Christine surveyed the damage, and apart from the fact the whole rear bumper needs to be replaced, the car didn't really sustain any more damage than it would hitting a dip in the road too fast. The driver of the van was hesitant to give us his insurance information ("I'll pay it all myself!"), but Christine was insistent, and they guy said he was in between insurance companies (though still covered), and on his way to a new job (he was apparently reading directions when he hit us). This whole thing might have been easier if he was a dick, but he wasn't, and he did a good job frustrating me that I couldn't be mad at him. Christine said if he didn't give us his info, she was going to call the police, but he gave in before she had to act upon that. She's already got the claim into the insurance company.
I swear we're fine.
These situations always make me uncomfortable because I am very wary of lawsuits. Yeah, if the guy did a lot of damage or did a hit-and-run, I would have sued and not looked back, but he stopped and did eventually give us the info we needed. Accidents do not often bring out the best in people, but because I was doing a lot of self-checking to find out what part was pain versus shock, I was very curt when the guy said, "Are you okay?" in a nervous voice. I am on the fence about whether I was rude or not, given the situation.
I hate being rude.
All day I have moved and tested and re-tested all my various joints and muscles, and everything is either fine or was already bad before today's accident anyway.
This reminded me of the several times I have been struck by cars, though.
When I was 14, I was hit and run over by a woman backing out of her driveway. She had high bushes on either side, and neither of us saw each other. I was knocked to the ground, scraped up a little, and received a slight burn where her muffler rested on my face. All her wheels missed me. At that time, I took care of myself, so even though the woman freaked out about it big time, I told her not to call anyone, I was fine, and walked it off.
Later that same year, some bullies were chasing me in a car. Some long Ford LTD or something. Looking back on it, I don't think they really meant to hit me, but they swerved into a driveway to scare me into thinking they were. I dove to get out of the way, and the car struck my ankle as I was driving down into a dip in the neighbor's lawn. They lost control of the car, and drove it over a thick bush which stranded them at a 30 degree angle. Adrenaline got me to stand up and run like crazy before they came unstuck. Last thing I saw was one of them getting out of the car to try and push the car off the bush. For about a year, you could see the wheel marks and a hole where the bush was in the lawn until the owner covered it with mulch. I remained almost totally unhurt, and my ankle didn't even bruise much.
In 1991, while running to catch the bus, I got hit by a car speeding out of a parking lot. This was the worst injury by far, because it hit me with such force, I smacked down on the hood, broke the driver's side windshield, and rolled onto a median. The driver of the car gunned it and ran off, but luckily the bus driver and some passengers got the info off the plates. Long story short; the car was stolen. I was in the hospital for only a day once they determined I was okay. The damage was some severe bruising on my left leg and shoulder. They never caught the guy (they found the car weeks later in Georgia).
In 1994, I was in a mall parking lot when some guy ran into me with a Toyota 280Z. He didn't hit me hard, but he was taking a shortcut between two parked cars and I didn't see him until he tapped me and I lost my balance and fell across the hood. To my surprise, the guy got out of the car and started screaming at me. He was some guy with a thick foreign accent, and the point of his rage seemed to be that I had "ruined his finish." I was so shocked at his response, I screamed back at him. I said some rather racial comments I now regret, but they involved him losing his green card and being packed in a crate to shipped to the country he was probably thrown out of for having sex with certain farm animals. He then said he had a gun. I told him he'd better use it before I got to mine first. To this day, I am shocked at how ballsy that was. I didn't have a gun, and I don't know if he did, either, but when he got into his driver's seat, I was fully prepared to jump him if he pulled out a gun. Instead, he slammed into reverse, closed his car door, and said he was coming back with friends. I never saw him again.
Since then, I have been pretty lucky, considering that in many shopping center parking lots, I see a lot of drivers AND pedestrians who don't look at all where they are going. Many involve cell phones. What gets me is that out of all the teens and adults I see hanging around the shopping centers, it's usually the adults who are the worse. Usually 20 to 30-something divas going around like no one else shares the parking lot with them. And you know when they eventually get hit, they are going to claim, "He came out of NOWHERE, officer!" because everyone looks like they came out of nowhere if you aren't paying attention.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000646.html