Whitney was in a car accident in 2005 and has yet to receive full compensation from the at fault party.
My Complicated Insurance Experience
people found Whitney's experience helpful.
Toward the end of the year in 2005, I was driving from my parent's home in Leitchfield, KY to my boyfriend's (now my husband) home in Clarkson. The trip usually took about 15 minutes. On the way to his house, instead of driving through town, I decided to take a few back roads, all of which I know like the back of my hand.
Upon entering into a sharp curve, I quickly noticed that a car was backing out onto the road, so I gently applied my brakes with the hope of being able to stop in time. I clearly remember my car turning sideways in the curve as well as the front of the other car coming toward my driver's door. I said to myself, "You're gonna slide into this car, so hold on."
And that was it. Everything turned black. The next thing that happened was I awoke to a woman sitting in my passenger seat. She was on the phone telling someone that I was having a seizure. I quietly said to her, "I'm pretty sure I don't have seizures." That's when she said, "Hunny, you're having one right now. You've been in a car accident."
That's when my memory came back. And that's about the time the ambulance pulled up and took me to the hospital. My head had busted out my driver's side window from the impact, leaving me with a rather large gash, a concussion and causing me to have a seizure.
I recovered quite well from the accident, and I've only had one seizure since then. However, the accident left me without a car. The woman who backed out in front me, which is illegal in the state of Kentucky, didn't have insurance. My medical bills were covered by my insurance company, but since I didn't have full coverage, I was out of luck on getting any money for a new car.
Within a month of the accident, I took the at-fault party to court to receive compensation for my totaled car. I was 19 at the time and the car I was driving was worth only a few thousand dollars, however, I needed that money for a new car. And more importantly, the woman who backed out in front me needed to be held accountable for not having insurance, which is also illegal in Kentucky.
The court system summoned the woman to court and mandated that she set up a payment schedule in which she would send money to the Kentucky Alternative Programs agency. That agency would then send the payments to me. Everything went fine for about 11 months. She made monthly payments in the amount of $125. But then all of a sudden, the payments stopped, and I have yet to see another dime from her.
I was able to track down the woman by going to her prior place of employment and finding out her new address. She had moved out of state. My mother's friend, a state trooper, looked into the matter, but said there was nothing that could be done because the woman who hit me was no longer in the state of Kentucky.
Perhaps I should have hired a lawyer. Perhaps I still should. I have the paperwork where the woman has yet to pay me the remaining balance of $1,425, but part of me feels as if hiring a lawyer to handle the case will end up costing me that much.
There is no doubt that what the woman did was very wrong. She drove without insurance, backed out into the roadway, and then never finished paying what she owed me. And to be honest, I would probably pursue the money that she owes me if it were a higher amount. But $1,425 just isn't worth the time and headache that it would take to meet with lawyers, go to court, and try to force her to make payments.
If given the chance to do everything all over, I would ask a judge to take the entirety of the compensation owed to me out of her tax refund check. I think that in doing that, I would have been able to get every dime owed to me in one lump sum. I would also ask a judge when the payment schedule was set up about the possibility of the person moving out of state and what the consequences would be.
The most important thing that I learned from this situation was to never hold your breath when it comes to receiving money via the court systems.