For those who don't know me very well - or are terrifically poor stalkers - I was involved in a four car pile up at the end of my first year of law school. I'd make a witty comment about the experience, but I've already made all of them explaining the story to various people. Suffice to say, it was apparently in April of two-thousand-something. I'd forgotten much about that 1L April, happy enough t discount it as that sucky month, shortly before the much better months to come. But all the legal documents I've seen have said this little crashamajig happened in April. It is, or so I hear, the cruelest month, so that makes sense.
I do remember "it" nipping at the heels of a hellacious week: there was a half-expected break up over Easter weekend mixed in with about 16 weekend hours of intensive detail-oriented writing homework. And the inevitable exacerbation that comes with a pretty horrendous sleep debt. Oh and I had yet to get back any of my grades really for the entire year so I was fairly certain that I was either failing out of law school or - horror of horrors - stuck there for another endless two years. As an aside, I will say that the following two years felt far shorter than the first half of the first quarter of my first, so my fears were generally mislaid. But anyways. Mostly I remember a jarring impact, then sitting at the side of the road laughing hysterically. Because at a certain point it is just horribly funny and you kind of have to shrug and say "ok, life, you got me."
Needless to say, when I was - three years later - served with papers on my birthday, I was not entirely optimistic about my chances of escaping liability. For one, I was admittedly at the tail end of a really crappy Country-Western-worthy week at the time. It wasn't a stretch to imagine I wasn't driving all that brilliantly. Lawyers actually are notoriously poor drivers, so imagine how much worse law students are! It's a miracle I wasn't turning every road I drove on into a demolition derby, really! For another, I was at the back of the crash-pack and rear-enders are presumptively at fault in our state. Not to mention that I had gotten a ticket for the whole thing... Damage is pretty much done (har har) to my insurance rating. Once I got the insurance company to engage an attorney, I was pretty much ready to ignore the whole thing, aside from my lingering PTSD panic attacks on the freeway and random rants about people tailgating and how *DANGEROUS* it is. Never ride with somebody who has been in an accident - they are insufferable passengers.
Anyways, car cases are weird and I'm only peripherally involved, so have paid very little attention to the case as its developed since August But it was D-day today! So time to be involved again. I hit the road with obscene amounts of time to spare -slightly more than an hour earlier than needed, just to have some "wiggle room" if I got lost or in some other "it would just figure" vehicular mishap. I figured, if all went well, I would wait at the Starbucks for a while and sooth my nerves with something decaffeinated. I figured incorrectly. No accident, but no luxurious wait at Starbucks tinkering with my smart phone either.
In fact, I ended up getting there with only two minutes to spare, because - if the accident itself didn't make clear - driving in Seattle is God's punishment to mankind. Some car had "stalled out" which for some reason took up two lanes on the freeway in downtown Seattle. It took me forty minutes to get myself from North Seattle to an exit remotely close enough to downtown to wing it and wind my way through the abstruse/obtuse city "grid" of one ways, curving streets, roads to nowhere, and pointless swerving vehicular dervishes that is Seattle traffic.
But, hell, I made it. I found the parking garage. I found guest parking. After wandering a bit, I found the elevator debouching from the bowels-of-earth-parking-structure. I found an escort at security. I found a bathroom (thank god!), and I found my deposition room with lots of surprisingly nice attorneys. I then proceeded on to give twenty minutes of perhaps the most worthless testimony under oath in the history of depositions.
Two and a half hours of turmoil and tooth-gnashing to go on record saying "I don't remember anything except that it was really really scary." The attorney for the plaintiff didn't even bother to question me other than to ask what field of law I was in and congratulate me on passing the bar. The attorney for my co-defendant asked some questions but then said she wouldn't need a record of my deposition when the clerk asked. So... it was pretty awesome and I'm sooooo glad I had to take the entire day off to be useless! Yeesh! I can be useless at the office! Har har, just kidding potential clients. I'm super useful, I swear. For one, I look pretty sitting next to you at hearings!
|Really your honor, my client is a super|
nifty parent! *wink* *wink*
Anyways, I found out why on earth this hasn't settled yet. I guess the plaintiff has no damage to the back of her car. She was second up in the pile up and is claiming my co-defendant pushed her into the car in front of her, and then I purportedly pushed him into her and this pushed her more into the front car. Or something like that. My co-defendant is pretty sure that she hit the car in front of her and he never actually hit her. And I'm pretty sure that it was pretty scary and I just wanted to go home. Aaaaand apparently there is virtually no evidence of impact in the back of the car. SHe also wouldn't give a straight answer about where she was living, or an account for why she was recently fired for stealing from the BGO... I guess her attorney is opting to keep her away from a jury so it will likely go to arbitration instead of trial. Darnit! I was so hoping to pull some kind of exciting Matlock in the courtroom. I can sniff out a murderer and trick him into confession while being sassy and swelly in a grey suit! I just know I can. Family law cases - particularly collaborative cases where there are binding contractual agreements to stay out of court - so rarely go to trial that I'll have to commit a crime to have my moment in court any time soon!
Thank you for your time and patience. I am now going to sit at my boyfriend's house - he is still in class - and stare at a wall while muttering "I took vacation time for this?"