Random bullets after the crash

by DaniGirl on July 12, 2009 · 11 comments

in It IS all about me, Mothering without a licence

Just over two days later, and I’m surprised to find myself still mildly traumatized over the whole “my van is on fire” thing. I keep alternating between feeling breathless with gratitude that it wasn’t worse, and sick with regret. Funny how these things seem to come over you in waves.

  • Lucas continues to be fine. He’s got the faintest red scratch on his neck from his seat belt, but is otherwise unscathed. Thank you, universe, for protecting him.
  • Ironically, almost all of my injuries are a result of the safety features of the van. I have a couple of spectacular bruises, one on my thigh that I can’t quite account for — I think it might have been the lap belt, or maybe the van door — and a couple of burns from the air bags, one on my hand and one on my leg. My knee has a burn on top of a bruise, which is really kind of painful – I think the air bags for the driver’s side are under the steering wheel and that’s what hit my knee. I’m a little bit bodily sore, but no worse than you’d be after a hard workout at the gym. Again, thank you universe.
  • The insurance company hasn’t yet sent out their appraiser, but the EMS people and the tow truck guy all seem to think the van will be a total write-off. Since the front end was engulfed in flames, I have a hard time seeing how it would be recoverable. We were leasing it, and the lease would have been up in February or March. The nice guy at Chrysler confirmed that they’ll either provide a new vehicle for the remainder of the lease or, more likely, pay out the lease and we start again from scratch. That’s a bummer because Chrysler no longer has a leasing program, so we’d have to buy outright if we go with another Grand Caravan.
  • I’m torn on the issue of replacing the van. My strongest instinct, which is most surely a coping mechanism, is to restore order. That means getting EXACTLY what we had before, same year and same colour. That’s my strongest impulse, but I’m pretty sure it’s not in any way based in reason. I’m conflicted — by all accounts, such a relatively minor accident should NOT have caused that kind of fire. On the other hand, Lucas and I are safe and relatively unscathed.
  • Regardless, we need something. We briefly toyed with the idea of going back to using only one car, but that’s simply not feasible any more. Right now, even though we have insurance coverage for a rental, we can’t find a minivan in the region to rent, so we’ve had to cram all three car seats into the back of our Focus wagon. It works, but we have to take out one booster, belt a kid in, and then put the booster back and belt in the middle kid. An inelegant solution, and it won’t be long before they’re trying to kill each other, being confined cheek-to-jowl like that.
  • Another thing to be grateful for — that this happened a week after and not a week before the family vacation.
  • Today, I’m going to head out to the impound lot to see if anything is recoverable from the inside of the van. This makes me want to cry every time I think about it. I miss my van, I want it back. When the crash happened, Beloved found one of Lucas’s Bob the Builder toys when he took a quick look at the inside of the van and it was soaked with the water from the firefighters. This makes me want to cry, too.
  • Not only will this cause us a great amount of inconvenience in the next little while, but it stands to cost us a pretty penny, too. Since the lease will likely be paid out, we now face the regular expenses associated with buying a car — downpayments, etc. And my fine, which is only $100. And the deductible. Sigh.
  • Plus, we had a really sweet deal with the lease, if you’d remember my mad negotiating skillz, and I’m just not sure I have it in me right now to bother with all that. I can’t imagine that we’d get a monthly rate for a purchase anywhere near the low rate we had for a 27-month lease. I wish I could just call somebody up and order a new van over the phone, knowing I was paying the best possible price. And we can’t even get started on that until the insurance company appraises the old van and negotiates with Chrysler on the outcome, a conversation I am not allowed to be a part of.
  • Oh, and while the insurance does cover the cost of replacing the car seats, with a reduction for depreciation (sigh), it doesn’t cover my poor, beleaguered iPod. I’d have to claim that under my house contents insurance. When I bought it, it was less than the cost of the deductible, and you can’t even buy a 2G nano anymore. I simply don’t feel that I’m entitled to spend another $200 to replace it, on top of all the other expenses we’ve suddenly inherited right now. Sigh.
  • I’m whining, aren’t I? I know, I know, I am supremely grateful that everything turned out okay, and that it could have been so much worse. It’s all just so overwhelming and I really want it all to go away. I guess I just thought that the point of insurance was to restore things to more or less exactly the way they were before the accident and that is not quite how it’s turning out.
  • Back to the gratitude side: I am so grateful to all of you for your sweet comments and notes over the past few days. I think my favourite was François, who let his toasts burn while he read our story. Maybe I can submit that to the insurance company, too? I thought maybe some of you had wandered away for good — nice to hear from you again!
  • And I have to say that almost everybody I have spoken to has been extremely kind and tried their best to be helpful, from the people at the insurance company and the brokerage to the car rental places to the leasing manager at the car dealership to the woman at Ford who is rush ordering us a part so we can put Lucas’s car seat in the middle of the back seat of the Focus, perhaps keeping the big boys from killing each other. Everyone has been beyond professional and has tried their best to help us out.
  • If you take away anything from these posts, please let it be this: always, ALWAYS take a minute to make sure the straps are secure and properly placed in your car seat. Don’t let them get twisted, they have to lie flat. The buckle should be at the child’s nipple level, and tight enough that you can only fit two fingers between the strap and the child. You might have to adjust this if your child is wearing a jacket or just a thin t-shirt. Please do.
  • I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 karen at virtually there July 12, 2009 at 7:53 am

Hi Dani. I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this. I suppose the only up side of possibly having to buy a new car and not lease one or have yours back is that there isn’t a better time to find a good deal on a new car. Every company is giving the best prices available. And, if you’re willing to buy from GM, you’ll do even better.

Good luck over the next few days. Perhaps a couple of mental health days with your boys would make it a bit better!

2 karen at virtually there July 12, 2009 at 7:54 am

Wow, it sounds like I work for a car company. I don’t!

3 Amber July 12, 2009 at 9:54 am

I hope you’re able to find a new car, soon, and that it doesn’t cost you too much. For me this is always the worst part of an accident – the aftermath. I hope it goes as smoothly for you as possible.

And I’m glad everyone Lucas continues to be fine. I hope that your injuries all heal themselves very soon.

4 colleen July 12, 2009 at 10:38 am

K got her new car through Car Canada. My understanding is she did all the negotiating on the internet then was directed to the dealer with the best price. Perhaps you could get more info from her. Happy that you are all well. I thought you would have “after shocks” but you seem to be handling it allright. The sun is shining and all is right with your world.

5 David Block July 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Postcards from the Mothership » Random bullets after the crash http://bit.ly/TxiMN

6 Pete Olsen July 12, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Postcards from the Mothership » Random bullets after the crash http://tinyurl.com/mjv47u

7 Jen July 12, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Just caught up on your week – Thank God you both are ok. I can’t imagine going through that, and can’t imagine how you feel! Someone was certainly looking out for you and that sweet boy that day. Take good care of yourselves!

8 Kathleen July 13, 2009 at 7:19 am

Overwhelming is right. But, hey, it seems the camera wasn’t with you, and thus survived unscathed!
This is a big thing you’re dealing with – all the mixed emotions and hassles – give yourself a little time to take care of yourself.

9 Chantal July 13, 2009 at 9:31 am

Go ahead and vent to us. We can take it. Hugs.

My Captcha is “chrysler 10” maybe it is trying to tell you something

10 Rebecca July 13, 2009 at 3:09 pm

glad to hear you are doing pretty well considering. I’m happy no one was hurt, although the emotional stress is difficult I’m sure.

Take care

11 Chris (Mombie) July 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Dani! I’m just reading this now. I am so sorry this happened to you and I’m so very glad you and Lucas are okay.

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