Saturday, July 3, 2010

Informing TV Judges so this Case Can Never be on a TV Judge Show

Sometimes life throws curve balls at you and, try as hard as you may, dodging them is nearly impossible. Even though I'm not a baseball player as my brother is, a really fast-moving and rapidly curving ball hit me squarely in more places than one ball just over two inches in diameter should be able to cover. Of course I'm speaking metaphorically, especially since curve balls do not usually travel all that fast, hence the term "curve ball" versus "fastball." Anyway, figuratvely, the curve ball that hit me was actually a runner and hurdle in my lane of a track.

I'm still not really allowed to give tons of details. Another person who was injured in the accident is the offspring of an attorney. I don't wish to paint all attorneys with the same brush (aren't I full of hackneyed idioms tonight?), especially since I hope to one day be an attorney, but my parents said ever since this happened that conventional wisdom dictates that when you are involved in any sort of incident also involving the close relative of a trial lawyer, anything you say ANYWHERE can and will be used against you in a deposition, regardless of how much at fault the other party may have been and how little of the fault was actually yours. All I will say is what I've said before: the other hurdler and her hurdle landed in my lane. Blood stains and tissue samples, as well as photographic evidence, back up this assertion of my coach's 100%.

Incidentally -- and here is where I'm possibly crossing a line and giving out too much information -- the other injured party suffered very minor injuries in comparison to mine. As far as I know, the extent of the damage to my collidee was a skinned knee and sprained ankle. I'm not downplaying the pain caused by a sprained ankle. We all perceive pain differently, so it is within the realm of possibility that the pain experienced by one person with a scraped knee and not-too-severely sprained ankle could conceivably equal or exceed that experienced by another person with a compound tibia-fibula fracture, in addition to a broken clavicle. It seems a bit of a stretch, but for the sake of argument, we'll allow it.

I won't blame the collidee for subsequent happenings, including a dislocation of the uninvolved shoulder, a refracture of the clavicle, a staphylococcal skin infection, and four -- count them: one, two, three, four -- surgeries to my leg. The most recent leg surgery involved taking pieces of bone from each of my hips and grafting them into places in my tibia that were not healing with just the rods initially placed there. (Actually, I will blame the collidee for the surgeries; they were as a direct of the initial collision; they would be her fault as much as anyone else's.) For practical purposes, I now also have minor fractures and temporarily missing bone fragments in both hips.

The bottom line is that my parents have received notice that the collidee's attorneys wish to meet with my parents' attorneys. Nothing has yet been filed through any court. If this action gets to a courtroom, the county in which this accident occurred is, to express it in the mildest possible terms, out in the boonies. We're all going to be spending beaucoup (for the unschooled in French among us, the correct pronuciation is boh- KOO', not boo- KOO'; it's one of my pet peeves, albeit a very minor one; pronounce the word correctly or don't say it at all, please!) time in a place in which I suspect one would hear the sound of banjoes dueling off in the distance if one listened carefully for long enough. I certainly hope it never reaches that point. As much as I would have loved to have gone off to a university this fall as a sixteen-year-old, that was not going to happen unless President Obama found a way to lower the age of majority to sixteen, effective immediately. My second choice is to spend my next year in a classroom, on a diving board, and God willing, on a track. I don't wish to be tied up in a courtroom in the equivalent of a practically inbred version of Mayberry or Hooterville, testifying about exactly where I was and what I was thinking when another hurdler pushed her hurdle into my lane, then came down on top of me with her hurdle under me.

The truth of the matter is that I remember so very little that not much I would have to say could be of much value. I was probably thinking, "Go faster!" After that, I have vague memories of going in and out of consciousness as my coach was trying to keep me still until an ambulance arrived with a stretcher. I may have groaned a few curse words at some point. Can that hurt me in a law suit? ( For the record, my inappropriate language would have been more along the lines of "God#$%^ it, this hurts!" as opposed to "Fu@% the b!#@& who did this to me!" I don't know if that matters or not. In fact, I'm not actually sure if I said anything aloud or just thought it.)

So next week my parents' lawyers are meeting with the attorneys for the other parties. My mom knows the attorneys well and trusts them to represent us well. The attorneys don't even want to dignify the initial request for a meeting with the presence of anyone from our family. Additionally, my parents are scheduled to be out of the state on that day, and they don't want me to be there without them . I'm considered a bit of a loose cannon. They're apprehensive about what I might say, especially without them there to hear it in person.

I don't think my parents should be so concerned about my decorum at the meeting. I would say nothing if told to remain silent by my parents' lawyers. I usually listen to and comply with other adults far better than I do with my own parents. The scoop is that my parents' lawyers are informing those of the adversary that they, my parents, have every reason to seek compensation for my injuries, as the action was not my fault, and while actual medical bills have been covered, insurance has not taken care of some expenses related to my care. Additionally, I am probably entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. (I'll certainly second that!) My parents, through their attorneys, will offer to consider the incident an "accident, " which it certainly was. Although if blame were to be placed, it could not be placed anywhere near my direction, my parents are willing to overlook that and stipulate that accidents sometimes happen. Furthermore, they're willing to provide photographic information the lawyers have in their position that the hurdles may not have been weighted properly, if the parents of the other party wish to seek action agaist the hosting school district, which is the school district in which their child is enrolled. (Ironically, this would be of limited value to them; the girl would still have tripped over the hurdle; the resulting skinned knee and sprained ankle probably would have happened with the hurdles having been weighted properly. Only my injuries were likely worsened but the lack of weighting of the hurdles.)

My parents believe this is largely a peremptory strike on the part of the adversaries. They're operating under the assumption, my mom thinks, that if one is in danger of being sued, first yourself threaten to sue and maybe the other party will be so intimidated by your Rottweilers that they'll back off any legal action quickly. My parents and their lawyers are too smart to fall for this, if it is indeed the strategy being employed by the opposing side.

"Last week" has actually already happened. I'm posting this only after the meeting happened, so no one's battle plan will be revealed prematurely. The meeting should have occurred today. I will know nothing until next week. Please pray for me, light a candle, keep your fingers crossed, or do whatever you know to bring good fortune to a person. I absolutely HATE the sound of banjoes.

Judge Alex, I highly doubt that you are reading, but if you are, is there any way your program can show reruns from previous seasons? This would be a boon to viewers everywhere, but especially to bored little girls in casts who can't use crutches for eight more days.

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