Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Has your life ever been thrown around by an accident?

Asked by wundayatta (58638points) August 3rd, 2009

I was riding my bike home tonight, going down a very quiet street, and I see two dogs on the sidewalk halfway up the block, one of whom is unleashed. I start worrying about being chased, since I’ve been chased by a dog before on this street (not one of those dogs, though). Of course, I was worrying about the wrong thing.

The dog is not exactly used to vehicular traffic, and not trained to look both ways before crossing (what could it’s owners have been thinking)? Two seconds before I pass it, it starts across the street, and I can’t stop in time, so bang! Hit the dog, fall over, road rash on my elbow.

The owners were very nice and solicitous. They took me in to their backyard, gave me water; cleaned my elbow, and tried to fix my bike. Then the other pains started—my hip (that I fell on), my upper back (opposite from the side I fell on), and my neck and the top of my leg on the side I fell on.

My bike was broken, but so was my new camera. I have to go see a doctor tomorrow. My wife pointed out that I could sue them for negligence (there’s a leash law) although she doesn’t think I should. They were nice people, and we got to know each other very pleasantly as we waited for my wife to come and get me.

For a moment there, I couldn’t remember the directions right after the husband told me them, and I was worrying I had a concussion. But I don’t think so. It was probably just a bit of shock. But now—I can’t ride until my bike is fixed. I have to go to the doctor. I have to deal with shit I had not intended to be dealing with. It makes me sick. Weirdly, it also makes me feel stupid and inadequate.

Have you ever had an accident throw you off balance like that? What happened? How did it change you (if at all)? Did you blame yourself in some way for the accident? Do you have any tricks for dealing with the emotions of events like this?

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16 Answers

MissAusten's avatar

First, I have to say that this is the first I’ve heard of someone hitting a dog with a bike. I wouldn’t have been worrying about it either, so you really shouldn’t feel stupid or inadequate. I mean—what are the odds?

Second, I really hope things go well at the doctor. I’d be sick about the broken camera (when I read that, I imagined my new Rebel in pieces and wanted to cry). I’m not sure how I’d feel about the bike, since we have so many hills that biking here should be outlawed as a form of torture.

I was once in a car accident that was really stupid, back when I was in college. I was turning left into a parking lot and had stopped to wait for a break in the two lanes of oncoming traffic. There was a stoplight behind me, and the lane nearest me was backed up. A guy in a minivan stopped to leave an opening so I could go through. He waved me on, but I couldn’t see around him or the cars behind him to know if another car was coming. He kept waving though, so I figured the coast was clear and made the turn.

As soon as I got past that van, I saw a pickup truck in the other lane heading straight for me. There was no time for me to stop or do anything other than cringe as the pickup plowed right into the passenger side of my car (luckily, I was alone). It really was a minor accident. No one was hurt, and no one was ticketed. My beloved first car, a Pontiac Fiero, was totaled. I cried for two days. I went back and forth between admitting to myself that the whole thing was my fault, because I should not have trusted the dude in the van, and blaming the dude in the van who waved me on.

I did feel like an idiot, especially after the carful of kids I knew, including one of my sorority sisters, saw me and stopped to see if I was OK. I felt like even more of an idiot when I had to call my dad and tell him what happened. The fact that he didn’t yell at me made me feel worse. I had to go without a car for two months, and I tried to drown my sorrows in alchohol. In fact, I have a great picture from that night of myself and this boy I liked at a bar with these maraschino cherries…nevermind.

I do blame myself for the accident, not in a really negative way, but more in a “lesson learned” kind of way. I still miss that car, I don’t care what anyone says about Fieros. Darn it, when I drove that car around with a Guns-n-Roses cassette blaring, I knew I was hot shit. But I digress. I was a very, very, careful driver from that point on, particularly when making left turns. I’m sure when you get back on your bike, you’ll think of this incident every time you bike past a dog. After a while, it just fades. You do what you need to do to take care of yourself, get your things fixed, and then move on. I hope the people who own the dog are doing some similar soul-searching and vowing to never let an accident like that happen again. They are probably, at this very moment, worrying about getting sued.

autumn43's avatar

Awww daloon! I’m sorry about your accident. I don’t think you could have prevented what happened. I just hope you take it easy, rest, and ice your hip and other hurts. I hope the doctor will help you deal with and sort out the whole thing, and that you will be on the mend soon! Big hug.

cak's avatar

I’ve been in a few accidents, the first one really set me back. It was my first car, and I was hit, very hard, by a person running a light—really late into the light, too. I was stuck in the car and very disoriented. At the time, I was wearing my glasses, my driver’s side window was gone and I couldn’t find my glasses. One of the police officers was getting annoyed with me because I couldn’t find my glasses – even though the accident wasn’t my fault, she was just insisting on me finding my glasses and right at that moment. I found them, they were thrown out of the car.

