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Six Years Later

Some accidents are just that — accidents. Others are wholly preventable. In 2003 I pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex. All of the lights in the lot were out. ALL OF THEM.  I stepped out of my car carrying a large coke and a pizza box, and walked around to the front of the vehicle.

My parking place was assigned.  I’d parked in it everyday for almost two years.  I made that trip around my car hundreds of times.  This particular day, walking with my arms full in the dark and trusting that the ground was where it had always been was a seriously bad idea.  The lights were out because the underground power line had been severed.  The power line was severed when maintenance, trying to repair the sprinklers, dug a long narrow trench — which bisected the sidewalk leading to my door — and then left it unlit, unmanned and unmarked.

I stepped into the hole, wrenched my ankle, launched my soda into the air, belly-flopped onto the pizza and bashed my face into the curb.  Somehow in the fall I managed to dislocate my left thumb and scrape my right cheek raw.  I limped into the house and called my friend, an RN, who came over, fixed my thumb, cleaned and bandaged my face and helped me shampoo the pizza and soda out of my hair (I couldn’t use my hand).

The next day I went into the condominium office and filed a complaint.  I told them I had a doctor’s appointment (true, my friend the RN insisted on x-rays) and I expected them to pay the bill.  The manager refused.  He said if I wanted the company to take any responsibility I’d have to sue.   He also told me that without witnesses I had no case, so tough.

I let it go.  It seemed like more hassle than a $50.00 bill was worth, but 6 years later my hand swells and that joint seriously hurts.  I cannot lift or carry anything heavy in that hand.  I can’t help but wonder if the fall is the cause.  But what could I have done and ultimately, would it have made a difference? I think I probably should have contacted an accident lawyer for advice.


  1. Probably… But HE would have made you go through COUNTLESS doctor’s visits which would have cost you time off work… etc.. etc.. and in the end, your expenses would have been covered — which would have been FAR more than a $50 visit by the time the lawyer got done! And if there was ANY profit to you — it would have gone to the lawyer! I have my doubts that they would have made provisions for 30 years in the future… unless of course you NEVER settled! I had a minor injury in an accident I was involved in. MY car was totalled and all I wanted was to SETTLE and get my money so I could get a new car! The lawyer assigned by MY insurance company dragged that thing out for ETERNITY! By the time it was over, I got what I would have gotten in the beginning — and HE got the rest!
    .-= Melli´s last blog ..Dear Lord, Save Me from Myself! =-.

    1. Melli — I couldn’t figure out where you got the 30 from, but I’d typed it instead of 6. I have to stop talking on the phone and composing at the same time. I am obviously losing my ability to multi-task!

  2. Quilly you know car / plane accidents are bad, but single person falling like that can be very bad too. I had some, but not bad as yours. My friend’s wife was walking on the sidewalk, slipped, and trying to save grocery, fell on the face, broke nose and few teeth. Then my sister in law broke two wrists trying to save books. And I saw my mother slipping on the concrete stairs bouncing like a ball, it wasn’t a pretty picture. Sorry to pound you with all this, but I think there should be an insurance available for single person accidents, they are just too common.

    Well the main reason to visit you here was to wish you a safe, healthy, happy holiday and happy new year. Lots of happiness, and everything else you wish for. Lastly, thanks so much for good blogging year. Take care, Anna 🙂

  3. Even if you went the lawyer route, most lawyers will only take your case if they are sure they’d win it. My family contacted a few lawyers after my dad went into full cardiac arrest due to his doctor blantantly ignoring the symptoms that his heart medication was becoming toxic. No lawyer we contacted would take my dad’s case.
    .-= silverneurotic´s last blog ..Those Random Acts =-.

  4. All of the above is probably true had you sued, but was there a possibility of going over the managers head? Even then there’s probably nothing permanent that could have been done with your hand. My youngest daughter was hit by a garbage truck her senior year in high school four years ago. She walked away from the accident but has had back trouble ever since. Our insurance company decided to sue, she just settled in October and the proceeds didn’t even cover what remained on her totaled car much less the time she lost from her part time job and the doctors visits. Lawyers are all scam artists in my opinion.
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..My Christmas Wish =-.

  5. you should have contacted a personal injury lawyer, anyway. Maybe you would be $100,000 +richer. The atty would get paid ONLY IF he won. I was a legal secretary for over 10 years.
    .-= gigi-hawaii´s last blog ..Gifts to self =-.

  6. Quilly, I feel for you having that poor deformed thumb. I did the same, in broad daylight in Ireland. My finger was out of joint so off to the ER we went, driven by the second in command at the resort.

    There was no medical bill for me to pay, EVERYTHING WAS FREE at the hospital. That’s how good Ireland treats the senior over there. It didn’t matter that I was not a citizen.

    Back to your thumb, I do know how it feels because my finger is 85% inoperative and deformed. I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience.
    I picked this blog to comment by the old Enie, Menie, and Moe method. You outdid yourself yesterday, you should be sorting out junk you don’t want to take to ‘Seatle.’

    One comment on the budget/salary/personell cuts. That’s what G.W.B. did for our state before we sent him to Washington. We haven’t recovered yet. Except for the eyes of certain politicians.
    .-= Jim´s last blog ..Grandchildren — Ruby (Red) Tuesday — More pictures from Grandpa =-.

  7. in my country, if you sued for injury you would probably die of old age before the case would even get to the court
    .-= juliana´s last blog ..rain =-.

  8. My son broke his arm on the playground because the bars weren’t tightened sufficiently. People told me I should have sued but I don’t know if it would have done any good. Those IFs are very hard… it’s better to move on, I think.

    Ooooh but to think of your fall makes my hair stand on end. Wow!
    .-= musings´s last blog ..Dreaming of a Better World for the New Year =-.

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