Blue '95 Volvo 850 Saved our Lives

Be substantially insured for uninsured motorist and DUI wrecks...

At 8:55 PM on a Friday evening in September 2005, it happened to us.  The 33 year old wife and Mom that was DUI that hit us had a BAC of .13.   After work my husband and I met for dinner out.  Then we were returning from shopping for supplies for my job as a paraeducator in our local school district when it happened.  My husband says that the only warning he had was seeing one headlight, then BOOM!  I don't remember the actual wreck.  I was knocked out and had a concussion.  The story we've been told is






that the other driver was avoiding a phantom car, and had slammed on the brakes, leaving enough rubber on the road to slow down from 68 to 0.  The car was going much faster than that, though.  When the brakes were released, the wheel evidently had already been cranked to the left, so the car made an uncontrolled U-turn, mid intersection, hitting our car multiple times while spinning both cars around, resulting in them both facing the opposite directions that they had originally been traveling.  Our car was hit with such force that it was shoved completely off the road, all the way onto the sidewalk, stopping facing a big light pole, with around a foot of space between our car and the light pole.  The road was seven lanes wide.  I believe the other car had been in it's right lane of three lanes.  Our car was in the middle or left lane of three lanes.

We had $10,000 PIP each, but our first night at the hospital was $20,000 each. PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, is the medical insurance portion on the uninsured motorist coverage on an auto ins policy. The insured motorist gets to pay everything their insurance doesn't cover, which can easily be very costly. Even settlements from your own insurance company don't come close to paying you back. The first four months of medical costs for EACH of us was $35,000. The only substantial support system for victims of DUI or of uninsured motorists is family and friends. We had no severe, maiming injuries other than the emotional aspects.  I had: 
  • a concussion, causing loss of consciousness, loss of memory of the wreck, and disorientation,  
  •  Mild TBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury),
  • a softball size hematoma on my right calf, which has left me with a 3" diameter discoloration on my leg that looks like a bruise, and according to my dermatologist, may never go away.  Imagine the looks I get when I wear shorts!  It's a daily reminder that we get to pay for another person's choice to drink and drive UNINSURED.
  • rotator cuff tear, 
  • SLAP tear,  
  • neck injuries, and
  • PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.)  

My husband had: 

  • stitches in the eyelid from the corner of the car hood cover coming through the windshield.  That could have maimed, severely injured, or killed him, had it probed deeper into his body;
  • to use a walker & a cane for over a month due to a muscular reaction that would cause extreme pain and result in immediate loss of strength and use of  the leg as it gave out under him;
  • a concussion,  
  • neck injuries that caused him to use pain pills and later, muscle relaxants for over a year under a doctor's care.

The main injury still continues: the emotional affects. It shows up daily, surprising us how it shows it's daunting face  in yet another way.  Unless you have broken bones, are maimed, or death is involved, there really is no substantial support system for the victims, and little, if any, support from society.  Even with our lifelong injuries, we the victims, seem to have no rights.  

The case against the DUI driver is the prosecutor's case.  They are not representing the victim, but are representing the city against the person that broke the law.  The case can drag on and on.  The driver that hit us is not facing trial until 15 months after the wreck due to the multiple continuances of the case for the defendant to 'continue negotiating' the case. 

For a DUI driver to be charged with vehicular assault, rather than a misdemeanor, the victim typically has to have broken bones, be maimed, or death must have been involved.

Try doing a web search on DUI victims rights.  Add the two letter abbreviation for your state.  What do you typically find?  MADD and maybe a DUI or DWI Victims Panel.  Other than that , there's usually a long list of attorneys for the DUI driver.  Why is it this way? 

More will be added, including many of the photos, as time permits.