“You weren’t injured? Oh, that’s too bad…”

Last weekend, I received several brochures and mailings from various law firms in North Carolina.  See, North Carolina was where my car was destroyed in a stretch of Interstate 95.  Yeah, I’m still dealing with the trauma of nearly dying because of some other drivers’ carelessness.  I still have trouble sleeping.  And although I’ve acquired a new car (still without a nickname), it almost feels like I’m not yet back to 100%.

So I looked over the North Carolina law firms’ mailings.  Hmm.  They must have gotten my name and address from the police records; in fact, two of the mailings have copies of the police accident report attached.  Three of the letters address me as “Dear Charles.”  The fourth addresses me as “Dear Friend.”  One of the letters has the Christian symbol of the icthys – the fish – on the letterhead.  Another law firm sent a brochure talking about how they would fight for my rights.  I checked.  No, it wasn’t the law firm of Mike D, King Ad-Rock and MCA.

Well, they want to fight for me.  Maybe one of these firms can help me get a settlement for my car.  I mean, right now the Blackbird is nothing but scrap metal and a steering wheel.  And replacement cars don’t come cheap.

First thing in the morning, I call one of the law firms.  They immediately respond back, they’ve cross-referenced my name with the police accident report.

“And how badly were you injured, sir?” the intake paralegal asked me.

“My car was destroyed.  I’m lucky to be alive.”

“Yes, but did you suffer any injuries?  Broken bones?  What hospital did they take you to?”

“They didn’t take me to any hospital.  I survived without a scratch.  But my car was destroyed – ”

“You didn’t have any injuries, sir?  Oh that’s too bad…”

Huh?

“I mean, thank God you survived that accident, sir…”

And it was at that moment I realized that these were personal injury attorneys.  They would receive more money for representing someone who was injured or killed in an accident than they would if someone was unhurt and their car was destroyed.

Ugh.  Hang up the phone.  Oh, that’s too bad.  Too bad for whom?

Look, I realize that there are plenty of people who would like to see me with a tombstone over my face.  Heck, there’s probably a “when’s Chuck gonna die?” betting pool going on, and I probably pissed some family member off by not coming back to the 518 in a body bag.

But, seriously?

And it was the same for the other three law firms that contacted me.  All big glowing full-color brochures and whatnot, but when I told them that I wanted restitution for my destroyed car, they would only talk to me about whether or not I had an injury.

“You know, sir, sometimes soft tissue damage could take weeks or even months to develop.”

Right.  And horse manure takes hours or even minutes to stink up the place.

As it was, I already wrapped up the damage to my physical property.  The fatal injury to my car.  And with that, I will receive a check for its remaining value.

I keep thinking back to June 3rd.  I should have died that day.

And it seems like there’s plenty of people who are sorry that I didn’t die that day.

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