Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why Can't This Be Simple?

I will never say a bad thing about lawyers and their frivolous lawsuits ever again. The woman that burned herself with the coffee at McDonalds, I now wish her all the best.

Long story short, I was hit by a short yellow bus, I was on my bicycle, totally not my fault, the bus driver was looking right while making a left, hoping to beat an oncoming car, made his turn while I was already halfway across the street and hit me. I saw the bus coming, too late to stop or speed up to avoid it. Luckily for me and my years of watching action movies, I quickly grabbed hold of the rear view mirrors on the front of the bus' hood and dangled as my bike was pulled under the right tire. Banged my knee, bruised my arm, but otherwise I was fine. The bus driver asked me where I came from...

...Which will forever be the dumbest question I've ever been or ever will be asked.

Where did I come from?! Seriously? Where did he think I came from? I'm on a perfectly straight road with no stop signs for me.

Stupid questions aside, the bus driver was a nice enough guy. I did give him plenty of crap about watching where he was going, maybe sitting on a phone book if he can't see over the steering wheel and the fact that he's a licensed professional driver that struck a pedestrian. Cops were called, their "safety" person came down to get my side and took pictures of my bike. It happened on a Friday, so I was told to call them on Monday. Now around here, Monday was a mess with snow. Worst stuff we've gotten all year. I figured with schools closing, it'd be a bad time to call a school bus company. So I called the next day. They didn't have any report of an accident. Sounded suspicious, but I left a voice mail for the head of the "safety" department. Rest of the week, no call. I call them again on Friday, a week from the accident. They still don't have a report and the guy I am supposed to talk to still isn't around. The told me they would look into it and call me on Monday or Tuesday.

Now I've been a nice guy, a real nice guy. Especially considering I cheated possible death or major injury from the irresponsibility of others. From the damage of my bike, where the metal petal crank snapped off, my legs would have been crushed. I'm talking about an inch thick of strong metal, twisted and broke off. What chance would my tibia and fibula bones have?

Monday, no call. Tuesday, no call. I'm ready to stop being the "nice guy" for my call today (Wednesday). But lo and behold, I get a call from an unfamiliar Suffolk County number around noon. I answer my cell only to get an immediate joke from Sal, the "safety" head for the bus company (I guess, it's at least what they told me). I know it was a joke, because after a moment of silence and a "What?" from me, he told me it was a joke. I was a human hood ornament and this guy has jokes.

This is probably my fault. I've been that nice guy to Sal's secretary, so I figured she told him I'm friendly. Thing is, why would I be mean to the secretary? She didn't hit me, she didn't take a week and a half to get back to me and she sounds cute. I assume she takes the brunt of anger from all the other frustrated people this companies buses run down. I feel no need to make her job any harder.

Back to the phone call. I explain what happened to me. He wants to look at my bike. Fine. I told him I get home from work at 3:30. He says he'll call when he's nearby. Fair enough. I decide to leave work an hour early, because I don't want to come home with this guy in my driveway. A little after 3, I get a call from the same number. I figured it was a good thing I got home early, because he's calling early. But it's not him. It's his secretary. Sal has to cancel. What a pain in the ass. Fine. When can we reschedule so I can plan to take a day off from work. They aren't sure, because Sal has some kind of busy schedule, with meetings and all, and they'll get back to me.

The head of the "safety" department is too busy to deal with SOMEONE WHO GOT STUCK BY ONE OF THEIR BUSES!!! Are you freakin' kidding me?! All I want is money to replace my bike, maybe a little extra for having to deal with a sore arm and knee, which probably cost me an opportunity to get some overtime in snow removal for the two days I took off and mail in their insurance info to the hospital that took x-rays of my knee. I'm not talking millions of dollars, I'm talking about less than a grand. Why do I have to go through this stupid game?

Every day since the accident, everyone from my family to my co-workers have been telling me that I should play up my injuries more and contact lawyers. Every time I tell them no, I'm fine, I can deal with this. What a dope I am. Obviously these people don't feel the average person is important enough to deal with. Maybe they only know how to deal with lawyers. Which, going back to beginning of this post, is why I have a new found respect toward ambulance chasing lawyers.

Before, I wouldn't want my legs crushed even if I got a hundred million dollars for it. After today, a platinum plated wheelchair doesn't sound too bad.

What now? I'm probably going to have to wait a week to see if Sal has some time in his oh so busy schedule. In the meantime, I'm writing letters. My main topic of these letters is if they don't even care about someone they hit with a bus, how much concern is being shown to the children on the bus?

It was all supposed to be simple. I tried to be nice. They had to make it complicated for no reason at all.


  1. No comments on this? Are you kidding me?

    Well that's a HELL of a story! Sounds like you barely made it because of mad ninja reflexes. Well, it's great that you weren't badly hurt, but your description of what happened after made me want to scream.

    I have very little experience with lawyers, and from the court cases I've witnessed, try to steer very clear of them in my daily life, but situations like these are exactly why it's probably good to know at least one. I don't blame you, though, I'll damn near do anything not to drag something into the grotesque and horrible world of legal processes, but sometimes you're pushed so far you don't have a choice.

    Sal sounds like a swell feller, I wonder if he runs a seedy pawn shop when he's not playing safety on the bus, probably why he's so busy. It just pisses me off how people make you HAVE to be a jerk to get any responsible reaction, it makes people like me who really try and remain polite and civil about things become pricks because we don't want to get jerked around. Hrmmm.

    Good luck with this, you sound like a stand-up guy that's not letting them push you around, so you should be fine.

    If worse comes to worse, I was an Army Ranger for 3 years, so drop me a line and maybe I'll send some of my friends over to Sal's house to motivate him. :D

  2. Dude that is really lame. That is why there are so many lawyers, because no one will listen to a regular person. You could do a free consultation with a lawyer and see what they say. you could also contact your local news stations, if it is a slow news day they could pick it up and run with it. Why does he need to see the bike? Tell him you will fax him the police report and the pictures and let him know where he can mail the check.

  3. Sorry for this being unsolicited. Just delete it if its of no interest.

    I hope you don't mind me dropping you an comment. it's just to let you know that I've added The Fighting Stranger to my webcomics blog. It's essentially a list of my favourite webcomics but i'm hoping to establish it as good online resource for the best web comics available, well in my own opinion anyway.

    I'm not asking you to link back or anything like that this is just a courtesy message to let you know I'm linking to you. However if you wanna drop by and leave a comment that would be magic. You might even find a webcomic or two that you'll enjoy.

    just go to

    Thanks for your time.

  4. This kind of crap makes me see red.

    A couple of years ago I was hit by a truck. Nothing too bad, I can still walk. the truck was owned by an out of town visitor to my town. I tried to be good, follow the rules, I believed that the system would be in my favor. I GOT HIT BY A TRUCK after all. But the guy kept jerking me around. Putting unnecessary delays on everything. Then the police need to contact him for some auto info they missed and he's left town.

    My advice to you is LAWYER. Sometimes just saying the word is enough to get people to listen. I wish I would have done it.

    I hope you post the conclusion to this story. I really wish you the best in dealing with this asshole.