A few weeks ago, I solicited your advice for how I should handle getting hit by car while on my brand-new bicycle. At the time, I estimated the damages to my bike to be around $200, and also mentioned that my back was hurting, but that it was no big deal. Since the driver didn’t want to go through insurance, I asked you guys if you thought I should ask her to buy me a new bike, and in return, I’d give her mine in its existing banged-up condition. Because why not make something that’s already complicated even more complicated by offering people your broken belongings for no reason other than unjustified guilt?
Before I get into whether or not I actually took your advice (and oh, did you have advice), can I just say that you guys are awesome? Selfishly (she says redundantly), I love that as an xoJane writer, I can crowd source my more pressing issues and that you actually take the time to respond with thoughtful and honest advice. (Don’t worry, I promise not to start asking you for help with my more mundane problems, like what to eat for lunch or whether or not I should cohabitate with my boyfriend. Except, not really, since I’ll actually probably ask you about the latter. No seriously: should I?)
And sure, it hurt a little bit when a bunch of people told me to suck it up and stop whining about how my brand-new bike wasn’t pretty and shiny and new anymore, but I asked for your opinion, and even if a few of them weren’t what I *wanted* to hear, it was still pretty rad that you guys were willing to help me out.
Anyway, enough about you and how great you are, let’s get back to ME and my bike accident. Your advice ranged from lawyer up to suck it up and everything in between. What I realized was that, at the very least, I needed to take my bike in for an official estimate from a certified bike shop. Turns out my $200 estimate was, just a teensie bit low. More like almost $1,100 -- nearly the cost of a brand-new bike.
I’d also mentioned that I thought the accident might have aggravated an existing snowboarding injury, but that I wasn’t worried about it. Considering this is coming from a girl who got taken off the mountain behind a snow mobile while immobilized in a stretcher, refused an ambulance, and then snowboarded the next day (with a compression fracture, I found out weeks later), maybe listening to me when I say I’m fine isn’t the best idea.
You guys suggested my injuries might need medical attention and so I went to my doctor. After explaining the situation, I apologized and told her I was probably overreacting and I didn’t want to waste her time. “I don’t want to be that girl who makes a big deal out of nothing,” I said. (That’s right: I’ll freak out about scratches on my brand-new bicycle, but suffer through excruciating pain in my body. It makes no sense, I know. I KNOW!)
After examining my back, my doctor gave me a stern lecture. “You’re not overreacting; you’re completely under-reacting.” Turns out I sprained my back and need physical therapy. She also mentioned that I seem to not feel pain in a normal way, a fact that anyone I’ve ever dated will enthusiastically back up -- some literally (aw yeah), the sadder cases, just metaphorically (sorry, boys).
Anyway, at this point, it was (finally!) clear that I needed to go through the driver’s insurance. So I left a long rambling message to this effect that included things like, "I'm really, really sorry" and “I understand if you don’t want to talk to me again” because apparently we weren’t dealing with a car accident but rather a monumental break-up. And then I waited.
Okay fine, I didn’t wait that long, but well over a week passed, and still nothing.
So I sent away for the police report and, when it arrived, immediately contacted the insurance company listed by the driver.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m just calling to check on a claim?”
Except, OH RIGHT. There was no claim. It had been almost a month since I’d been hit, two weeks since I’d said we needed to go through insurance, and the driver hadn’t done a thing. Perhaps that’s because, as it turned out, she wasn’t driving her girlfriend’s car (as she’d told me), but rather her girlfriend’s FATHER’s car. Guess how he found out about the accident? That’s right: from the claims representative. Word has it, he was THRILLED.
(I won't even get into the fact that he referred to his daughter's girlfriend as her "best friend," since it's not my place to out anyone. Oh. Shit. Did I just accidentally out someone? I don't think so. Probably he doesn't read xoJane. Yet.)
Anyway, long story short (I know, I know: TOO LATE DAISY): The insurance company paid for the damages to my bike, is covering my medical expenses for 60 days (which is awesome since my insurance doesn’t cover physical therapy), and gave me a little bit of cash for my time and inconvenience. That's right. Insurance is magic!
Unfortunately, a replacement bike won't be available until November (my bike is like a girl in high-school: super pretty, totally sexy, and rides like a dream; hence, it’s also exceptionally popular), but that actually might be a good thing since I’m under strict doctor’s orders to “take it easy.” When I asked for clarification, she told me not to do anything that hurts. Luckily, Campfriend’s totally not into anal. KIDDING! (Not that he IS into anal, but...oh god, you know what I mean. I hope.)
Anyway, thanks again for all of the good advice. You're the best and I promise to listen to you guys diligently and often. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go camping for the weekend. Cliff jumping totally qualifies as “taking it easy,” right?