Sigh of relief

Thanks to everyone for their concern and support after our car accident and subsequent loss of our only vehicle. Things are beginning to look up, so I wanted to provide an update (for fear of mirroring my childhood journal where I only wrote when I was sad or mad).

There are two new bits of good news. One, the woman who rear-ended me does have insurance and they are accepting liability for the accident. And two, my mother and father-in-law have generously offered to give us their old mini van.

A few days after I had the “junk cars for cash” company take my car out of the parking authority’s lot, I finally heard from the woman’s car insurance claim representative. And of course, they wanted to see my car and assess the damages. Although I knew it was a long shot, I called the tow company to see if my car might still be sitting around in some lot. They told me it had already been “disposed of.” I worried that this would somehow ruin my chance to get some money for the damages, but it didn’t end up being a problem. They just took the market value.

A few days later the claim rep called and left a message. She said I would get reimbursed for a new car seat, but they would not be covering the $535 fees I paid the Philadelphia Parking Authority for towing and storage. When I returned her call I was ready to appeal the decision to not cover the fees. (My insurance rep warned me it was likely they wouldn’t pay the storage fees, but I really thought they should pay for the towing. After all, I wouldn’t have had to be towed if that woman hadn’t rear-ended me.) It was after the weekend when I called back, and the rep told me they would be able to reimburse me for the towing and storage fees. I don’t know what changed their minds — I didn’t even have a chance to plead my case — but I was so relieved.

I still don’t have the check in hand, so until then I’m trying to restrain any celebration. But, things are looking up for sure.

While I’m not super excited about parking a mini van on the streets of South Philadelphia (if you’ve seen the parking in our neighborhood, you’d understand why), but I’m not about to turn down the offer of a free vehicle. I was an expert at parallel parking our car, and I’m sure in time I will get good at parallel parking the mini van as well.

The logistics of getting the van from Tallahassee, Florida to Philadelphia provided another challenge. While we’ve been planning a trip to Florida right after Labor Day, we were planning to fly down and already had plane tickets. We didn’t want to have to eat the cost of our return tickets. Even before our car was totaled, we were already planning to rent a car and drive down to Tallahassee at Christmas. The last few Christmases we’ve been renting a car (we didn’t want to put the wear and tear on our car that was already old and tired), so that we could bring our dog along with us and save the cost of having to put him up while we were away. So, at first Tim and I thought we might wait and bring the mini van home at Christmas.

It didn’t take me long to realize how much I took my car for granted. While I live in a city with decent public transportation, I’ve really missed having her around these last five weeks. It was hard for me to imagine going another three months without a car. However, the deciding factor came when we started to look into the price of renting a car one way. Renting a car in Philadelphia and dropping it off in Tallahassee included a $465 “drop off” fee.

So, Tim will be driving the van back after our trip to Florida next week. Adelaide and I will fly back as originally planned. We won’t have to cut our trip short to drive back early. I won’t have to miss any extra work. Tim will have to drive back by himself, but he won’t have to worry about appeasing a 13-month-old for a 14-hour drive.  And, we only have to make it another three days without a car!

I was already ecstatic about finally getting to take our summer vacation. After a long and trying summer I’m thrilled that Tim’s parents finally get to see Adelaide again and that she will get to meet her great-grandmother for the first time. I’m ready to get out of town, to take Adelaide to the beach for the first time and to come back to the cooler weather of fall with the freedom of being able to go where we want when we want in our new (to us) mini van. Happy Labor Day!

This isn’t our exact van, but it basically looks like this.



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