Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Court - Part I

Click on this earlier post for reference to my accident. And also click on the next previous post about the hospital and my subsequent two cars.

The police issued me a ticket simply because I had "overlooked" the stop sign. The driver of the other car did not get one.

However, one month after my release from the hospital, I got a bill because I had no car insurance, and even no health insurance. It was due to the fact I was living in Virginia while my employer was located in Maryland. My private company, unlike government agencies, unfortunately did not accept out of state insurance.

As if it wasn't enough, the pile of my 'woes' kept increasing.

I got an unbelievable letter from that driver, wanting a lawsuit against me for "damaging" her car. In reality, her car only had a dent on the front side, while mine was totaled.

My friend, Cindy, insisted I should go to the court to dispute the ticket because we all had "overlooked" the stop sign only since it was recently put there. She used to ride bicycles along the street quite often but she, and also I, had not been around during the summer and missed the new sign just as I did.

Cindy and Candy joined me to the courthouse to make an appointment which was few months away and emphasized for an ASL interpreter for that date.

In the meantime, I took pictures of the stop sign and the surrounding sign for the upcoming court discussion.

During this period, I was going through so much stress that I had trouble breathing. I kept telling myself to take "one day at a time".

Eventually, Cindy asked me to be her roommate along with our two other friends in an apartment in Maryland. It was convenient since it was closer to my work and in the SAME state as well.

The court date came. Cindy joined me for emotional and moral support.

Nervously, I wringed my hand. I knew that if the court did not favor my side, I would get high points on my driver's license, thus increasing my new insurance rate that would deplete my already tight budget. Or even perhaps suspend my license for driving without car insurance.

No, no, I did NOT want to think about that possibility.

I kept crossing my fingers and held my breath while my turn came in the court.

Finally, the guard called up my name. I glanced around and saw the police who gave me a ticket was there.

But there was no interpreter in sight.

After five minutes of waiting, the judge gave up and wrote a note, saying since my case involved an accident, unlike a speeding ticket, it could not be dismissed.

I read the note, sighing a bit of relief but at the same time felt like my life was being on hold. I did not have to face the consequences...yet.

That meant I could still drive and pay a normal rate to my insurace for the time being.

The court date was postponed...due to full court schedule, ONE YEAR LATER!

And....the lawsuit that the other driver heaped on me, for some reason, never came to materialize, to my immense relief!