The Ongoing Scooter Drama

I am finally out of my cast. The best part of that is the ability to wash my foot and leg; they hadn’t been touched in 5 weeks!

When your cast is removed, what is underneath is gross. The outer layer of skin on my foot died and came off in limp white sheets. After a couple of days moisturizing with Aquafor, the new skin is delightful, but at first? Yecch!

Now I will be wearing a knee-high ‘boot’ for about six weeks. It’s a kinder, gentler cast that comes off for bathing.

I ran into a friend shortly after the accident who strongly advised me to get an attorney. Seems dealing with insurance companies in these kinds of situations is always easier when one has a scary advocate. She referred me to the biggest, baddest, most frightening personal injury lawyer in San Diego: King Aminpour. I pictured a Klingon in a suit.

The office went to work, getting a copy of the accident report and attempting to discover whether the guy who hit me actually was insured.

Understand this: when you engage a personal injury attorney after an accident you are really nothing more than a revenue opportunity. The quality of the opportunity is not determined by you, but by the person who caused the accident. If he or she has good insurance with high levels OR significant assets, you represent a good revenue opportunity. If not . . . well, the law office probably can’t help you much.

The first thing the lawyers did was to put their private investigator on the case. You’d think a PI would be snooping around looking for evidence, but that’s not the case. His job was to first determine whether the guy who hit me HAD insurance (he said he did), and then to determine how much insurance was in place. I know: you’d think you could just call the insurance company and ask . . . but I guess it doesn’t work that way.

Meanwhile my out of pocket expenses have been adding up: my co-pays and deductibles are running about $1,500 so far – and I have pretty good insurance!

A week ago, I learned that the guy who hit me has only minimal insurance: the barely legal kind. If that proves true, MY insurance companies will probably recover what this accident cost them, but there will be little if anything left for me. But wait, there’s more.

Yesterday, his insurance company called my lawyer to say they were not sure this man’s policy was in effect at the time of the accident. They would have to investigate! Maybe the missing payment is at the agent’s office or something! In all likelyhood, there is no insurance. It’s almost as likely that there are few assets. In other words: I’m the loser here.

This man was not cited by the police. They noted that he made an illegal left turn from the center lane, but did not cite him. A policeman explained to me that it is rare that they issue a citation in an accident situation because they didn’t actually witness the event. In addition, it appears that the driver claimed to have insurance when he did not: a clear violation of California law.

So here I am with a broken foot. I will lose 3 months of normal activity and, if the doctors are correct, will likely experience ongoing pain and compromised functionality in the future. My trashed scooter and bad foot have cost me $1,500 so far and the end is not in sight. That’s what I got out of this. The driver? What did he get? A bad day. He was an hour late getting home from work. That’s all. I get a life sentence for his error and he gets inconvenienced.

Can you tell I’m a little angry? No: I’m a lot angry. I hate the fact that we live in a litigious society. I hate that for some, a minor accident is an income opportunity. I hate that this is our reality. But it is. If all this guy owns in the world is the truck he hit me with . . . then I want the truck. There have to be consequences.

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