's an accident waiting to happen"
And it does.
The car behind the one that swerved hits the guy behind me and is pushed into me.
I'm okay! In Karate, I teach students to yell when they are hit--it helps relax the body and allows one to take a blow without being hurt. Similarly, they are taught to yell when giving a punch or kick to add force (again, body is relaxed).
I got jolted pretty hard--the rear quarter panel buckled, the inside of the trunk slightly damaged, the bumper broken, dented, and pushed in, the trunk pushed in (when released, it now sits an inch up and out from the body), the lights work...but are off kilter and chipped.
The Karate magnet is still in perfect condition.
When I got hit, everything in the backseat got thrown forward and the CDs in my dashboard CD holder thing got thrown at me.
I get out and check on the guy behind me. He's 61 and an insurance adjuster. His hand is swollen and hip hurting. I help him out and realize there's no need to call EMS, they're already there from the other accident.
About that time, I realize two things: I'm wearing a Karate uniform with no belt (t-shirt and robe at the coven property), I've got a giant pentacle on along with my seal. Oops!
Of course, I start getting a little panicky when I realize I don't have my phone on me...I search the car a couple of times and finally find it between the seat and emergency brake. I call the coven HP in case I need someone to pick me up and also to help bring some normalcy back to my mind.
I call my dad.
I hang out and wait.
The cops ask each of us what happened. I overhear the three girls in the last car (the one that started the collisions) saying, "They just came out from nowhere!"
Came out from nowhere? We were parked! Clearly there was an accident ahead...just keep your eyes ahead of the person in front of you. But...there we are...and there begins the complications dealing with insurance.
Apparently, the guy behind me got ticketed too (the girls seemed rather surprised and put-off by the fact they were getting ticketed...it was funny to see them taking pictures of their car...for evidence of their guilt?). I couldn't figure out why he was being ticketed for following to closely when he was at a standstill, too. This, I found out when I picked up the police report Monday morning...not at the scene...otherwise, I might have interjected.
I pulled off, afterwards, to the QT to check the damages more closely and call my HP, my parents, and one of my Friday students to ask she call the others to cancel class.
Friday, I didn't want to drive...but I had to...and nothing could get done quickly. Insurance wouldn't do me any favors...my company wouldn't give me a rental car because I didn't opt for the "rental car" thing. So, my other option is to wait for the police report to come out and take it up with the at-fault party's insurance. Frustrated, I went home and slept for a few hours. I got up, got everything ready for Saturday classes, and tried to go back to bed at 2am. At 4am, the cat barfed on the bed. I switched out bed covers and threw the other one in the wash.
The cat awoke me at 6am.
And at 7am, I got up for work.
I taught four classes, then went to officiate at a tournament.
Sunday...nice and uneventful.
Monday morning...the cat had crapped on the bathroom floor. I'll give it to him for not going on the carpet. So, I took the unused box in the laundry room and swapped it out in case the first one was too dirty for him.
I pick up some flyers for work and the police report. The report has a slight error: it says that the guy behind me hit me first, then the girl hit him. Not so. That would make him at fault for my car and not her...but the way it really happened, she should be completely at fault.
So I start calling her insurance company based on my insurance company's advice. Her's is AIG. The AIG. Let me tell you something about AIG based on my very limited experience: there was a reason they were tanking and "needed" a bailout...they suck.
The first person I talked to forgot to type in all the things she asked me and that I told her. When I was being transferred to the adjuster on this case, I magically got disconnected...even though they said I'd be swapped back to her.
I called back and couldn't get any adjuster so called again to "file a new claim"...and was able to get back to an adjuster. She got my info (again) and assured me that they'd be contacting me about someone looking at my car. I agreed to send a copy of the police report...though I made sure they knew it was wrong both over the phone and via email.
Still no word. Couldn't get ahold of the adjuster in charge of the case at all today. I even called another adjuster and she said, "Oh, he's standing right here, but he's on another line, do you want to hold?"
Which I guess means "He's standing right here and shaking his head 'no'...do you want to hold until he can disconnect you?"
I hear the crappy muzak for a while...then some office sounds...more muzak...office sounds (like he's picking it up unsure how to say, "Hello? Is it me you're looking for?")...then more muzak...and then I get sent to his voicemail.
So, since on the police report, guy behind me is listed as at-fault, I call his insurance company (somebody's gotta pay for my damages, right?). They ask a bunch of questions, recorded, of course, and I tell them what happened. I even agree to email the police report to her, too.
After giving my statement, she says I've confirmed what they're guy had told them. Glad I could help. But that also means they're off the hook for covering me. Back to AIG, right?
I give her the contact info of the adjuster who never answers and a "good luck". She says she'll call me if she hears anything. She's also going to call the girl who ran into us and get her statement. Best case scenario, AIG says, "You know...you're right...here's a wad of cash, go buy yourself something nice...like a new back part of your car."
Worst case scenario? Arbitration...six months from now it might be resolved.
So, my options? Wait and see what I hear (or call and pester until I hear)...or go through my insurance agency and let them deal with it...to be reimbursed for my deductable at some point...without a rental car.
Oh, and the cat crapped on the floor in the laundry room last night...but after cleaning the box thoroughly and introducing him to both boxes, he straightened up and did his business in the box again (apparently he likes to do one kind of business in one box and another in the other).
It also helped, I think, that I threatened him that I'd sell him to an Asian restaurant of Buford Hwy if he didn't shape up.
Oh! Almost forgot...I got two estimates just in case...looks like $2500-$3500.