In the days following the accident where my beloved Dodge Caliber was smashed into by a semi I learned just how complicated it is to have an auto wreck. I gave a recorded statement to an Allstate representative. Allstate arranged for me to get a rental car. I had to go to the tow yard to pick up my belongings, where for the first time I saw the horrendous damage the poor car had taken.
My left knee hurt a lot, and I had a colorful chest belt bruise, but all in all the Caliber had protected me remarkably well. Unfortunately, there was a LOT of stuff in the Dodge that had to be moved to the rental. I wasn’t supposed to drive into the yard full of damaged cars, but I was damned if I could carry all the stuff from the yard clear out to the parking lot with bad knees (it was my GOOD knee that had been injured), so I pulled the rental in and made the transfers there.
Since I was already having chiropractic treatment at the time of the accident, there was no way to say how much injury my back might have taken, but my chiropractor and I were pretty sure the wreck had undone most of the work he’d done up to that point. It just meant more treatment.
A few days later I was contacted by a property adjuster who had been to see the car and said he thought it was on the edge between being a total loss and being able to be repaired. The car was towed to a body shop, and a week after the accident I spoke to them. While the adjuster had put the damage at $6,500, the body shop, once they got inside the destroyed rear passenger door, found a lot more damage, and estimated it at $9,800. I think I knew then that I’d never get it back, but I kept calling the adjuster to get a final judgment. I got very frustrated – it took a full week for him to get out and look at it himself. Once he did, he declared it a total loss.
Today I said a final farewell to my poor much-loved car. With the crushed passenger rear door taken off and all sorts of stuff ripped out and lying inside, it looked so pathetic… but it protected me well in the accident, and that’s the most important thing. I picked up the plates and went through it one more time to see what was still there that was mine (there turned out to be quite a bit I had missed the first time).
Fear not, O car – I loved you well enough that I will be buying another one just like you. Thank you for taking care of me.