FYI: this post contains photos that some may consider graphic. You’ve been warned.
Whew this one stirs up some emotions…
Two years ago I was excited about going to my boyfriend’s house because I was surprising him with a polo shirt and pair of shoes. I was as happy as I can be that day, playing music and singing my heart out like I normally do when I’m in my car alone. I was almost there, about 5 minutes away and then…
As I approached a light, I noticed a car facing me, waiting to make a left turn. No big deal – I kept driving. This was a rural area with a long stretch of road so I saw the car long before getting to the light. Suddenly as I got to the intersection, this car made the left turn in front of me.
T-Bone. My little Saturn pushed a BMW 7 series onto a hill. I spun around, airbags deployed. When my car stopped I coughed from the airbag dust. I hopped out the car thinking it might blow up or something. BMW man had gotten out of his car and asked if I was okay. I remember screaming and running, still coughing. “I had a green light I had a green light!” I yelled. He told me I needed to sit down because I was limping. Apparently something was wrong with my leg but I couldn’t feel the pain – I was in shock.
Soon people were pulling over to help. One of them was an off duty nurse and she helped me calm down then asked if I wanted to call anyone. She found my cell phone in my car and called my boyfriend who rushed to the scene with his mom. There was so much traffic that he had to get out of the truck and walk to where I was. By the time he got to the intersection I was gone, in an ambulance headed to the hospital.
I was terrified, do you hear me?! Candace never loses her cool. That day was different. I’d never been in an ambulance, never been a patient in a hospital. I was crying and shaking terribly but the paramedics just stood over me chatting and laughing with each other like I wasn’t even there. When I got to the ER I remember repeatedly asking myself “Where is he? Where is he?!” My boyfriend. He showed up and did silly things to make me laugh as usual.
Over the next several months I stopped working and was in physical therapy 3x a week. I limped around (putting more pressure on my already damaged back) because I never could get the hang of those darn crutches. I had no car but still had to pay the note on it because my insurance company kept screwing up and not resolving my case. I knew I needed legal representation. I tried a major law firm, they accepted my case and then dropped me because the police report put me at fault for the accident. I got in touch with the police department and made them reexamine because I KNEW it wasn’t my fault. I tried another law firm and though they agreed to take my case I turned them down. Because while looking over my case the lead attorney was visibly doubtful, put his head down and massaged his temples as if the thought of taking my case stressed him out. There were no witnesses to the accident so it was my word against BMW man. I finally chose a law firm that my best friend referred me to. My attorney was a petite spunky white chick who was determined not to lose.
It took a year and a half to get a court date. My boyfriend was my ex boyfriend by then but he came to give his testimony. I could’t remember what the man in the BMW looked like. But my ex knew him right away. The man was bald, pale and thin. He’d been diagnosed with breast cancer since the accident and had to get a medical approval to even make the court date. “We’ll take it easy on him since he’s sick” I remember my lawyer telling me.
All that changed once the BMW driver started lying on the stand. He was an older white guy. The judge was an older white guy. They even cracked a couple of sports jokes with each other. I was a young black girl who had nothing in common with either of them on the surface. Bleak, I tell you. My lawyer got pissed and started gnawing away at BMW driver on the stand. The end result – we won! “Don’t f*ck with me!” my lawyer said under her breath as a taunt when we were finally out of the courtroom. She was fired up, mad at all the lies told on the stand by the other driver.
It wasn’t that simple though. BMW guy and his lawyer couldn’t accept the loss so they appealed. They still lost…again. AND had to pay interest for dragging this out.
I’ll spare you the photos of bruises on more intimate areas of my body…
What’s the point of this post? People share their life stories with me so often. It’s a privilege to be confided in. So I’m sharing one piece of my life. I’m not just a writer I’m a person with ups and downs in this life too.
WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT AT ALL TIMES! M=Make your passengers do it too.
Always stand up for yourself. The police report, the wishy washy lawyers and even the BMW driver who was wealthy – ALL of these things could’ve made me doubt myself and play victim. I could’ve given up on the case. But I didn’t. Don’t ever cut yourself short.
God has a plan. The other lawyers I went to didn’t care about me and their rates were higher than the lawyer I wound up with. It took time but I eventually got an attorney that I felt actually cared about me. Sometimes we have to be patient because HE is working things out that we can’t even see.
We need to appreciate life. This is a day that I’ll never forget because it changed my life. I could’ve died. BMW dude could’ve died and that would’ve been on my conscience forever. But we survived. Sometimes we feel invincible but it’s not the case. Remain humble while walking through this life!
Did something happen that caused you to reevaluate life?
Until next time…