Yesterday I got the settlement offer from the other driver's insurance company. The claims guy offered $2473 if I kept the Saturn, or $3965.90 if the insurance company got the Saturn. Since the Saturn was going to cost $2900 or more to fix, and since I'd been desperately worried that Viking (or whoever; the company seems to have many names) would offer $2500 or less and not budge, I took the $39-something, gratefully. I didn't dicker at all. Maybe I should have made at least a token counter-offer, but I was so relieved that I didn't even think of it until the phone call was over.
There were conditions, of course.
1) I had to fax the title to them right away (by 3 PM MDT) so that I could get the check by Wednesday via 2nd-day FedEx. Wednesday is the last day insurance pays for the car rental, and also the day the Saturn dealership expects me to pick up and pay for the Eagle.
2) I also needed to clean my stuff out of the Saturn, take my MAVARIN vanity plate, and tell Maaco to release the car to whomever the insurance people send to collect it.
3) The initial check would only be for $2473. The remaining $1500-ish would be sent once the insurance people physically received all the paperwork transferring title, and also had possession of the car.
Okay, fine. I could work with that. Only, I hadn't dug up the Saturn's title yet, and had very little idea where it was.
So I left work before noon, and headed over to Maaco. This was a challenge, because part of Palo Verde is closed for construction, and that part of town is twisty, tricky and confusing, with main streets connecting, dwindling, changing direction or disappearing in unexpected places. It's Castrovalva over there, and I didn't have poor Adric to navigate (Doctor Who joke).
Eventually I got to Maaco, and parked the rental to the left of the building. The Saturn turned out to be on the right side of the building, sort of around back. I didn't repark the rental, because I figured there wasn't all that much in the Saturn to retrieve: just church stuff (a few books, envelopes and a purply-blue purse) and grave maintenance supplies (a bucket and a brush).
I think it took four trips to get all the stuff out of the Saturn, not counting the removal of the license plate and custom license plate holder, for which I had to borrow a screwdriver from Ed, the Maaco franchise owner.
I sort of thought I'd be upset and sentimental over all this, and as you can see, I did take pictures. But the decision was made days ago, and I was mostly stressed and busy. No tears. When the rental's trunk was all loaded up with junk, I realized I hadn't said "goodbye" to the Saturn as intended, so I drove over to it anyway, and took two final pictures. (I also collected the rest of the car stereo, which Ed said the insurance company wouldn't notice or care about, and part of which was at home anyway.) When I took the "goodbye" picture, I noticed I'd failed to retrieve the Sorceror Mickey antenna topper from Disneyland. I went and got it. I realized later that I also forgot the fuzzy hot pink steering wheel cover, but that was ratty and faded anyway.
After that I rushed home to find that title. I'd already gone through the papers from the Saturn itself, but that left about nine boxes of papers to go through. An hour and a half later, right after a brief, desperate prayer, I found it in an accordion file of 2002 financial records. It was already past 3 PM MDT (2 PM MST in Tucson), so I hurriedly called the adjuster. I explained that I'd only just found the title, and it would take me 15 minutes to get back to the office and fix it. "Great!" he said cheerfully. He did not say, "Too bad--it's too late to get your check out today." He didn't say I was in time, either. So now I'm all nervous about tomorrow. Will the check come before I have to return the rental car, or take over paying for it? Will I have to call Saturn, and delay picking up the Eagle for one more day?
I'll let you know.
P.S. A lawyer friend of mine wishes me to make clear that nobody who half-jokingly suggested that I play up my rather negligible injuries was a member of the legal profession. This is very true! This friend had instead expressed disappointment that I wasn't wearing my seat belt. So noted! I've been making a point of wearing it ever since. I hope I can keep this new habit going once I'm driving the Eagle, and the minor trauma of this experience fades.
The insurance check came! Everything is a go for picking up the Eagle tonight.
(bouncy gif from LiveJournal, MoonMama's Silly Suns icons)