17 May 2010

I Was Hit by A Cab

April 28, 2010
So there I was, walking to get a $.31 scoop of ice cream, when I was hit by an SUV.

The cab was on Street A, planning on making a right onto Street B. I was crossing Street A, and had :12 (according to the timer across the street) to do so. I started across the street with coworker Andy. Naturally, I was talking. While walking, I thought oh, I stepped too close to this cab. I'd better step further out. But a thought happens in less than a second. In this case it was almost an instinct. My legs obeyed. My torso did not. Before my brain could process what was happening, there was a thud. It was my elbow hitting the hood as the SUV rolled into me.

This cab just hit me. I've been hit by a car. I've been hit by an SUV. Am I hurt? I don't feel hurt. How could he have hurt me going that slowly?
Again, a thought that happens faster than it reads, more of a feeling than conscious question.

What do I do?
Slower, more in the moment. Looking for oncoming traffic. Aware the countdown that had given me :12 now only gives me :08. The cab driver rolling down his window.

He apologized. He did not get out of his vehicle. He asked if I was okay. I said I was. He said he didn't see me. Coworker Andy gave him the what's what - telling him he had to pay attention, that he couldn't look left and turn right. The clock read :02. I said "I'm going to get out of the street before I get hit by anything else."

A driver two lanes over said he saw the whole thing and would pull over and wait for the police. I noticed I was shaking. I was not hurt. I could not think of the proper thing to do.

Is this worth calling the police? Is this worth an officer's time? Has this cabbie hit other people who let it go? Is it worth filling out the paperwork? What am I supposed to do again? What would Kate say?
Bottom line: I had work to do after I got my $.31 ice cream. I told the witness I was okay and that he could continue on his way. Coworker Andy said I had to at least call the cab company. I said I would. We said the cab number (1324) out loud. We continued on to our ice cream.

We also saw several of our coworkers on the way. We just had to tell them the whole thing. We did eventually get our ice cream. The woman in front of us in line was one of those "I know you have signs but I still don't know the flavors you have" people. Our quick trip seemed to take forever. By the time we got back to work, everyone knew the story and kept looking at me as if I had been actually hit.

I called the cab company. I talked to a dispatcher who sent me to another dispatcher who was horrified. She told me the manager was not still there, but said she would transfer me so I could leave a message. She was sure I would get a call back first thing in the morning.

I sent a tweet, and posted it on Facebook.

Then I realized I needed to notify my parents. Yes, they both have iPhones. No, neither uses twitter the way I do. Both would be greatly offended to not be the first to know. I sent my mom an e-mail and my dad got a text. A small part of me thought the fact that I thought it was only text worthy would show them the (un)importance. But I may as well have sent "I've just killed a man." My dad called first.

I told him the story. He asked if I was going to a hospital to be checked. I said no, as I only had a scratch on my elbow. He asked if I was going to sue. I said no. He said I should sue to cover my medical costs. I reminded him I was not going to have any medical costs, and referred him fifteen seconds back in my our conversation. My dad accepted my answer, they got off the phone with me to spread confusion.

My mother called less than ten minutes later. The panic in her voice told me she had not read my e-mail. In the same breath my mom asked if I was okay, and how my father knew before she did. The "I want to be the first to know" is a competition as old as I am. I was not surprised. But my parents are not speaking, so I was curious as to how my mom knew that my dad knew. I'll spare you the mysterious answers and get right to what I pieced together.

My dad called Derek and said "your sister was hit by a cab and she needs to go to a hospital." My dad's inflection was meant in a "the right thing to do is sue" way. But Derek is an EMT. When he hears "needs to go to the hospital," he thinks like a first responder. So Derek ran upstairs to wake up my mother and ask if she had heard that I was hit and had to go to a hospital. She had not, and my phone rang.

There was no need for concern. I had no lingering injuries. YellowCab never returned my call. My parents finally accepted my word that I was okay - although my mom did seriously ask if my dad was flying out to check on me. It's good to be loved I guess.