My knee was busted – full on surgery required. I required stitches to my forehead and my car was completely totaled. Somewhere along the lines, I lost my purse, not my wallet, but my purse – it was a designer purse that I had saved babysitting money to purchase myself. To a 17 year old, it was kind of a big deal.

Sure, I got a check, but it didn’t erase the fear of driving, pain or loss of the car. It was no longer my first car – not the one my father intended for me to have. It was gone.

The other one that really got to me, I was on my way to pick up my son from daycare – he was an infant, I’m so thankful he wasn’t in the car. I was at a full stop, waiting for the right of way to turn left. I looked up, here comes this car flying towards me I’m in my husband’s full sized truck, and next thing I know, this small car slams into me. A Sentra. A freakin’ Sentra. He hit me so hard, he pushed the bed of the truck into the cab. Talk about a headache and a neck ache – for days. They wanted to take me to the hospital, I wasn’t able to recall a few things – but I think it was more shock than anything else. I did wind up going to the doctor, I had some injuries, but nothing that would slow me down for too long.

Truck, totaled. Me, lasting fear of driving…due to idiots that don’t pay attention. he was waving at a friend.

Feel better soon.

janbb's avatar

Long story short. About 6 years ago, I was leaving someone’s house that I was visiting for the first time. I needed to turn left before a blind curve in the road, looked both ways, no-one that I could see coming, pulled out and got slammed in the driver’s side by an oncoming car. I wasn’t bably hurt (good ol’ Volvo) but the other man sustained back injuries and sued for lots of money. I didn’t get a ticket but was judged more at fault. The suit was only settled last year and I nearly had to go to court. As a introvert and shame-based person, the whole thing had a profound effect on me and was a real nightmare. I had – and still have – a lot of trouble driving places unless I am very familiar with the route.

Jack79's avatar

I had an accident on the 21st of December. Fortunately nobody got hurt (apart from a slight concussion and some bruises on my arm). My daughter didn’t even wake up. But the car was a complete wreck, and unfixable.
So I’m stuck in Poland with a Czech car with Greek licence plates and guess what? My insurance covers such accidents, and I can get a free transport for me and the car to the nearest garage, free repair and even a replacement car! ...oh, but this is for all EU countries except Poland. Since the accident was in Poland, I’m not covered, and moving the car to Germany (so that I’d be covered) would cost more than the value of the car itself.

So you think that sucks? Two days later (23/12/08) three policemen who got the wrong orders by the wrong people who in turn got misinformed by some corrupt judge back in Greece, break into my flat without a warrant and arrest my 3-year-old daughter (but not me) and drag her to the station on Christmas Eve and while she’s waiting for Santa Claus to bring her her presents. They interrogate the 3-year-old for 13 hours, without food or water, and then decide to lock her up in an orphanage and throw away the key. The following night, her mother arrives with fake papers and convinces the Greek Embassy to give her the child, which she manages to smuggle back to Greece, and locks up in a house full of child molestors for 8 months. I have not been able to see her or even talk to her since.

So yes, I guess you could say that accident sort of changed my plans.

marinelife's avatar

It is just life. Mine evening was thrown off by something much more minor than yours.

We went for a swim so my husband’s keys were not in his pants pocket. We took our dogs for a walk afterwards and voila we were locked out.

$50 for the house call to unlock the door.

Sorry that happened to you. Be good to yourself. Stuff like that can shake one up.

Cupcake's avatar

I was driving my son and younger siblings to school one morning. We turned from our street to a busier street. I was just accelerating after the turn when a small child jumped out of a parked vehicle and ran into the lane in front of me. I slammed on my breaks. He paused in the median and it looked like he was going to stop, so I swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid him. Unfortunately, he kept going and I hit him in the oncoming traffic lane. I was almost stopped when I hit him, but had been rapidly decelerating so he was still hit pretty hard (especially for a ~4 year old little guy).

My car stopped with the front of the car over the little guy. On impact, his sneakers came off and flew up in the air over my car. My little sister started sobbing, thinking that his feet had broken off and were flying in front of us.

