10.09.2009

Moving Target

Saturday was an interesting day.

Scene: Friday in DC, we're briskly walking to find a sushi joint; I muse at how surprising it always is to be involved in a car accident. And how people that get hit by cars (in cars or as pedestrians) usually don't see it coming, and it's almost always a shock.

Saturday, I get hit by a car. Not in DC. But in Deptford.

Walking out of the Deptford Target, which I don't even LIKE but we were searching for Halloween costumes and necessity dictated a visit, I was creamed by an old guy in a compact. I looked both ways like a good girl, and reassured (stupidly) by the stop sign, crosswalk AND the other pedestrians all around me, I began to cross the crosswalk.

Imagine my surprise when I heard the revving of an engine to my left. The man stopped on my left? Yes, accelerating into a turn he was going to complete, human speed bump not withstanding. Ouch.

I was taken out at the knee (my left one got it the worst but both were affected - what a delight because I have prior issues in both my knees) and thrown up the hood of the car. I distinctly remember the feeling of my jean pocket buttons scraping against the hood of the car. My husband had been walking to my right, and my first thought was that he was also hit -- maybe run over, probably hurt. Luckily, this was not the case, but it was my first thought. Maybe I'll get a shot at heaven for that? Here's hoping. Anyway, back to the deets: I flung up onto the hood, then windshield, getting thrown like, well, a doll. He only then hit his breaks, which provided momentum enough for me to be flung to the concrete, where I was lucky enough to break my fall with both my ass and my right wrist. I don't need that to write or anything, right? My husband tells me that the only thing I said was an angry "HEEEEEY!" as I'm being tossed around the parking lot. For whatever reason, the driver begins to roll forward again. I feel a bumper in my back and it occurs to me that I'm going to go under the car. Now I get scared. My husband yells at the driver and hauls me out from under the bumper. He tells driver to pull over.

I stand, disoriented. A large crowd of about 35 people, all gasping and gaping, have gathered around to stare in disbelief. One yells out that I should call the police. I tell her, clearly confused, "But I don't know the number! I'm not from here." I still didn't realize what had happened and what it meant. This woman was an absolute angel -- she and her mom both. Seeing I was in shock, they came over, sat me in a safe place, and called 911. They stayed with me until I was loaded into the back of an ambulance.

Now as I'm sitting on that curb, the mortification begins to kick in. "Did I seriously just get hit by a car?" People are staring, it's super embarrassing. Oh boy. John directs the driver, who is still idling and just sitting there without apology or expression of any kind, to park his car until the police come to the scene. He pulls into a handicapped spot and sits in his car, apparently unmoved. After an inappropriately long time, he springs from the car yelling "WHO DID I HIT?" My husband replies, "If you don't know who you hit, you shouldn't be driving!" He wanders over and tells me that he's sick and left work early to go home. No apology, just an excuse -- and a bad one at that.

"Are you hurt?" Such a simple question but when you're in shock...all I could say was "I don't really know." Because I didn't really know at the time. All I knew was that my hands and wrists hurt, my butt hurt, my neck and back hurt, and my knees hurt. I was boarded and brought to Cooper Hospital for XRays and a review, but mostly a lot of waiting around. Boy was I glad I had peed in Target's bathroom!

After a six hour odyssey I was released from Cooper with instructions to follow up with my primary care physician. Who, of course, won't see me because there was a car involved. And did I mention that I have to use my car insurance (with deductible paid by me) to cover the injuries I sustained due to NJ's No Fault laws? Makes sense, right? So it's Friday and I've been trying for five days to find a doctor who will see me. I haven't gotten a lawyer but now I feel like I may need to...I'm in more pain almost a week later and I'm far more frustrated with the system that is turning its back.

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