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cak's avatar

Dealing with an ex-husband that was at fault in a major car accident?

Asked by cak (15858points) April 13th, 2011

Recently, one of my children was injured in a car accident and we have since found out it was due to my ex-husband’s carelessness. It’s been a tough week, to say the least. My ex approached me and asked that I “smooth” it over with the police ask me some questions. (still can’t figure out why they want to talk to me, I wasn’t here. We’re in Florida, right now.)

I don’t know if they are looking for me to say that he is some reliable guy. I can’t say that he always is reliable. He has moments of glory, mixed with moments of idiocy. I’m not going to sugar coat things for him.

He’s pulled the injured child into the mix, which is highly wrong, to me. The child is on the mend. As far as I’m concerned, hands-off, should be the rule.

I’m trying to remain calm with him around, it’s not easy, but tomorrow could be worse. My husband and other child show up to visit the one in the hospital. I know the word tense comes to mind.

How would you handle your ex. I’m trying to be civil. While I now know it’s his fault, it’s not like he wanted someone to get injured. Much less someone he loves. I’m trying to keep my cool, but all bets are off, with my husband.

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20 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I think I’d just tell him that I didn’t have any first hand knowledge of the accident (since you weren’t there), and that you’ll tell the police the same thing. Is he asking your child to lie to the police? If so, I’d tell him in no uncertain terms that I find that unacceptable, and would be advising the child to tell the truth.

cak's avatar

He hasn’t been so bold as to as her to lie, yet. I wouldn’t put it past him. They wanted to talk to me, I am hoping it’s to confirm it was okay for her to be traveling with him. That’s all I can come up with; however, he thinks they will be asking about him.

Considering she’s gotten much better, and is doing far better than predicted, I’m a little more at ease. She even talked today and picked out a picture of her brother. (thus the new avatar) Monday, she was so sedated and they were very concerned about swelling on her brain. That would not have been the day to talk to me.

If I do find him trying to “fix” or “change” her story, that will be my breaking point. She’s been through enough.

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cak's avatar

@noelleptc – He finally admitted that he ran a stop light. It was in a major intersection, caused a lot of damage. Unfortunately, my daughter’s side too the brunt of the impact. I’m still finding out the details, but that is the jest of the story. I think he’s wanting me to talk him up. Right now he’s lucky I haven’t done my own damage to him. I have a bit of a temper. We’ve gone through hearing the worst to watching my fighter make an amazing jump at a great recovery. Needless to say, she’ll be coming home with mama.

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SpatzieLover's avatar

@cak I recently went through this with a friend. She did “sugar-coat” what happened with her ex to the police…luckily her daughter wasn’t hurt…HOWEVER, she should have been upfront and told the police what she did know. He was high & drunk at the time of the accident. He told the police officer that it was due to a black out from high blood pressure. The officer took him at his word, without checking him.

I’ve now reminded her, she could have had his visitation rights removed (which would have been wise) by contacting the officer and informing him of the facts she knew.

Since you were out of state, I’d just be upfront about that with the police. I wouldn’t have anything positive to say about an accident involving my child. I also have a temper, and would probably have beat the crap out of him

I’m glad to know your daughter is doing better. :)

JilltheTooth's avatar

Please give your daughter extra loves from us (and I hope your son is feeling better, too) and I would recommend being absolutely honest, as the others have said. You don’t owe him anything, especially since his carelessness put your daughter at such risk. This is serious stuff, and you have enough on your plate understatement, much??? without letting him slide on anything!!!

cak's avatar

@SpatzieLover (my avatar is my little turkey – he’s coming to visit, we’ve figured out that end. That was the first picture she recognized, so I threw it up here, out of joy.)

I won’t sugarcoat a thing. I just am at a loss as to why they need me. The only thing we can come up with is that they want confirmation that she was supposed to be traveling with him. My husband is bringing custody information with him, that outlines spring travel times.

He’s learned not to sit on the same side fo the waiting room with me, during times like this. She’s in her room and asked for no “eyes” to be watching her sleep. She said she’s starting to feel like she’s in a fishbowl. ’

@JilltheTooth – I will. My son is doing much better, he’s even flying down with my husband, to see his sister. You are right, I don’t owe him a damn thing. I’ll just be blunt.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Be guarded with respect as to what you tell the police, but be truthful. They may want to know the extent of your daughter’s injuries. It’s possible that because he ran the light and had a child in the car, he could be charged with wanton endangerment of a minor. Also at play here is which insurance company pays your daughter’s medical expenses, and whether or not your ex-husband’s coverage will be dropped. It hardly seems fair to stick a stranger with the expense of an accident that they probably couldn’t have prevented, especially if their coverage could be dropped because of your ex’s negligence.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@cak Your not feeling guilty, but to me, it sounds like he is. I’m sure the police want to confirm custody arrangements an nothing more. Your ex, is concerned…that’s what concerns me. What was he doing when he missed the stop?

cak's avatar

@BarnacleBill – Thank you for that viewpoint. I will answer the questions, I won’t let years of frustration add to the mix. I’m pretty good at doing what I need to do, but this involves my child. a trial run on you guys, exactly what I need.

@SpatzieLover: according to his story, he was on the phone. My daughter’s memory still isn’t there, so she’s not a reliable source, yet. I can actually buy that story, he’s always on his phone.

JilltheTooth's avatar

A lot of states now have laws against being on a handheld while driving. That may factor into it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree @JilltheTooth. We have one here in Wis for texting, but not for calls yet

JilltheTooth's avatar

Here in CT they’re cracking down on anything that involves touching your phone. Not a bad thing, says the woman who has almost been run over countless times by people with phones in their hands… grrrr

JilltheTooth's avatar

Here’s some info on the phone laws by state.

Here’s an easier to interpret one.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@JilltheTooth my husband & I count how many people are on the phone at “our” corner (we have a four way stop in front of our home) our village it’s over 60%...many of those hold the phone with the opposite hand, (arm crosses their chest) while driving with the other…what’s up w/that. I’d ban cells in cars if it were up to me

@cak I’d probably have creamed him if he’d have admitted that to me. Kudos for holding it together!

EDIT: Wow..FL has no bans whatsoever?!

marinelife's avatar

Protecting your child has to be your first priority. If the police want to talk to you, perhaps your ex has still not come clean about the accident. Perhaps he was drinking or something.

You need to be civil, but that is all you owe him.

Judi's avatar

I can’t add anything to the great advice given. I just want to say that this totally sucks. You didn’t need this at all. You have had enough of hospitals. It’s time to have a huge rash of good luck. Love ya girl!

cak's avatar

Texting while driving was the cause. Charges are pending. I did need to show custody paperwork and show that she was supposed to be traveling with him. My husband is here now. I’m taking a break at the hotel, he’s at the hospital. Our son is swimming.

My daughter is resting. She doesn’t like people watching her sleep, so I removed people from the room. It’s peaceful now.

JilltheTooth's avatar

TEXTING while driving? What is he, 16? Not a day goes by but they don’t have something on the TV or radio talking about the dangers of that. Geeez.

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