I don’t remember all of the details after that. I know I ran out of the car and the mother had gotten him by then and was lying in the street by the curb holding him and sobbing. I ran over and kneeled down on the street and asked if he was OK. It seemed as though immediately many, many police cars, firetrucks and news stations arrived.

I had to pull my car over in my traffic lane and wait for the kiddo to be put into the ambulance and for statements to be taken by the mother and witnesses. Finally, the police came over to my car and told me that the mother told them that I hit my breaks and swerved to avoid the little boy, so I was free to go.

I was SO shaken up! I had just hit a little boy with my car! The kids in the back seat of my car thought I killed him! I didn’t know until later that he suffered a broken leg and was otherwise fine. The thought of driving made me sick to my stomach. I numbly drove around the block to my mother’s house and ran in sobbing to tell her what happened. The kids all interrupted with their versions. We had to call the school to let them know that our kids were in a car accident and were to shaken up to go into school right away. We comforted them and I rode with my mother for her to drive them into school.

Driving was hard for a while after that. Even now, sometimes that intersection reminds me of the accident and I can see that little boy’s shoes flying up above my car. Sometimes I panic when people open their doors into traffic. Sometimes I cringe when I ride in the front seat and think the driver will hit someone. Once I had a bird fly into the windshield and I almost broke down sobbing remembering the accident with the little boy.

But life goes on, and time tempers the emotion from the memory.

Supacase's avatar

I was a junior in HS and they type of kid who was friendly with everyone but had one or two good friends. My best friend’s mother had moved out of state with her boyfriend, so my friend moved in with her dad who lived about 45 minutes away from our school. This meant she had to drive every day on winding roads that were often snowy in winter, so he bought her a new Subaru since even the smaller ones had AWD.

One day after school we were going to the mall. I pull out of the school in my car and she is right behind me in hers. A bus is stopped to make a left turn and waiting on cars to pass. One car is stopped behind it, I am behind him and I see my friend’s car zooming up on me in the rear view mirror. She hit me at 35–40 mph (in a school zone) and totaled my car. She hit me, I hit the guy in front of me and he slid up under the bus. Her dad was so pissed that she had to move from Virginia to Wisconsin to be with her mom.

It ruined the rest of my time in HS. I hit my first big depression, slept through classes, failed physics (I had a B the first semester), skipped classes, and had no one to do anything with. This was a very small school (44 kids in my graduating class) so it wasn’t like I had a huge pool from which to make new friends. I pretty much knew who I would and would not be interested in hanging out with.

I do want to say that, although this was awful for me as a teenager, I am so thankful that nothing worse has happened. There are so many terrible possibilities. My heart goes out to those of you who have truly had traumatizing experiences.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Sorry about your accident, daloon. I’v ehad my life turned upside down by accidents in the past, and I’m not sure how I dealt with them, I simply did the best I could. I really have no advice for you, sorry. Hope things turn out for the best, and I’d be pissed if my camera got busted, too.

Zendo's avatar

Tough break…really. I have had plenty of accidents on bikes, so I feel for you.

Suing the dog won’t help. That’s #1

Keep a close eye on the hip for a hematoma (swelling). Put ice on it, and all the bruised areas.
I would try to get them to replace the camera and the bike… and pay for all the medical bills.

janbb's avatar

I’m sorry about the accident too, daloon. Hope you’re feeling a little better today. It takes time for the shock to wear off – as well as the injuries.

wundayatta's avatar

I iced things most of the night. My back is feeling better, and the road rash on my elbow is just surface, so I’m not worried about that. However, my hip is still bothering me. I’ll see the doctor today. I hope it’s just a bruise and not a break of any kind. I hope to take my bike into the shop today. I think it’s not to badly banged up, but it will need a lot of adjusting to make it run well.

As to the shock, I think I’ve calmed down a bit. Maybe it’s just getting used to the idea that things have changed, but I’ll manage to incorporate it into my life without a whole lot of angst. It’s not like I haven’t had all these pains before. Still, I can’t help wishing it had been otherwise.

janbb's avatar

@daloon Sounds like you’re handling it well. I know how hard it can be not to have a “global” reaction to these things.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@daloon, just remember that old saying: If wishes were horses, we’d all be up to our waists in horseshit. it’s not so bad until you stumble. }:^)

wundayatta's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra I’m no stranger to horse shit…. well, cow shit, anyway.

Mrgelastic's avatar

i was literally 2 feet away from getting hit by a car, it zoomed pass me going like 90mph.
the second it was over i had an epiphany and did some crazy shit that night. LIVE LIFE!

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