Monday, April 6, 2009

To sue or not to sue?

So I ventured four blocks into the Southwestern quadrant of D.C. to pick up my accident report in person (apparently D.C. police lack the "technology" to fax or email me said report). Here are the scant deets:
  • I was hit by a 2007 light blue Lexus SUV.
  • I have three eye witnesses.
  • The driver was a 45 year old woman with an unprounancable name who lives in Bristol, VA.
  • The police officer gave her a ticket.
  • The driver does have insurance - All State (whew)
  • Really there's not much else other than some codes which are meaningless to me. I think the cop administered a roadside blood alcohol test, but I can't understand the results. Ill give her the benefit of the doubt it was before 9am.
Here's my quandry. I have a moral aversion to the litigious nature of American society, but here I am smack dab in the middle of it and I feel entitled to some compensation. Lord knows when my neck will loosen up or when I'll get over my disproportionate fear of crossing streets. And I missed 4 days of work, a really cute dress and cardigan, my dignity in the ER, and my brisque no-nonsense walk for the forseeable future. I was a total innocent, minding my own business. In fact, I was an hour later to work than usual because I had spent the morning caring for my ill mother who was visiting me. See now I'm sick with myself. That reeks of entitlement. It's not like I want to strike it rich, but I am curious to see what the court would find as just compensation for what happened to me. Please weigh in!


Romax said...

1M at least, then 10% for my advice if you win, if you loose, my advice is free.

Matt said...


It's not the woman that will pay, it's her insurance company.

If you end up getting a really large settlement that's more you than you think is fair just keep a portion and donate some to charity. There are lots of good causes out there - the United Way, Children's Hospitals, the Institute for Liberal Studies.

But seriously, I say do it.

Will said...

I mean, it's not like you're suing McDonald's for making you fat. You were hit by a Sport Utility Vehicle! In the City!

And you need to pay off the bills that insurance won't cover. America is unneccesarily litigious, but suing was invented for a reason. Some instances call for it.

BJA said...

Definitely sue. Their first offer of settlement will only be to cover your hospital bills. They won't address your lost property (the cute dress and cardigan), your lost wages, and especially something as unquantifiable as your fear of crossing streets or your dignity in the ER.

So my two cents is sue. You can't reasonably expect something like a million, but a couple thousand isn't too much to ask for some woman hitting you and screwing up your life for even a few weeks.

And you're not suing for McD's coffee being too hot and burning your mouth, you have a legitimate case here. (But do realize the woman WILL pay. Not you, but higher premiums. Chances are they're already hiking it anyway though, so don't worry too much.)

Rebecca said...

Sue. I don't know if you've hear but us lawyers really really need some work these days :)

Just kidding. If you want any more exact legal advice or want me to pull up the DC statutes that are cited as violations I would be more than happy too.

Amanda said...

I think she surely owes you an apology for all of your suffering. And compensation for your time and efforts you spend to get better. You don't need to feel guily - you aren't making up your injuries.

JoAnn said...

Definitely sue! If for nothing else then to cover whatever bills you are going to be getting as a result of the accident. CT scans aren't cheap! Overnight stay in the hospital...again $$$$. I say go for it.

Rebecca said...

I say sue.

This isn't a case of 'she brushed my cute dress with the side panel of her car because she was too close to the curb.'

This is 'Bitch hit me with her SUV.'

I mean really, do it.