I skipped this in the last entry, but we still had our car to deal with. The towing yard could only hold our mangled car for so long so after a few days, when we still hadn’t heard anything, we had to have it moved and ultimately our insurance authorized it to be moved to a junkyard for evaluation and damage estimate. They said “it’s better for us to evaluate it anyway because we’ll value it higher than they would.” so yay – one positive thing in all of that mess. They took possession of the car and I had one less thing to worry about.
After the initial week of hemorrhaging money (our savings which was set for fertility treatments, mind you) and going towards numerous doctors and hospitals and to cover the lost paychecks from Dean being out of work, we still had zero word from the other insurance company. We made the decision to talk to a lawyer. Dean made the appointment for the following week and unfortunately I could not get the time off because I had a big meeting to attend, plus we were going away for the weekend and I couldn’t take another day off that week. My mom ended up taking him to this appointment. At this point it’s now been about two weeks since the accident and still no word from the other insurance company. We’d kept in constant contact with our claims representative though and stayed on top of it.
I am NOT someone who likes to get lawyers involved. I often feel that people exploit the system for money and use lawyers to make that happen. I feel like there are a lot of unnecessary lawsuits that could be avoided in this country if they just spoke to each other and avoided lawyers. The point of this is that I was VERY hesitant to get a lawyer involved, but after our money started vanishing to pay for various appointments (because I’ll be damned if I’m gonna ruin our credit that I’ve worked so hard to build over stupid fucking hospital bills!) it became clear to me that we needed to protect ourselves. I had a laundry list of questions ready for mom and Dean to ask the lawyer because of my fears. After the appointment they called me and I did feel better, but I still wasn’t too gung-ho about having a lawyer involved. I just wanted this to resolve on it’s own, but it was clear it wasn’t going to happen. We then had to inform our insurance company we’d lawyered up because from here on out, everything had to go through the lawyer. I’m the policy holder on the insurance so I had to authorize it.
The next day, we had a mini-vacation scheduled to go to ComicCon in New York with my best friend and her boyfriend. Dean had finally gotten strong enough to withstand walking around for extended periods of time so we were excited about having some fun there. We also decided to take a small chunk out of savings we’d earmarked for this trip to spend like wild up there. Since the lawyer now had our back, our savings would be restored soon and our fertility fund would re-build so we didn’t feel guilty about spending that money instead of putting it in the fertility fund. This was the big gift we’d given to ourselves for our one year wedding anniversary (which was 2 weeks away at that point) and we were really excited about it. It ended up being one of the best little vacations we’ve ever taken and we had an absolute BLAST! We still talk about it and are planning on doing many more of these over our lifetime. We have had a lot of fun framing and hanging and displaying all of our swag from that trip too. ComicCon was a small glimpse of sunshine in an otherwise dreary month.
On the drive home we got news from our insurance that they’d finished evaluating the car and not only was there going to be enough money to pay off the remainder of our car loan, but there was going to be a little chunk left over. Things were starting to look up for the moment! (Word to the wise: Honda’s REALLY retain their value!)
And then it all went downhill a few days later. Our lawyer reported that the other insurance had finally heard from their client, but it was the wrong one. His MOTHER had called in to report it, but until they talked to the driver, they would not pursue. She was also very concerned with Dean’s injuries and was asking about them. Thankfully they wouldn’t tell her much because they didn’t know anything – only OUR insurance knew and they wouldn’t say shit until things were resolved. I should have seen this as a red flag right then and there, but I took the high road and thought this woman had a heart and actually gave a shit. Boy was I wrong.
Dean had a follow up appointment with the eye doctor somewhere in the middle of all this and unless I consult my accident binder, I can’t remember where it actually occurred. What I know is that and he was still not cleared to drive which meant even more time off work. On top of that, now the doctor was acting like nothing was wrong. It was like a completely different doctor was in the room than the one we’d seen initially. We then pursued a second opinion and found another eye doctor. This one was AMAZING. He saw problems right away, reviewed the CT scan and x-rays we’d gotten from the first hospital, and immediately referred Dean out to an eye surgeon. We made an appointment with that surgeon who also had immediate diagnosis. He said he wished we’d gotten to him sooner because he was certain there would be a lot of scar tissue. He couldn’t believe someone could look at the scans and dismiss us the way the first two doctors had “it’s obvious from the scans that you need surgery” and at that point we concluded that neither doctor had ever reviewed the scans.
Around this time we finally got word that the other driver had FINALLY reported the accident and talked to his insurance company about it. Unfortunately he was denying fault, claimed that Dean was the one who ran the red light, and that he was going to file a claim against us!!!!!!!! This would be the moment my head exploded. I don’t think I’ve ever wished someone as much harm as I wished this kid and his fucking mother. At this point, my hesitation over having a lawyer was obliterated and I wanted blood.
The only upside to this is that from that exact moment onward, our insurance took over 100%, started paying bills (some of which we’d already paid) and told us they would be filing a claim based on the accident report because despite the kid denying fault, the accident report is unchangeable. We were still devastated though. The lacking morality of the other driver alone was enough to break our hearts. How do you hurt another human being like that and then not only wait almost a month to report it, but then deny that you even did it????
This is a question I would ask myself over and over and over again during the next year.
To be continued…