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Total freak out! - Meltdown!- Dread!


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I work for a large city transit as a bus driver. Today my doorbell rings and there stands a police officer asking for me. In the 10 seconds it took to get to the door all hell breaks loose on the inside. Shaking immediately, shallow heavy breathing, etc. Anyway he's here to deliver a summons for a traffic collision (in my bus) I was involved in almost a year ago. I was driving along main street and all of a sudden bang. A motorist pulled out of a parrell parking spot and hits the side of the bus. I saw nothing. He impacted the bus behind the front wheel (This is important!) Minor bus damage - major front end damage to the car, front bumper ripped off by scraping side of bus until I could safely stop. Anyway police do there thing, measurements etc. and charge the motorist with unsafe start from stopped position. In other words he just pulled out without looking. I did absolutly nothing wrong just going down the road and crash. So he is going to fight this and say that I hit his car as he was pulling out of parking spot. This is what he said at the scene, However there was absolutley no front end damage to the bus, only side damage after the front wheel of the bus. There would be some front end damage to the bus if the bus hit his car first. Police said this was a cut and dried at fault collision on his part hence the charge. Now I have to go to court and face possibly a lawyer or one of those ticket defenders paralegals. I'm petrified of courts and lawyers, Oh GOD! My company safety guy says they will try every trick in their book to somehow show I hit him(distracted by a passenger etc.)

Unfortunately there was no witnesses, although 35 people were on the bus, but that is normal, nobody wants to get involved. This is some of the details of my freak out ,running around the house almost hysterical, reading the summons 100 times, then surrender to my meds, 3 xanax, 100mg seroquel, and 2 oxazepams, and not going to work the next day for fear I would not be able to concentrate on driving. Driving my family nuts with all the might happens, could happens and blowing it in court fears. I dont see any possible defence he could use to say i was at fault and this is what scares me - what will they conjure up in court against me. If anybody has any possible scenerios that think he or his lawyer might use against me please tell me! My company says I have absolutely nothing to worry about, he could be just looking for money,money and more money, by reversing the fault. People sue transit companys over ripped clothing on a loose screw on the bus! among many other things.Just give the facts,they say, fuck if only it were that easy for me. Should I medicate myself, should I overmedicate myself, what.

Years ago I had to appear in court in regards to school bus charge, somebody almost hit a kid getting off my bus, drove right through the stop arm and lights. I was so nervous the judge practially yelled at me to speak up as I was shrinking into a tiny ,quiet ball of floatism as her lawyer said this and that and got personal, said I was tired and maybe didnt activate the lights, etc. Only thing was a cop right behind the bus saw everything and coroborated that he saw the lights flashing.

Apparently if by chance he had the charge dropped,I cannot be held at fault under any scenerio.

I have not posted on here in awhile as I have been getting stable recently and didnt need any feedback from the understanding folks around here. Are there any web sites that help prepare witnesses for this type of thing? This is my time of need so if you can offer any words of encouragement or legal advice please do so.

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Hi, reco! Hey, I hear what you're saying. Some years ago a woman ran out in front of my car on a dark rainy night. I never saw her until she was on my windshield. She later sued me, which was ludicrous---but this is America and we all think we can strike it rich with a court case.

First of all, nothing that happens will involve YOUR money. I'm sure your union, and the city you work for have you covered by liability insurance. So it will be that man's lawyer against the lawyer for the city, or the city's insurance company.

The best advice for you is that you just give the same account over and over. Think over what happened, and get it firm in your mind.

"I was driving down Main Street, just past the intersection with 3rd Avenue, when I heard something impact the side of the bus. I stopped the bus as soon as it was safe and opened the door to see what caused the noise. I observed a man getting out of his car 20 feet back, and I later learned that he had pulled out of his parking space and into the bus."........or some such thing---however you want to phrase it.

And just say it over and over. The lawyer for the other side will say "Well, didn't you see that this car up ahead had it's turn signal on?"

"I heard an impact and stopped the bus as soon as it was safe."

You just say what happened. Nothing is going to happen to you. Your union and your city will want this to be dismissed, so I'm sure they have pictures of damage to the bus, and they will call an expert witness to testify that it was a side impact, etc etc.

Maybe discuss this with a tdoc and learn some relaxation techniques? It will be months or years before it goes to trial, so you need some strategies to cope with it. It isn't a solution to chomp down your drugs in large doses---you need coping mechanisms to get through this.

You weren't at fault, so that should be your mantra. You didn't do anything wrong, and you have your employer's backing.

Call your tdoc.

olga

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hi,

liability insurance claims used to be my work (see why im now crazy!?!?!)

even though this is just for the traffic charge - make sure that before you go - you have discussed EVERYTHING with your employer and risk manager or liability insurance person. and *Maybe* hopefully you could get someone from your work to go with you. to you they would be support. however, really they'll be looking this dude up and down and scoping it out to see if he does (im assuming its a guy) request further liability claims from your employer. (sneaky....but hey! it works both ways).

and if this does go any further (for claims against your employer)...believe me...it will get resolved before it goes to court. there is usually more money to made settling out-of-court.

good luck!!!

db

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If your company has a lawyer involved, I bet you could get quite a bit of support by talking with this lawyer. He (or she) is likely to be intimately familiar with what goes on and can prepare you for it. However, it sounds like it's going to turn into nothing. Hope you can compartmentalize this and not have it in your head all the time.

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